An interesting message in my HTV mailbox – invitation for a workshop: how to be excellent in everything you want in order to achieve any goal. It is free of charge, organized by MUI. It is a Croatian abbreviation for Model of Universal Excellence. The author Milan Grkovic offers the methode like a simple way to achieve a successful personal and business career.
If I was in Zagreb, I would certainly go to see what it is. But here in Arizona, I am just thinking how excellence is wanted everywhere these days.
The basic question is: how to make as many people as possible set and reach their individual and/or professional achievements in a simple and easy way? How to do it without depending on the environment, current level of our skills, experience and position? Briefly, how to feel good being ourselves, believe that we can make a positive change, and finally make it?
The basic answer from MUI: we need to find and freely use our suppressed personal creativity. No special preparation of exclusive knowledge is needed before starting using our hidden potentials. Each and every person has something unique that can be most needed in their social or working group. If they dare express it, the results can be tremendous and a better position in that specific area can come as a natural consenquence.
It may sound naive and simplified, but the first free lesson I got from only one email worked for me. I tried to apply it on our Humphrey Fellows group. And it seems that our various ˝committees˝ work on that natural principle: geeks lead Social Media group, artists take care of Flickr, communicators organize events, house-keepers are the community natural nucleus even without officialy taking the position. Something like that… Do you agree, or am I just rambling?
Searching further on for excellence, I found an interesting reading: Seeking Excellence on the blog named Stoke the Fire Within. And some books connected to the subject you might be interested in:
I would like to share with you one successful story about C4D ( Communication for Development) :
Shea butter producers in southern Mali incraesed their income by using technology. Through photos, slides, videos, radio and the internet, shea butter producers learn how to improve the quality of their shea butter, making it easier to sell on national and international markets.
Read more: http://www.iicd.org/articles/multimedia-approach-generates-higher-incomes-for-women-shea-butter-producers-in-mali
I just read wsj.com and found one article about Chinese woman’s materialism worship.
In Tucson I made this presentation. And I found it is still a problem in China.
Let’s see the article.
By the way, could you share your opinion towards the women in your country on this topic?
International Crisis Group suggested Pakistani government and other international factors for more adequate response to the floods crisis in the country. “Inadequate response has angered and alienated hundreds of thousands of returnees making them vulnerable to jihadi propaganda and recruitment”, ICG wrote in the newest report for Pakistan. According to the Pakistan: The worsening IDP Crisis report: “International assistance has begun to pour in but on a scale that is still far too modest to meet the enormous needs of urgent relief”.
To respond properly and to meet the need of population has been affected by the floods is an enormous test for the Pakistan’s civilian administrative and humanitarian apparatus. The floods and the damage on the infrastructure have affected around 20 million people. The huge number of homes, schools, hospitals, agriculture, factories and communication infrastructure are devastated.
ICG suggest that civilian organization, credible NGO’s, provincial and national parliament should have crucial role in the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas. They appeal to Pakistani government for good reconstruction policy, transparency for contracts and large projects and help based on vulnerability of the population rather than on location. ICG is asking from the international community to help build civilian disaster management, ensure relief based on local needs, address urgent needs have affected population and areas.
The ICG report was released several days after Al-Qaeda second in command Al-Zawahiri addressed Pakistani floods problems. In his message, he accused the Pakistani government for corruption and said people can’t speak out against it.
“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”-Justice Brennan
What is so interesting to me about the outrageous, controversial editorials that come out every once in a while is how people react to them. Letters to the editor pour in and people express disgust, sometimes even call in threats.
Seeing an idea you despise being expressed calls fourth anger, shock, determination, hopelessness…at least in me. It’s an ugly experience to see something you disagree with in print or on the TV and it’s an ugly feeling to feel that anger. I don’t think people are proud of the way they react to this news but I think they see it as defensive.
Some would say that’s the beauty of the first amendment and I agree with that. But to call something so ugly, so hate-filled, so passionate and violence-inciting beautiful is cause for reflection at the same time.
The only way I can think to explain it is that everyone is hoping this violence and chaos of opinions will pass. That this riotous back and fourth is necessary to get to the ideal state we’re all searching for. It’s difficult to express your honest opinion in this time of personal PR and professionalism. I’m surprised still that Walter Cronkite crossed that line and I’m unsure how I feel about it.
Well, first things first.
Having once been caught red-handed for (allegedly) “misquoting” Martin Luther King in one of my previous posts, I would like to make a confession: The title of this entry is not my brainchild either.
You have rightly guessed, if you are an avid Marquez admirer, that it self-evidently emanates from my most favorite fiction, Love in the Time of Cholera. Poor Marquez of Columbia could have lived ecstatically even without writing this book (1985) or clinching the Noble Prize in Literature (1982). After all, only one introduction suffices: He is the author of modern classic One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967).
I think the period of my cultural shock has commenced. My cultural shock entails divergent symptoms from what had been inculcated in my mind during a pre-departure orientation in Islamabad. They said as the period of excitement ends, you will start getting nostalgic and frustrated towards the local people.
There is nothing as such on my side. What irks me is the sense of stagnation. I have not been able to make ample girl friends here. I had thought it was much easier to start a conversation with the Americans. Talk to people, I am told. But what about?
“Hey do you like football?” asked he, a freshman from Philadelphia.
“Yes, I love football,” I exclaimed.
“Which one is your favorite team?” he asked.
“Wait a minute, dude” said the American lad who was now joined by another, “do you mean you love soccer?
“Yes,” I said naively.
“Soccer sucks,” they denounced. (Forgive their French)
I wished Ivy was somewhere around me to reiterate the difference between soccer and football.
I have in fact started loving them for some of their unique qualities. (I don’t mean Americans only possess these qualities). Let me explain.
While looking for a digital voice recorder at Target Store (agreed, Best Buy is the unsolicited suggestion from all sides), I picked up a book not necessarily because of its title or the contents.
Open is the autobiography of former American tennis icon Andre Agassi, whom I eulogized since the days of his long golden hair. As I started reading the book, I found the writing style as extraordinary as Agassi’s hard-hitting shots. Having read barely a few chapters, I have prematurely added this book as one of my favorites. Good writing is my weakness. I instantly surrender before creative writing.
Having read this book in parts, I have started loving Americans for their good habit of writing very candid autobiographies. I deeply enjoyed reading President Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, Nixon’s In the Arena, Bill Clinton’s My Life and Obama’s Dreams from My Father.
I know an “auto”-biography has to be self-written by the person featured in the book. My Pakistani experience is just haunting me. I am just wondering if people like Agassi, a sportsman, (of course, I am not underestimating the chap) can write so well.
In Pakistan, two autobiographies become overwhelmingly popular (read notorious if you are anti-dictatorship)
Do you know what is common (besides, of course, not having been authored by the dictators themselves) between both “best-selling” autobiographies?
Iltaf Gohar, a leading Pakistani journalist, wrote the book for the military president until it was revealed several years later.
As the veteran cliche goes: History repeated itself: Iltaf’s son Humayun Gohar, also a journalist, wrote Pervez Musharraf’s so-called autobiography after forty years.
The current prime minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has also written an autobiography Chaah-e-Yusuf say Sadha (Cry of Joseph from Bottom of Pita) and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also authored his autobiography Model Town ka beta but what is known about them the most is that they were written by shadow scribes.
What are the trends in your countries? I am really keen to know.
This picture shows the last moments of his as you can see the blast scene from the background. He was shot at from the top by the criminals who thought he was capturing ‘evidence’ against them with the eye of his camera.
I would like to inform you that Caritas is revising its appeal for Pakistan to Euros 10 million (USD 12 million) to reach 350,000 people affected by the worst flooding there in living memory. Flooding has caused damage and displacement in a fifth of the country and left 21 million people affected.
NEW DELHI, September 14 (bdnews24.com/Reuters) – India hopes for a resolution of security issues related to Research In Motion’s BlackBerry services, the telecoms minister said on Tuesday.
“I do hope it will be resolved,” Andimuthu Raja told reporters. “We are periodically reviewing.”
Concerned about militants using the BlackBerry services to plan attacks, India had threatened to block some of the services if its security agencies were not provided access to the data.
The home ministry said on Aug. 30 RIM had offered several ways to allow authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The government said it would check their feasibility over the next 60 days.
During the course of our class yesterday, people formed different opinions of the first amendment and how it applies throughout the entire conversation. I saw facial expressions change, body language, tone, and hand gestures all gave a hint of what the people in the room were thinking.
As an American, I never thought twice about my first amendment rights. Hell, the only thing I’ve thought twice about was getting them tattooed somewhere on my body. There’s a real sense of democracy embedded into those rights. But, our guest Dr. Joseph Russomanno mentioned in passing that many Americans themselves don’t understand what rights are afforded to them.
I think the view we had on the discussion of the first amendment yesterday was intriguing, because most of the people in the room had no idea to what extent the first amendment applied. The surprise in people’s faces when they found out that we would protect someone who burned the American flag with the very laws that it represents, that we would not limit the rights of groups engaged in hate speech, was something I was surprised to see.
Someone in class said to me that they were not a fan of the first amendment, that they preferred “rights, with responsibility.” The question I immediately asked myself, and I now ask to all of you, is how does the first amendment portray itself as giving rights without responsibility? Do American’s use it irresponsibly? How could the right to free expression be given responsibly? What defines responsible rights?
The debate over the First amendment and freedom of speech today got me thinking about how powerful freedom of speech really is.
For one thing, Rev. “Nobody” Jones in his inflammatory threats about burning the Quran got us all thinking hard about the power of the First Amendment and the freedom that Americans so faithfully defend. Some people might say that there should be a limit and a way to stop an act that although protected by law would most certainly cause a lot of innocent lives to perish abroad. The following is extracted from a CBS article, “”It is the duty of Muslims to react,” said Mohammad Mukhtar, a cleric and candidate for the Afghan parliament in the Sept. 18 election. “When their holy book Quran gets burned in public, then there is nothing left. If this happens, I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed. No matter where they will be in the world they will be killed.”"
I agree that we should always try our best not to offend other people or instigate any kind of violent reaction from any group or followers of any religion, not just Muslims. However, should the fear of what Muslim extremists might do force America or any other free democratic nation to sacrifice one of the most important foundations of democracy? Wouldn’t that be like a school kid giving in to a bully just for fear of being beat?
No matter how incredibly offensive an act might be, I believe that balanced and sensible people should be able to brush it off and move on. What would have happened if an Imam in Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country had decided to burn Bibles in public? I don’t think it would even make the headlines. Most Christians probably wouldn’t care enough to even complain about it in their churches, or maybe they just don’t think their God needs anyone to defend his honor.
Fear is one of the main tools used to destroy freedom everywhere. If free people restrain their freedom of speech for fear of extremism from any religion they might as well get use to loosing their lunch money to the school bully because now he knows he can get away with it. The day America curtails its freedom because of any fear it will no longer truly be the “land of free and the home of the brave.”
I like the idea to look back at media behavior on “Burning the Koran” case and to sketch some conclusion. First, I am not challenging the idea of free speech. I am not challenging the USA Constitution First Amendment. Although, I want to underline that media should have certain responsibilities when they discover people who want to expose themselves on one issue.
“Burning the Koran” case of Florida Pastor Terry Jones is the example how media can run one story only because at some point there will be some flame somewhere. The question whether he will burn the Koran or not became more important than the message he attempted to deliver. “Burn the Koran or not at this point, he’s already achieved his goals.
Will he burn it this weekend? Next week? If not him, surely someone else will do it, right? Send the cameras there, too? How about a reality TV series, where the season finale is the burn-or-don’t decision?”, the director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Den Gilmore wrote in his article Look in the Mirror.
Hints delivered from outside world could bring the biggest audience to the media. “Burn the Koran” speech or sentence can easily reach emotions of public, attract attention and ensure ratings. Florida Pastor Terry Jones succeeds to attract attention of decision makers, politicians, public and viewers. His mission is accomplished.
Is this has correlation with the right of free speech? Alternatively, maybe is attempt to expose idea that is not very creative? Yes, history knows examples of burning books. In Hitler’s Germany, that was common practice.
Is this should become a common practice in today’s America, as well?
“If you wanna survive in DESERT, drink and drink water and “Hug CACTI “ I read that ad when I was in Tucson. It was some kind of advertisement with humor for foreign students who come in AZ for the first time. It was so heating and too dry on June and July, so everybody told us to DRINK and DRINK water as much as possible to survive in the heart of desert. “Hugging cactuses” of course it was a joke. I was surprised when I visited in the “Sonora Desert Museum” because I had never imagined those huge cacti before. I only saw the little one that someone plants at home or in an office in my country. Therefore, I thought; I should learn at least three names of them. If you visit this site Desert Biomes by DesertUSA, you will see how many interesting cactuses are there. “Barrel” cactus; its flowers always grow at the top of the plant. They bear no spines and only a few scales.
There is another cactus, which is called “Beavertail Cactus-Opuntia basilaris” Brilliant red-to-lavender flowers 2 to 3 inches wide with many petals bloom March to June. It is beautiful.
The “ Saguaro.” The largest one is estimated to be 200 years old and can reach heights of 15-50 feet. People bring it from desert to home by illegally in order to plant into their garden. “Organ Pipe” cactus, and the second largest cactus in USA. You will see it when you visit Sonora desert. It has fruit, and it was a food source for Native Americans as well.
Something Russamano said today struck me today. He said, “There is very little of that bug of self-censorship in America.” It got me thinking, how much do we censor ourselves in America?
With the internet and technology, it seems like we are censoring ourselves a lot less than normal. For instance, Facebook has totally reshaped our personal lives. The average user has 130 friends. About half of those friends log in during any given day. That’s 65 people who see your status, your photos, your relationships and your life broadcast to them each day. I currently have 276 “friends.” I never realized how almost 300 people could look at my personal information on any given day.
Other than that, it seems like Americans are really outspoken when it comes to their opinions. We say what we want when we want. I think that’s what contributes to the “loud, crass, American stereotype.” However, we have been criticized for our inability to follow through on opinions.
“A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote,” – Bill Vaughn
In my marketing class we were recently talking about how a business stays alive by observing new technologies and new trends that could be opportunities…or could put it out of business.
I thought about how the journalism industry is one such model. The internet came in and undercut a lot sources of income for newspapers.
One such way for newspapers to stay alive is to be innovative as well as changing how they achieve profits. One such way is making subscribers pay for content rather than relying on advertisers.
A site we learned about showcases emerging trends:
I think it could inspire some creative ideas!
One of my focuses of study is sustainability and what often comes up is regret over the recent climate bill not passing, especially after the oil spill had motivated so many constituents. A lot of fingers are pointed as to why this happened. Did Washington not rally behind the bill as they did with healthcare? Did special interests interfere with the bill’s passage?
But a lot of the time people blame the US media. “Fair and unbiased coverage” and “covering both sides” is seen as a detriment to the environmental movement. Joe Romm’s article for Climate Progress talks about how media over represents the “outlier”:
“Reporters need to learn that, if they wish to discuss ‘both sides’ of the climate issue, the scientifically legitimate “other side” is that, if anything, global climate disruption is likely to be significantly worse than has been suggested in scientific consensus estimates to date.”
What do you think?
Majority of Turkey voters today supported the suggestions for constitutional amendments. According the preliminary results from today’s referendum, 58, 5% voters will welcome the constitutional change. The opposition in Turkey is not in favor of the proposed constitutional amendments, as well as 41, 5% of Turkey voters who voted against the possible changes in the constitution. The biggest concerns are that those modifications could be a treat to the independence of judicial system in Turkey. At the same time, they can influence on the secularism in Turkey and they are in favor of Islamic and Conservative Government in Turkey.
Recently, Sri Lanka parliament amended their constitution for 18th time. Those changes will make possible for Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win his next term after election in 2016. On the long run that will give President Rajapaksa more power over police and army in Sri Lanka. Even though Sri Lanka is a country were parliamentary democracy is preserved, those constitutional changes will enable unlimited executive power for the president. Having that in mind, the essence of parliamentary democracy can be in danger. I am not sure every Sri Lanka’s citizens support that untrammell power.
I will compare now Azerbaijan. The President Ilham Aliyev won the election in 2008 with 89% support of eligible voters. Azerbaijan Constitution allows possibilities for unlimited reelection to one candidate. In fact, that means that President Aliyev can win another term on next election. With that fantastic outcome of 89% support, he can have good sleep. However, that put in question democracy and rule of law. OSCE report concluded that election did not meet international standards.
The democracy instruments, especially elections, should be strong tools to assure human rights and rule of law. Every abuse of those instruments could affect the future path of those states and their citizens. My opinion is that governments or those who are in power should play very carefully with the democracy instruments. Respect of human rights and rule of law should be in the focus of every constitutional amendment. Recent examples show the danger of doing opposite.
Yes ……sitting In Phoenix ,I can feel that how my country and city people have celebrated the biggest Festival of the year Eid-ul -fitr after facing the history,s worst flood situation but what to do as this was natural disaster and poeple have to face the situation with brave and boldness and get themselves reestablished their destroyed homes and businesses as early as possible .My friends told me on Eid day that they have celebrated their Eid with simplicity .It was first time that about thousands of the Jacobabad celebrated their Eid out of their homes as despite passing one and half month ,the natioanl highways have not been shored up and this city is disconnected from all over the country and peopel who saved thier lives from flood water ,could not be returned and remianed away .I am thankful to God that at least I could save my family from a big lose and returned back from karachi to home .I pray to God that please get help my city and country peopel to bring back their happinesses,joys of their faces as soon as possible and restore their businesses.Further I myself cannot write as my condition is same thier is.
I wondered to myself today, “what does the tailgating atmosphere/concept look like to people from other countries/cultures?” I thought that it must seem silly to some (it still does to me) that people park their cars in parking lots, bring power generators, haul tv’s and satellite dishes, and then just sit and watch the game less than half a mile from where it’s taking place.
Why go through all that trouble when you could have the same event take place at home? I’m sure the atmosphere of the busy streets and the sea of team colors crowded around must add to the experience, but how do people outside the U.S. perceive it?
Do similar activities take place elsewhere? I can’t imagine a giant cricket tailgate. Well, I can but my imagination is not making it look very exciting. (Not that there’s anything wrong with cricket!)
The saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Sadly, Americans fit this bill perfectly. Physicians have been throwing around a term called SAD, which stands for the Standard American Diet. What doctors have found is that most Americans consume foods that are:
- High in animal fats
- High in saturated fats
- Low in fiber
- High in processed foods
- Low in complex carbohydrates
- Low in plant-based foods
These foods all correlate with the major health problems in America: stroke, heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When you think about it, this really isn’t that surprising. Americans have been growing more and more unhealthy since the Truman administration.The USDA reported that the average American today eats 57 more pounds of red meat and 22 more pounds of cheese than the average American living in the 1950s.
I don’t know how we fair against other cultures. Is it just that we are so unhealthy or that everyone else just exercises more? I know that Japan is having trouble child obesity linked to instant noodles. And, McDonald’s (or McDo’s) is very popular with the younger generations in France. Is the whole world getting fatter?
(I wrote this as I ate a cheeseburger.)
On the painful Ground Zero Day, I got some painful pictures of Pakistani floods from a friend. Dated the same day last month.
Continuing Pakistani Floods photo by Italianinsider
Be it any country, at the end it is the poor people who bear the brunt… never the rich.
With 267 people being born every minute and 108 dying, the world’s population will top 7 billion next year, according to Population Reference Bureau, a research group based in Washington.
The study of the research group found the following trend:
-Over 80 million will be added to developing countries each year;
-Over 20 million will be added to poorest developing countries each year;
-By 2050 the world’s population will be about 9 billion;
-The birth rate will continue to decline in developed countries;
-By 2050 Russia and Japan will be deleted from the list of 10 most populous countries and will be replaced by Congo and Ethiopia.
-The population of Africa is projected to at least double by mid-century to 2.1 billion, and Asia will add an additional 1.3 billion. Bangladesh will have a population of 200 million by 2020.
While the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will continue to grow, population will shrink in most European countries, Russia, Japan and South Korea. According to another report, in the next 30 years the labour force in Germany will shrink from 41 million to 21 million, and from 23 million to 11 million in Italy.
According to the European Commission, the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double by 2050. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies, and by 2050 the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1.
Figures as reported in the media show that gross public social expenditure in the European Union has increased from 16% in 1980 to 21% in 2005, compared with 15.9% in the US.
In France, the figure is 31%, with state pensions making up more than 44% of the total and health care making up 30% , the highest in Europe.
In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of 10 people work past 50, in France, only half do. The legal retirement age in France is 60, while Germany recently raised it to 67 for those born after 1963 (below 50 years).
Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Union, reported that deaths will outpace births in five years, a trend that has already occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary.
World Population Day, observed on July 11, seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The theme of this year’s World Population Day was “Everyone counts.”
To be counted is to become visible. Censuses and population data play a critical role in development and humanitarian response and recovery. Reliable data makes a difference, and the key is to collect, analyse and disseminate data in a way that drives good decision making. The numbers that emerge from data collection can illuminate important trends.
This is especially important for women and young people. Data that is sorted by gender and age can foster increased responsiveness by national decision-makers to the rights and needs of women and youth and help build a more equitable and prosperous society.
Good demographic data is critical for planning schools, health systems, and public transportation, for designing policies based on future population projections, for monitoring the effectiveness of service delivery, and much more.
With quality data governments can track the trend better and make greater progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and promoting and protecting the dignity and human rights of all the people. It is reported that Bangladesh’s next census will begin in March next year.
The population pressure in the developing countries will have adverse effect on:
-Prices of food;
-Availability of fresh water,
-Reduction of poverty;
-Availability of energy;
Hubert H Humphrey Fellow
ASU, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Phoenix
Ref: Population Reference Bureau and The Daily Star
It is very interesting that I have the opportunity to observe how Americans observe China.
On Sept. 8, I acquired an opportunity to attend the annual meeting (“the Economic Outlook 2011”) of Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Professor Cabrera of Thunderbird School of Global Management delivered a good presentation. I remember one sentence that he said to the Phoenix businessmen:
“It is not a question of possibility, but a question of time.”
He was talking about “At current growth rates, China would catch up with the U.S. in 2026”. When he said like that, I watched Americans’ faces. Some expressed surprise, some had no expression but I am sure that they were thinking.
As a Chinese, I am very proud of it. 52 years ago. Chairman Mao launched one famous movement that is called “the Great Leap Forward”. The main goal of the movement is economically to catch up with the U.S. within 15 years. But after failing to double the figure of steel output (from 3.5 million tons to 10 million) and other goals, Chinese fell into a deep depression and millions of people died by hunger during the next 3 years. To catch up with the U.S. is an unbelievably loaded and hard dream. But now, we could wait and see: after 17 years China could be THE WORLD LARGEST ECONOMY.
But on the other hand, my attitude could be cautiously optimistic. I truly care about the facts hidden by the terrific GDP record. China has so many issues and each issue could easily destroy Chinese economy alone. One issue that China should cater to could be relevant to the U.S. The authorities of the U.S. have different attitudes to China, competitor or stakeholder. No one thinks China is partner or alley. Chinese experts prefer American government considering China as a stakeholder. Well, I suspect it could be a one side thought at last.
During the 100 years, there were three then No. 2 countries that had the wish to surpass the U.S. They are Germany, USSR and Japan. But American government defeated them one by one. History seems to tell me that to be No.1 meaning danger. No.2’s wish could largely be decided by No.1.