“Both ended up outliving those institutions by decades, but both channeled the best of the Irish American heritage — its passion for justice, its empathy for the excluded, its strong sense of class — into their work. In that sense, Ted Kennedy’s America was a place where everyone was Irish and deserved a fair shot”—Harold Meyerson, (Columnist in WaPo) on Kennedy & Sweeney (AFL-CIO)
“Doing jobs we are in no way qualified or trained for has been our greatest challenge. Every week brings new and exciting problems that we have to just figure out, do or die. But in this constant state of growth, it’s amazing how competent you become when there’s no one to help you figure it out”—Viktoria Alexeeva, Director of Design and Branding at charity: water in a good article explaining how the organization does what they do best.
EurActive.com, a preferred source for EU news, put out a great article on “whole-brained education” this week. Damini Kumar, the Ambassador of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, rightly states that education is becoming much too focused on one track paths. Math and science tracks are certainly part and parcel to hammering out economically significant innovations. Still, imagine the expanded capabilities of a student well versed in art and philosophy in addition to algorithms. I want to live in that world.
If you like the article summary, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to the full interview with Ms Kumar.
“Unchecked carbon emissions will likely cause icebergs to melt. Unchecked greenback emissions will certainly cause the purchasing power of currency to melt. The dollar’s destiny lies with Congress.”—Warren Buffett in Tuesday’s NYT (8/18/09)
Addiopizzo is an Italian movement born from saying no to mafia extortion in Palermo, Sicily. It is now the platform for a consortia of businesses all over Southern Italy, or “Il Mezzogiorno”, who are publically stating that they will not pay the pizzo. Pizzo is the sicilian term meaning beak that came to be an expression for exortion fees that la cosa nostra, the sicilian mafia, place on all business in some shape or form.
This is a thought that I have been stewing over for quite some time. During September 2008 I had a lot of conversations with friends about the looming financial crisis. My thought at the time was that interested parties worked strategically to let the bottom fall out all at once, thereby giving a good opportunity to react with some much needed reforms. This worked in part for TARP and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unfortunately, these two congressional actions were not reformatory in nature.
Time passed since the epicenter of the crisis and our society now feels skiddish about necessary reforms. Secretary Geithner appears frustrated with backlash to essential finance industry reforms and President Obama hit a wall with health care. It is unlikely that even the most creative administration will change the way America is at her policy making core: reactive. We need more crisis.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the emotional drivers of today’s town hall “shouters”. I’ll just name a few off the top of my head: 24 hour news cycles; concern over government spending; ruthless, shortsighted political strategists; too many fake politicians (i.e. Sarah Palin); close to home economic troubles; a black president; a young black president; a black president who commands attention; diminishing respect for statesmen/women; statesmen/women twittering; lack of federal government understanding; lack of constitutional knowledge; lack of knowledge on 18th century political thought; lack of awareness of context…
Please add to my list by emailing me at atcone[at]gmail[dot]com. I want to sit down and organize these thoughts and others at some point. Anything you can add will be appreciated.
“Just as there is no excuse for the wanton slaughter of innocents, there is no denying that when children have no hope for an education… when governments fail to provide for the basic needs of their people, then people become more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death”—John Brennan, Obama’s top adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, on discontinuing the use of the tag line “war on terror” & moving towards development strategies to combat terror. Bravo! (Source: Financial Times 8/7/09)