3 Most Effective Steps To Help Women

I completely agree with this NYT Op-Ed by Nicholas Kristof on International Women’s Day. He lists three things that would be most effective in helping women around the world. Not one of them calls on women to alter or deny their own fertility. Instead, educate them, provide the most basic nutrients, and help get them started in businesses. Brilliant. They are relatively simple, systemically effective, and are things a Catholic could love (and get directly involved in.)

"The chair now recognizes the Senator from Time-Warner…"

Just like that, without the benefit of a public debate, money now equals speech. Compare “speech” in dollars to plain words. Which kind of “speech” do you think carries more weight? Doesn’t matter because it’s all the same now.

I have words but not much money. Sucks to be me. Or to be an advocate for the poor and marginalized. Or to be a patriot who believes the founding fathers had it right.

Pretty much only hyper partisans and mercenaries can enjoy this landmark Supreme Court reversal. (Liberals take note: This is what Judicial Activism feels like when it’s turned against you.)

The unborn, single mothers, immigrants, prisoners, sick people, the frail elderly, and the poor all better start saving their money if they want to be heard by their government.

Reminds me of an old Nine Inch Nails song:
God money’s not looking for the cure.
God money’s not concerned about the sick among the pure.
God money let’s go dancing on the backs of the bruised.
The god of money’s not one to choose

Yeah, I’m grumpy today. But I have cause.

Us Power

There’s this interesting story in Business Week about how technology is enabling mass collaboration and an emerging phenomenon of group intelligence:

The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide — along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more — are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical. “There’s a fundamental shift in power happening,” says Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and chairman of the online marketplace eBay Inc. (EBAY ) “Everywhere, people are getting together and, using the Internet, disrupting whatever activities they’re involved in.”

At first I say, “Right On.” I’m a bottom-up, participatory kind of guy. And the second author that came to my mind reading this article was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. This sounds right down his alley. In fact, the connection is so obvious it’s kind of tired.

But the first author I thought of was Charles Dickens and his disdain for crowds and mobs. He often portrayed mobs as tyrannical and irrational. Indeed, how do we use this incredibly powerful technology in a way that that does not amplify groupthink and reject the inspired eccentric geniuses that have sparked humanity’s progress over the centuries? We need to preserve room for the dissenters, the deviants, and the iconoclasts even as We The People claim the world for collaboration and cooperation.

I’d love to see the world singing in perfect harmony. But without a bit of dissonance now and then, you have little more than elevator music.