Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
On July 14, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Aaron Williams as the next Director of the United States Peace Corps, and today, his nomination hearings with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are officially underway.
As a returned Peace Corps volunteer myself, I applaud and endorse President Obama's pick and am excited to see what he will do in his new role.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Doesn't it seem like political decisions and social morals worked together back in the day? What happened?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It seems that an entire industry has been built around the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Continuing Professional Education (CPE)-- but that maintaining professional credentials, or fulfilling the training requirements for career advancement, does not always match skill sets that will actually be used on the job. To be sure, the titles of many of the workshops infer a connection, but practically speaking, two or even eight hours of a single topic will not assign subject-matter expertise, and in many cases, will not even result in measureable subject-matter knowledge.
Further, for those organizations that organize these events, and for the public and nonprofit, and even private institutions that foot the bill, is the value of the workshop content equivalent to the charges? Is the half or full-day session worth a fee that rivals the per-credit hour charges of most public universities? Is the cost of requiring an employee to miss XX number of work hours per year to attend these trainings actually worth it to the organizations?
Perhaps, as a society, we have simply enabled another industry to capitalize on policies and requirements that assign legitimacy to professional development, but have neglected to provide necessary oversight on the relevancy of many of these trainings to actual job practice.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Now I feel really bad about myself knowing that their "Drowning in Debt" example case owes a mere $30,000.
Oh Suzie Dundas, if you only knew.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Today's New York Times story on surrogacy raises a great point about how our society will need to broaden the conversations around how children come into the world. With different types of families and with growing methods of childbirth, it may no longer be sufficient to tell the story as the "birds and the bees"
I found myself reading the article and imagining how I would explain childbirth to my children. I ended my thought experiment grateful that my children are still MANY years away from coming to earth. But I am curious how others would describe surrogacy and other methods of childbirth to children.
One parent, Joan Lunden, provided this example for explaining surrogacy in the Times: "Cupcakes. 'It’s almost like we can’t cook the cupcakes in our oven because the oven is broken,' she said. 'We’re going to use the neighbor’s oven.'"
Friday, July 10, 2009
However, what I still find missing is the connection to what role people themselves (for example the middle class he refers to) have to play. It's one thing to talk about African reformers and the role they play, it's a whole other to talk about the people in African countries and what they are doing in their country.
And then there's the whole thing about "Africa"!!! It is 54 freaking countries. I dislike the notion of Africa as one piece. I think the notion of us all being being African-American only adds to that misperception. I have objection to that assertion regardless, but it's made worse when it further conflates the continent into one giant country.
Wondering what others think ...
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Last night, when I was waiting for the Metro, I saw a beautiful Michael Jackson tribute tagged behind the subway platform. The mural was not unlike this one.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Blogger Chris Geidner, however, has a new take on Obama's (Big G) Gay Strategy as an eight-year plan to affect deep structural change. This piece, inspired by a recent Andrew Sullivan column (and don't miss the bad ass pic of Obama), is a must-read for anyone who cares about LGBT issues.
All I can say is that I hope he's right.
Allison Gill, Human Rights Watch's Russia office director, acknowledges the importance of this move in the face of recent governmental crackdowns on civic activists and journalists.
"President Medvedev has signaled that he is ready to strengthen civil society and support human rights and freedoms, and this should be a good starting point for the two presidents to talk about human rights. The talk of reform is good, but the situation itself is worrisome."
Human Rights Watch also reports that, "President Dmitry Medvedev recently indicated that he was willing to ease restrictions on nongovernmental organizations. He has proposed amendments to restrictive laws to simplify registration procedures for some of these groups, and to decrease the frequency of government inspections. But much more needs to be done to address the decline of civic freedoms and the risk to activists."The ReGenerates will keep you posted in the days ahead.
Friday, July 3, 2009
It is with great sadness that I inform our readers that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will relinquish her post on July 26, 2009. Palin, who many of us came to love and adore during the 2008 presidential race, has decided her lieutenant governor is better suited for running the state of Alaska. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will now be responsible for monitoring Russia as it rears it's head in Alaskan airspace.
My only consolation comes from knowing Ms. Palin made this decision after much “prayer and consideration.” I wish her well and hope to catch a wink in the many days between July 26, 2009 and November 6, 2012.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
If many of our readers are like me, they are committed to the nonprofit sector and they are working at an organization where they are not making too much money. If that's the case, they may share my excitement about the newly available income-based repayment (IBR). As of today, those of us who make meager sums may qualify for a program that reduces the amount of student loans paid monthly.
Even more exciting is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Thanks to Congressional action, those who work in the public sector may have their loans forgiven after making ten years of payment. For those with tons of debt and a desire to stay in the nonprofit sector, help really is on the way.
The skeptic in me must warn our readers that you should do all your research and find out if IBR is a better option for you before you sign the papers. After all our goal is to be smart consumers, not just consumers.