Monthly Archives: July 2012

Is Chick-fil-A the Best of American Capitalism?

The Best of America

This column originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.

It’s been a relaxing week now that I am finally on vacation.  Between sunbathing on the beach, reading in the hammock, and kayaking along the bay, I’ve been busy doing nothing. Most mornings I wake up not sure what the day will bring. But you can be darn sure I know what I’ll be doing on Wednesday, August 1st: donating to organizations that support gay rights.

I vowed to have a media free holiday and so I turned off the TV, suspended my newspaper subscription, ignored my Twitter feed, turned away from Facebook, and only checked email once a day. As a result, I had no idea Chick-fil-A’s President and COO, Dan Cathy, stirred up a hornet’s nest by declaring his company supports “the traditional family.”

He went on to say, “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”

Huh?  Continue reading

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The Other One Percent: Why Reinstating The Draft Would Benefit Us All

This essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch.

Reinstating The Draft Would Benefit Us All

It seemed so innocuous, just a little box at the bottom of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But the box was so much more than it appeared, because when my recently turned 18-year-old son checked said box, it meant he was now officially registered for the draft.

I wouldn’t have given it much thought until I realized the draft is in the news again. At the Aspen Ideas Festival hosted earlier this month, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, argued for reinstatement of the draft.

He said, “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.” Continue reading

I Am An Emotional Creature

This column originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.

Eve Ensler Is An Emotional Creature
Source: http://www.VDay.org

At a recent dinner party, a friend shared his frustration and confusion about a young woman who works for him. He told us, “she’s a hard worker” and “she’s  headed for success.” But earlier in the week, as he was giving her constructive feedback about her performance on a project, she suddenly burst into tears. He was totally flummoxed.

“I didn’t know what to do,” my friend complained. As we discussed his options, he finally ended the conversation by saying, “Women are so damn emotional.”

Well friend, yes we are.

Continue reading

Interview with Human Rights Watch’s Anneke Van Woudenberg

Anneke Van Woudenberg and Me

Anneke Van Woudenberg is the Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. She is considered an international expert on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As you may know, the Congo has erupted into strife, again. Rebel leader, General Bosco Ntaganda, has renewed his past horrors and is  kidnapping young boys and men into conscription, burning down villages, and supporting rape as a weapon of war.

Anneke and I sat down recently to discuss why the current crisis in the Congo has resumed and why we should care.  You can listen to our conversation here.

The Congo Is In The News Again, But What I Really Want Is A Vacation

This column originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.

Like most around town, we’re headed off on vacation soon. I have a long to-do list including:

  • Stop delivery of the mail and newspaper
  • Take the dog to the vet
  • Get my hair cut
  • Hire someone to feed the cat
  • Buy sun block
  • Worry about the Congo

Child Soldiers of the Congo
from http://www.studentsforthecongo.com

Yep, you read that right, the Congo. You remember, that’s the place where five million men, women, and children have died over the past fifteen years as a result of the country’s ongoing civil conflict. The place once called the “rape capital of the world.” The place where, in 2009, a United Nations brokered peace treaty was supposed to have ended the infighting. The very same place where said peace treaty gave accused war criminal, Bosco Ntaganda, his very own seat at the negotiations.

Now, General Bosco Ntaganda has decided to mutiny and is busy kidnapping young boys to build his army. Soon we’ll be hearing again about the vicious rapes of young women and girls, the beheadings, the senseless murders, the list goes on.  Continue reading