Thursday, December 28, 2017

Russian Trolls!

A feature of this blog site for the blogger is the statistics that are available to me.  I can find out pageviews by operating systems, browsers and countries on a daily, weekly, monthly or all time basis.

Over the last year or so I’ve been aware that my viewers reside mainly in two countries, the U.S. and Russia.  This has puzzled me because as far as I know none of my followers live in Russia.  Yet, there it is, pretty much every day is like today’s report – Russia leads the pack, followed by the U.S. and then France, Ukraine, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Portugal and Romania.

Finally, it dawned on me.  Russian trolls are doing their job, checking out blogs and social media postings to see if there is anything being said that interests them.  My blog is swept up with all the rest.  All time my viewers are mostly American.  In the past year, however, the U.S. is neck and neck with Russia.  Obviously they have increased their trolling – a lot.

I wonder if the Russkies have used anything I’ve written.  I’ll probably never know.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


I recently received Ashoka’s yearly publication highlighting some of the work they and their Fellows are doing around the world.  I’ve been an Ashoka supporter since my friend Bill Drayton inspired its creation more than 35 years ago.  Their commitment was and is to find and empower social entrepreneurs to create lasting positive change in their communities and countries.  Ashoka has been brilliant in staying true to their mission, and the results that have produced are extraordinary.

So far Ashoka has worked with more than 3,500 social entrepreneurs in 93 countries.  Once Fellows are elected Ashoka makes sure they have the freedom to work full time on realizing their vision.  They provide a launch stipend for an average of 3 years and introduces them to a local-to-global collaborating fellowship of their peers.  Evaluations show that 10 years after their election, 83% of Ashoka Fellows have changed to pattern in their field at the national level.  This is an amazing accomplishment!

In this year’s report, the Fellows are grouped into six broad fields:  civic engagement, environment, full economic citizenship, health, human rights, and learning/education.

I invite you to take a look at Ashoka and see for yourself.  They are at

Monday, December 18, 2017

Take a Break!

Give yourself a Xmas/Chanukah present and take a break from some or all of the following:

Trying to figure out whether the new tax bill will help or hurt you.  Spoiler Alert:  You won’t be helped.

Trying to determine the logic behind Trump’s tweets.  A rational analysis of an irrational mind is doomed to fail.

Trying to guess who will be the next big name to be accused of sexual harassment.  Give it time – there are many more to come.

Wondering whether Mueller’s investigation will be over soon.  Too bad, White House, he’s got a long way to go.

If you are one of the few who care about the upcoming Winter Olympics, wait another month before getting serious about it.

Death, destruction, and inhumanity are daily occurrences – in Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, etc., etc., etc.  Take a break over the holidays and don’t dwell on them.  Don’t empower the bad.  Focus, instead, on acts of loving kindness.  They get less attention, but still happen frequently. Loving kindness has not disappeared – we just need to look for it.

Monday, December 11, 2017


The Trump and Roy Moore supporter from Alabama has an explanation:  “That was 40 years ago,” he says.  “Girls got married younger then.  My mother was 13 when she got married.  By the time she was 15 she had two kids.”  So that Roy Moore should have hit on teenagers is just the way it was then, what’s the problem?

And so on it goes.  The story of the year gets bigger and bigger, and it won’t stop any time soon.  Today’s bad boy is Mario Batali.  Yesterday it was somebody else.  Tomorrow it’ll be another somebody else.

Sometimes in our “Breaking News” driven society, the sound and fury dominates a news cycle and then disappears.  Will that be the fate of #MeToo?  I don’t think so.  This one has staying power.  In the future at least some men will behave differently than they might have done before #MeToo.  Some isn’t all, but it is better than none, and that’s a good thing.

I believe the women.  At a visceral level I can’t know the impact these men had on their lives, but I am happy they are speaking up – even those who called out one of my favorites, Charlie Rose.  I still think of his show as an oasis of sanity in this crazy and often distressing world and miss it every day.

Bye, bye Charlie.  Hello #MeToo!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


America’s retreat from the world continues:

We’ve opted out of free trade in Asia, leaving China free to fill the gap.

We’ve opted out of climate change accords, leaving us at the mercy of a benevolent Mother Nature – or is it a benevolent God?

We’ve opted out of NAFTA, leaving North America to others.

We’ve opted out of tax reforms, opting instead for tax cuts benefitting the rich and corporations and leaving middle income people to pick up the tab.

We’ve opted out of Syria, leaving Russia, Turkey and Assad to lead the way toward some kind of end to the civil war.

We’ve opted out of a sane and human immigration policy, hurting millions already here and preventing from coming millions more who might bring their genius and initiative with them.

And by announcing that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital we’ve stuck a poker in the eye of every Muslim around the world and opted out of any role in a Middle East peace process, if there ever is to be one.