Thursday, April 19, 2012

Would a Palaver Tree help the Korean Peninsula?

Defense secretary Leon Panetta was quoted recently saying "we're within an inch of war almost everyday in that part of the world (Korean Peninsula) and we just have to be very careful about what we say and what we do." What would happen if world leaders were to sit down around a Palaver tree and discuss the issues of the peninsula? Would any good come out of it?
I honestly doubt any good would come from it. The idea that North Korea's radical government would sit down and discuss their views with western powers calmly just wouldn't happen. They'd be shooting off more long range missiles to show their power while their civilians starve. Although the Palaver Tree sounds like a great way to manage conflicts between tribes it wouldn't work for todays countries, there is just too much at stake. Truth just couldn't be swept under the rug in order to foster harmony. If these countries were able to ignore the truth at hand and foster a harmonious relationship how long would that last till it surfaced that North Korea had a long range nuclear bomb? Truth above harmony should be sought these days. Although the Palaver tree might be a good way to resolve smaller conflict it just won't work for everything. Especially when war could mean the destruction of our world as we know it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beef, it's whats for dinner

I am an evolved predator at the top of the food chain and have no problem eating meat, in fact I love it. Nothing is better to me than a thick, medium-rare, juicy steak and I have no problem eating one as often as possible. In fact I love going out and hunting and eating my game but the problem with most store bought meat, especially beef, chicken and turkey is that these animals have been literally processed in CAFOs. CAFO stands for concentrated animal feeding operation and is extremely popular in America due to its favorable economics but they come at a cost. Operators unethically cram as many animals as they can into their lots and ignore their wellbeing. There is also massive environmental effects as the livestock trample and "discharge" themselves year round in the same areas turning once beautiful green pastures into disgusting mud pits. Although I enjoy eating meat I always feel guilty buying it in stores knowing that it most liking came from a CAFO. But what is a consumer to do? Im a poor college student and don't have the luxury of shopping at Whole Foods and buying organic and grass fed meat at this point of my life so I feel stuck eating the Albertson's brand CAFO processed meat. Still tastes good, just makes me feel a little unethical.....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Apple's Ethics

Apple faces criticism as light is shed upon an electronics supplier of theirs, Foxconn, unethical treatment of their employees. Organizations like and have led a petition calling for "ethical IPones" and have over 250,000 signatures online. Apple has responded by saying "We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made."

Despite these statements Apple customers visited six Apple stores around the world on February 9th and peacefully delivered petitions to the store managers. "I'm a big fan of Apple products but I can no longer ethically support products that harm the people that make them," said Shelby Knox, director of Apple no has to put its word into action and start to either change the way Foxconn treats their employees or find another supplier.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


By now I'm sure everyone has seen the now viral video distributed by the non-profit group Invisible Children but not everyone nows the truth behind them. There was almost an immediate reaction to the video Kony2012 with hashtags #stopkony and #kony2012 being the most popular tweets on wednesday but not all of it was good. Controversy has now surrounded Invisible Children and separating fact from fiction takes looking at valid sources, not the countless blogs. Speaking of blogs one of the most viewed ones, Visible Children, was in fact full of inaccurate information and some accurate info that was taken out of context.
I don't want to take the time to debunk some of the rumors going around but I do want to point out that the organization was formed as an advocacy group. They are not intending to directly aid central Africa (about 37% of their budget goes to do so though) but rather to show people the horrors of the Lord's Resistance Army or LRA and get rid of their leader Joseph Kony. And guess what, its working. This video has projected Kony into the limelight and has started conversations on a grand scale. Within 24 hours of the video surfacing it has over 15 million hits on YouTube and Vimeo combined. Lets put the controversy aside and align our values with theirs, this man is a danger to innocent people and needs to be taken out. America's 100 military "advisors" were likely to come home soon but probably won't after this viral video, it has simply become to much of a heated topic. For the first time in history America is taking action based solely on the cries of its citizens and global community.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TCU has handled the unfolding drug arrests very professionally and is minimizing the crisis by their swift response. Less than two hours after 16 students were arrested TCU's Chancellor Victor Boschini stood in front of local news cameras and gave a public statement describing exactly what had happened and TCU's actions of expelling those students involved. Dr. Boschini stated "These students are charged with acting in a manor that is incompatible with TCU values, against the code of student conduct and against the law. That is simply unacceptable and such reported behavior is not tolerated at this University."
TCU's swift action of putting the highest ranking official immediately in front of the camera was the best move the could have done. They took accountability for the "bad apples" as they were called and immediately talked about their school's disciplinary action. Within the day other administrators including Vice Chancellor for student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull, head football coach Gary Patterson, and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. Although this is a black eye for the TCU community due to the administrations swift actions they got in front of the story and have made a strong stance against these students actions. As more arrests are expected it now falls into the administrations lap to continue to stay in front of this story and keep TCU's image intact.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Susan G Komen recently went under fire due to them breifly stopping to fund Planned Parenthood once they realized that some of their funds were supporting abortions then several days later retracting their statement and supporting the organization again. This was a nightmare in terms of bad press for Susan G Komen as it should have been, they handled it terribly. Once shit hit the fan instead of making statements supporting their decisions Komen sat quietly and let people ponder what their actions are and should be. Komen had every right to stop funding an organization that was using their money in a way against their wishes but since they never voiced these opinions and quickly changed their stance it made Komen look weak and unsure of their own views.
As we discussed in class only 3% of Planned Parenthood's budget went to abortions and I'm sure that even a smaller percent of Komen's donations went towards them but it is the inconstancy of their stance as well as their silence that seems to be getting them into the most trouble. The fact that they pulled the funding then reinstated it several days later leaves an outsider thinks of Komen as a fractioned organization with no central leadership. They should have either stuck by their initial stance or made a statement of apology when they changed their stance. But they didn't and now have to deal with the public backlash that follows.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A bronze mean

Aristotle's Golden Mean is the desirable middle between two extremes. The only problem with this Golden Mean is that our societies extremes are now morphing at an alarming rate. It seems like every decade there is more corrupt people in an increasingly disturbing world. But why is our world continuing to appear to be more dangerous? Is it an increase in violent video games and music? Porn everywhere on the Internet? I'm sure I'll never understand why our world is evolving in the way that it is but I do know that its a crazy world. Where is the new middle ground? Look at the now 79 person death toll in the soccer game in Egypt, or the captain that left his cruise ship as it was sinking. What happen to the days that the captain went down with the ship (Titanic) or World Cups where nations at war can come and play soccer game on the field and leave everything there on that field? Is this our new middle ground? People not taking responsibility for their actions? In a world like ours this Golden Mean seems to be nonexistence in many circumstances.