30%. Gone.

As of May, more than 5.5 million people had fled their homes as a result of the conflict in Syria. That’s nearly 30% of the country, or 1.5 million refugees outside of Syria and 4 million people displaced within the border. When I first read those numbers, I found myself imagining 1/3 of my building … Continue reading

What We Really Think of First Responders

After the recent tragedies in Boston and West, many of us celebrated the incredible stories of first responders. These were the people who ran back into the fray after the explosions, who searched for bodies in the rubble, who sacrificed their own safety and security to give blood, clothing, medical care, and whatever else was … Continue reading

How to Help Syrian Refugees

As their country enters the third year of a bitter civil war, roughly 4 million Syrians have fled their homes. At least 1 million have crossed into neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. The rest are displaced within Syria, including a large contingency hiding out in Roman-era caves. And to make the situation … Continue reading

Where Have All the Peace Activists Gone?

On Sunday I attended the Inaugural Peace Ball, where activists from across the country gathered to celebrate successes in the fight for peace and refocus their energies on areas that still need work. Ralph Nader was one of the keynote speakers. In a brief but passionate address, he discussed one of the key issues in … Continue reading

Bearing Our Own Energy Burden

The Keystone XL pipeline – once relatively unknown to everyone but energy execs and protestors – has become a major US election issue and the source of much controversy lately. The proposed pipeline would carry oil 2,000 miles from Canada’s tar sands through the US and down to Texas. Environmental activists have been fighting the … Continue reading

Good News Friday

If there isn’t any other good news in the whole world, we have this: it’s holiday season! I’m half-Jewish so along with family Christmas, I celebrate Hanukkah. Heck, I might even throw Festivus in there, too. On a related note, before I post some other good news below, let me say that this will be … Continue reading

Ending the “Kill and Dump” Policy in Balochistan

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about Balochistan. (Balochi-what? Is that the place Herman Cain calls Stan-Stan?) No, Balochistan is in the southwest region of Pakistan. It spans nearly half of the country, but the population is much more sparse, making up only 5%. And it’s getting sparser… Enforced disappearances in … Continue reading

Washing Our Hands of Iraq’s Missing Million

I mentioned some scary numbers in yesterday’s post – in particular that anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million Iraqis have disappeared in recent years and not yet been found by their loved ones. These numbers come from three major eras in Iraq’s recent history: War with Iran: Enforced disappearances occurred relatively often in Iraq during … Continue reading

My Decade of War

I cried on September 11th because I worried it would affect my plans to attend NYU. Yep, I was that immature. I was in high school. Like most people I was also terrified that we were going to war, that the people I loved might die, and that the country as we knew it would … Continue reading

Osama Bin Laden and Our Culture of Death

I might be the only person on Earth besides a terrorist to feel sad when I found out Osama Bin Laden was dead. It wasn’t because I liked the guy. It was because I woke up at around 1am last night to shouting, chanting, and even some illegal fireworks outside my window. Groggy and annoyed, … Continue reading

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