Good News Friday

Those are real Texas Rangers in the picture. They look down on us from Heaven (obviously, since they’re Texans), wishing they could come back down here to take out the Cardinals themselves with those rifles of theirs. Check that tiny tie. So hipster.

Last night’s game 6 was painful here in Castle Miller land.
But now it’s Friday, so here’s some good news:

“Groups Will Help Celebrities Avoid Embarrassment on Human Rights”

In case you haven’t heard, Hilary Swank recently humiliated herself by wishing happy birthday to a bloodthirsty Chechen warlord at a gala in his honor. Oops, her bad. Now Global Philanthropy Group and Human Rights Watch are teaming up to help famous people check out the human rights records of international groups that try to hire them for appearances. The celebrity service is free and anonymous.

I think this is great news. Some of us rely on newspapers, documentaries, hell even Wikipedia to figure out whether or not a person has committed mass torture and/or genocide, but celebrities need something special. After all, reading is difficult, and Google has those pesky adds that famous people shouldn’t have to endure.

Problem is, the Human Rights Foundation says they actually sent Swank a letter warning her not to go to the event in Chechnya. The moral of the story? There will always be a famous person willing to perform for rich psychopaths. I’m pretty sure it says something like that in the Book of Proverbs.

How Global Starbucks Can Make Local Change

I love this idea from @From_Nothing on Twitter. He was homeless and used Starbucks to stay warm, get in touch with people on a donated phone, and eventually pull himself out from homelessness. Now he’s proposing an idea to help Starbucks – and you – serve the poorest and most vulnerable in your local community. It’s called hyper local giving, and it would allow people to donate money or extra stars from their Starbucks card benefits to go toward homeless people who need a warm place to sit for a while.

The result, I think, would be a really cool way to give something practical to your needy neighbor. Sure, Starbucks might then attract even more homeless people who need the restrooms and who offend other patrons with the problems that come from living on the street, like hygiene issues and having to carry a lot of cargo around. I’m not always gracious in situations like that.

But that’s another benefit of this idea. Rubbing shoulders with people who are different from us and who come from more humble circumstances has the potential to change us and strengthen our communities, making us better able to respond to the many complex needs around us.

If this interests you, too, the article includes a petition to the right to encourage Starbucks in this initiative.

Next week, I’m featuring the problem of enforced disappearances. I’m really excited to tackle this subject in a small way, as it’s one of the issues that first got me thinking about human rights, memory, and the longing people have for a safe and free place to call home.

In the meantime, have a peaceful and sugary Halloween. And in honor of my Texan husband, who is overworked and needs some good news of his own these days, go Rangers!

2 Responses to “Good News Friday”
  1. Darrell says:

    Thanks for reminding me of what is in the Hilary heart. I’ve always wondered about that. The Lords of war are bloodthirsty all right.

    • JCM says:

      Poor Hilary may have just made a big error. It certainly got her a lot of publicity, but maybe not the good kind (I don’t buy into the idea that all press is good press). I should also add that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Seal were there, too. Swank just happened to be the one with the worst sound bite.

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