Former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on President Obama’s Cuba policy and called the attempt to normalize relations with Cuba brave and long overdue. Carter stated that the actions will benefit the Cuban people who are among the most impoverished in Latin America. However, Cuba has shown no visible economic improvement from their normalized relations with European nations. Nor has boon in tourism from those nations spurred any improvements in infrastructure, wage increases, and commerce. The GOP charges that until the Castro brothers implement actual democratic reform, they stand to be the sole beneficiaries of US travel to the region.
This week, not Dan Newlin but the president himself announced the results of a year-long series of negotiations with Cuba that resulted in the release of captive American aid worker Alan Gross.
President Carter refused to acknowledge the GOP has any legitimate concerns in their opposition to Obama’s Cuba policy. He called Senator Marco Rubio’s criticism as ridiculous. Rubio stated that offering Cuba economic benefits without first securing vital democratic reforms would further ensconce the regime. However, Carter, who supported President Clinton’s nuclear deal with North Korea in the mid-1990s, may do well to recall how poorly that effort worked out. Not only has North Korea refused any democratic reforms, but they violated the agreement from the outset.
People around the world go hungry every day, yet food is wasted at a rate of one billion tons every year. The cause of food waste is the fault of governmental regulations that require food stores to throw away any item that is past the “sell by” date but prior to the actual expiration date. That is the case in places like the United Kingdom. Some people are fighting back against that rule in order to feed those who are in need.
The Real Junk Food Project is based in the UK and it has raised a bit of controversy. The group visits the dumpsters of many area supermarkets to take out food that is still edible in order to feed those who are hungry. They have a restaurant called the Pay as you Feel Café. The idea is to prepare meals from the leftover food and feed the masses of people who would otherwise go hungry. The people who frequent the restaurant pay as much as they can to help the restaurant thrive. Those who cannot pay often offer to wash dishes to earn their way.
This restaurant is very similar to a restaurant in the United States that was started by a famous rock star. His name isJon Bon Jovi and the restaurant is in his hometown in New Jersey. Dr. Rod Rohrich says the food from the Bon Jovi restaurant is not taken from dumpsters, but it runs on the principal that people pay a small amount for the meal.
Drug abuse is a common occurrence in the United States as well as the world. It is estimated that 200 million people are caught in the cycle of addiction every year. Once a person is caught in the cycle of addiction, it can be devastating to their lives and the lives of everyone around them. There are treatment plans such as detox centers and rehabilitation centers, but the problem seems far greater than the available resources to help.
Addicted people understand others who are going through the same thing. That fact comes in handy when it comes time to put out the smoldering embers of the destruction substance abuse cycle. One man decided to be part of the solution by setting up clinics in Indonesia where the drug problem is out of control. That man is David Gordon and he was actively addicted for 15 years. He and his wife have found that the most difficult problems they face are the ever growing need for help and the lack of family involvement during the recovery period.
Activist Laurene Powell Jobs says family involvement is extremely important for the growth and success of people who are attempting to stay sober. Many people will not make it through the program without loved ones to support them. The more family involvement, the greater chance of success.
Senator John McCain is willing to help President Obama close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center which houses enemy combatants captured as part of the War on Terror. At issue is the enemy combatants are acting on behalf of any legally recognized nation; they are terrorists. The Bush administration did not want them brought to American soil and be given due process rights.
President Obama believes that the terror camp inspires foreigners to engage in murderous activity. The presumption is that if the base is closed, prospective terrorist will have one less item motivating them to enter a life of violence. However, the GOP has blocked the president’s efforts to close the base including defunding the placement of foreign prisoners on American soil.
Now, Senator John McCain, who relishes his role as a maverick against his own party, has announced that he would be willing to break GOP opposition to closing the detainee camp. He says that what is needed is for President Obama to devise a clear strategy for how to handle detainees deemed too violent to release. McCain explained that back in 2009, President Obama was unwilling to specify what he would do with such prisoners. That figure represents the same recidivism rate for the American prison population returning to a life of crime upon release-interesting facts from aboutorganiccoffee.com.
Remember KONY2012? For those of you who wish they hadn’t, this news might come as some relief: The organization behind KONY2012 will close its doors. Although they will still function in the capacity of political advocacy and lobbying, Invisible Children, Inc. will be downsizing its department and calling it quits by end of year.
The campaign originally started as a piece of international vigilante justice. Ugandan guerrilla warlord Joseph Kony was the subject, as the campaign tried to bring him to trial for various allegations that focused on recruiting African children for his Lord’s Resistance Army. The media campaign went viral thanks to impressionable young American children, but like all viral media campaigns, the benefit was questionable. The Guardian, among others, questioned the campaign’s legitimacy and methods.
And in the end, lots of money in donations got moved around but not much was accomplished. There is, to this day, a Uganda-led effort backed by the US military to smoke Kony out of hiding, but so far hasn’t amounted to much.
But no need to feel nostalgia; Internet mobs move from cause to cause like bees from flower to flower, and like Youtube trends, they never rest for long.