November 25, 2015

Social Advocacy and Politics: The Idiocy of Crowds?

Byrony Gordon of the Telegraph wrote in frustration this week about how social media is turning us into idiots. She chronicles several tweets and trends across social media in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris as evidence that, “…social media hasn’t just turned people stupid – it has also turned whole organisations into unthinking idiots whose knee jerk reaction…
November 17, 2015

Social Advocacy and Politics: Is Facebook Gutting the Power of Social Advocacy Tools?

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all added or turned on features in the wake of the Paris attacks this past Friday, November 13. These features incorporate many of the behavioral uses of these platforms into their code. For example, Facebook turned on its “Safety Check” feature, where people can mark on their profile that they are ok instead of just posting…
November 10, 2015

Social Advocacy and Politics: Politics and Entertainment

One of the biggest criticisms of the current presidential election campaigns is that the candidates’ ability to entertain trumps their command and discussion of the issues. As this story goes, image appears to matter more than the ability to lead the “free world.” That is what is being said, but is it really true? Have presidential elections degenerated into White…
November 9, 2015

Getting the most out of foreign aid

No wonder Americans are skeptical about foreign aid. They think we spend 25 times more than we actually do, they don’t know what it has accomplished, and they are fed a steady diet of reports about waste, fraud and corruption. This puts members of Congress in an awkward position. Most of them know that diplomacy and development help create jobs…
November 6, 2015

Future of LGBT Rights: Seize the Conversation on Nov. 18

I’m a big fan of horror movies. The scarier the better as far as I’m concerned. One of the lessons of just about every horror movie is that you don’t turn your back on Jason/Freddy/Michael Myers just because you’ve knocked him down. He WILL get back up and he WILL come after you again. That’s a lesson the LGBT community…
October 19, 2015

Help the Refugees With Debt for Dignity Swaps

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis a bigger challenge to European unity than Greece’s financial woes. She reminded her own country that Germans should be proud of a post-war heritage based on the principles of dignity, human rights and the right to political asylum. Spurred on by the increasingly dire human and political costs of…