Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

Online overkill – week of April 12

April 18, 2009

Good, bad and inspiring, these are some of the items that filled my RSS feed this week. 

Susan Boyle. Wait. You mean unattractive people can sing too? I’m with Jordan Green. The reasons the video is so inspiring and capturing millions of hits on YouTube are kind of sad. 

Ashton Kutcher. Now, if Dude Where’s My Car got all million of his Twitter followers to give money to the poor that would be a good story. 

Tea partying. If you’re disgusted with the sexual innuendo used in the coverage of the tax protests this week raise your hand. 

New Yankee Stadium. Plenty of people weighed in with opinions about the grossly expensive new home for the recession-what-recession Yankees, but Jeff Passan did a bang-up job making me feel sick to my stomach

Torture memos released. The details of the abusive interrogation techniques included in the memos and the right-wing talking point defense of the human rights violations made me sick to my stomach for another reason entirely. 


16 million girls

April 17, 2009

Sixteen million girls are missing in China. And now we know what happened to them: They were aborted because they weren’t boys.

A study published last week in the British Medical Journal, based on a survey of nearly 5 million Chinese children and teenagers, bares the gruesome numbers. Worldwide, the number of boys born per 100 girls ranges from 103 to 107. (The numbers later equalize due to higher male mortality.) Among Chinese children born from 1985 to 1989, the number of boys per 100 girls was 108, close to normal. But among those born from 2000 to 2004, the number rose to 124. The authors conclude that as of 2005, “males under the age of 20 exceeded females by more than 32 million.”

William Saletan

We would not fail?

April 13, 2009

Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkly assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now possess. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith.

-From the book “The Corner” by David Simon and Edward Burns

The real-life ‘slumdog millionaire’

March 23, 2009

Only one contestant has ever won the grand prize on India’s version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. His name was Harshvardhan Nawathe and while he wasn’t a “slumdog,” he now devotes much of his time to impoverished children in Mumbai. shares the inspiring true story of how Nawathe escaped the relentless glow of celebrity, started a family and decided to fight for the rights of his city’s most vulnerable residents.

World Water Day

March 22, 2009

Since we take for granted the liquid that wakes us up in the morning, keeps us hydrated during the day and cleans our clothes every other day of the year, what do you say we celebrate World Water Day today by raising our own awareness and sparing a few dollars for international clean water initiatives?

Here’s a “good” place to start.

And here’s one place you can send money.

The news in Sudan

March 16, 2009

It keeps getting worse.

They are wrong

March 10, 2009

Every community in Northern Ireland has had to compromise, and every community has gained. Our past is a broken one; we’re trying to fix it. The people who murdered the soldiers and seriously injured PIZZA DELIVERY GUYS on Saturday are motivated by a mixture of historical falsehood and the human tendency to blood lust, along with whatever personal stories may have forced them into thinking that violence is an acceptable path. They are wrong. And anyone who tries to justify this kind of act betrays the best of what it means to be Irish. I am left with feelings of deep offense alongside the sorrow I feel for the loved ones of those who have died, been wounded, and the rest of the people of my home, Northern Ireland, whose traumatic memories of the past have now been re-stirred. Including my own.

Gareth Higgins, responding to recent violence in Northern Ireland.

Contentment in an age of excess

March 1, 2009

Lexington, Ky.-based authors Will and Lisa Samson, who last teamed up on an enlightening and challenging book called Justice in the Burbs, have a new book coming out this week called Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess.

Like the their previous collaboration, the title sounds pretty self-explanatory:

In an age of conspicuous consumption, where children worry more about their clothes than their grades, the world is being drained of its natural resources, and every universal temptation is dangled in front of us, is it possible to be content?

In Enough, Will and Lisa Samson address the idea of finding contentment in this age of excess. With a casual, accessible writing style, the Samsons discuss consumerism, contentment as a Christian discipline, and the notion of stewarding our resources. In four sections, they outline the ideas that drive a consumerist mindset; the effects those ideas have on ourselves, our communities, and the earth; conclusions about the situation; and practical solutions for negotiating everyday life once we understand that our abundant God is, in fact, enough.

You can order a copy HERE.

Strangely familiar

February 25, 2009

The charge that ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ exploits Mumbai’s poverty is so absurd that by the same token Charles Dickens’ entire body of work would have to be invalidated as a defamation of 19th-century England. Like all accomplished stories, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is probably resonating with audiences because it gives a glimpse of complex truths and tells us something about ourselves that we had trouble defining. In that sense, the Motion Picture Academy did not honor a ‘foreign’ film, but one strangely familiar.

Alvar Vargas Llosa

The Michael Phelps bong hit war continues

February 13, 2009

It keeps getting more ridiculous:

Three people were charged with simple marijuana possession after a small amount was seized in the raid at the home in a lakefront neighborhood. Four others were charged with simple marijuana possession in the second raid, longtime Columbia attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Joe McCulloch told The State on Thursday.

“He’s sitting there on Saturday, and 12 cops kick in the door with guns drawn, search the house, and find 5, maybe 6 grams of pot,” Harpootlian said about his client, who was arrested in the first raid at the Wells Point Drive home near Ballentine.

“They never asked him, ‘Who sold you the pot?’” Harpootlian continued. “They were asking, ‘Were you at the party with Michael Phelps? Did you see him using marijuana?’ It was all about Michael Phelps.”

(Hat Tip: Reason)