September 27, 2006

Reminder: The Midterm is Very Important Too!

OK, I won't say why you should get involved in the affairs of your country, or why you should be an engaged and informed citizen, but in case you think it's a good idea to vote for this "midterm election" here's how you can register to vote. If you haven't voted in a couple presidential elections, or if you've moved, you need to re-register. Usually your voter registration must be received by your local Board of Elections no less than 30 days before the next election. Google-search it "board of elections" of your state. Here are the ones for the New York State, and for New Jersey.

September 18, 2006

Darfur: The First Genocide of this Century. More to Follow, Unless....

The Culture of Life Should be Universal
400,000 dead, 2.5 million displaced, 10,000 dying every month. Yes, I'm talking about human beings. Not much more to add. Just click on the links to learn all there's to know about this first genocide of the 21st century. Then do whatever you can to help, but at least add your voice to the cries for immediate help. And, take notes on who's listening so you can hold accountable the powers that be.

[A couple pictures I took at the rally to Save Darfur in NYC, 9/17/06]

Watch George Clooney's poignant testimony on the urgency of the Darfur situation. Also, this Clooney & Power interview.

Go to to find out how you can help.

Be aware of the world around you. Many of the worst crimes take place because of people's apathy--that's why the government of Sudan & its allies have been killing with impunity.

A Darfur victim pictured (left). Unless the US, the UN, and the whole international community step in with peace-keeping forces by the end of this month, then, for those who care to watch, we'll witness wholesale murder, again. Read more on the Human Rights Watch site.(photo,

PS. Is this a reflection of our collective priorities? Media coverage of the ongoing genocide in Darfur has been woefully inadequate. The Center for American Progress found that during June 2005, CNN, FOX News, NBC/MSNBC, ABC, and CBS ran 50 times as many stories about Michael Jackson and 12 times as many stories about Tom Cruise as they did about the genocide in Darfur.

September 11, 2006

Some Personal Reflections on 9-11

On every important date, it’s good to take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of the occasion; and I did just that when I was asked to say a few words to a gathering on the 5thanniversary of 9-11. This is what I said:

When we bow our heads in a moment of silent prayer or introspection, when we shed a tear for fellow humans beings, when we ask what we could do to save lives, how to comfort the grieving, when we give, when we care, when we feel the pain of a tragic loss, then we are affirming our own humanity! And we are re-affirming that we are capable of greater acts of kindness, altruism, and unconditional love.

I believe that there’s something positive to be learned even from a horrible experience. After all, we are equipped with a wonderful mind that has the ability to create, conceptualize, and guide us by reason. We’re standing here in this educational institution because we have a purpose—to pursue our own dreams, to fulfill our potential, to make a difference! Education is indeed the key to a better world, for it provides us with the tools to better understand ourselves and others! Fanaticism and its consequences come from a narrow mind. We are here in a quest to broaden our horizons. And this is good!

I appreciate the concept, “a culture of life”—a phrase often uttered but not quite understood to mean: making a difference when it matters. In other words, enhancing the human condition & the human experience. I believe we have a fundamental connection to each other, despite our differences and personal preferences, because we all have the same basic potential: to understand and to love.

We feel the loss. We grieve for those who cannot be with us today. But, as long as we are alive, we cannot surrender our humanity to those who act inhumanely, or to those who seek to manipulate & exploit our emotions though fear!

Let’s not forget the sorrow and the reasons behind it. But let us not forget that we have an obligation to ourselves and to humanity. So, asking I must do of you today. I ask you to decipher and disseminate the knowledge you acquire here. I ask you to help build a better world that extends far beyond our borders. I ask you to be engaged and involved citizens. I ask you to be the change you want to see!

Like Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”