Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mr. Clean's Dead & My House Isn't Looking So Good

RIP, Mr. Clean. Who knows? Maybe I'll even dust & scrub today in your honor.

LOS ANGELES - House Peters Jr., a TV actor who became the original Mr. Clean in Proctor & Gamble's commercials for household cleaners, died Wednesday. He was 92.

Pope Rejects Iniquity in Handling Suspected Terrorists

I wonder if Pope Benedict XVI was watching "Taxi To the Dark Side" on HBO this week?

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Thursday laws against terrorism should not be unjust or inhumane.

Speaking to visiting bishops at the Vatican, the pope spoke of "the plague of violence and terrorism, the spread of extremism and fundamentalism" in parts of the world.

"Certainly, such scourges should be contrasted with legislative interventions. But the force of law should never be allowed to be transformed into iniquity," he said in a speech to bishops from central Asia.

The pope did not elaborate in his address.

Human rights groups have protested against the treatment of terrorist suspects in a number of countries.

President George W. Bush's administration has come under fire in particular for its interrogation and detainment practices, such as waterboarding, particularly at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

More from the AP story here.

Nicholas Kristof on Wall Street & Congress

[..] If the Congressional critics of the bailout want to do some lasting good, they should come back in January — after approving the bailout now — with a series of tough measures to improve governance and inject more fairness in the economy. [..]

[..] "Wall Street urgently needs to undertake its own housecleaning, for the public revulsion toward it undermines its own long-term interests.

But, for now, the priority is to get credit flowing again in the arteries of commerce, even if that means saving the jerks. Otherwise, we risk becoming Japan." [..]

- Nicholas Kristof, NY Times, October 2, 2008

Steve Fossett's Plane Discovered

AFP: Wreck of Steve Fossett's plane discovered: police


LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The mangled wreckage of the plane being flown by adventurer Steve Fossett when he disappeared has been found, police said Thursday, but there was no sign of the millionaire's body.....

Mark Rosenkar, acting Chairman of NTSB, has said the high-impact crash appears to have been "non-survivable". See YOUTUBE report from AP here and a follow-up report from AP's Ed Donohue here

It doesn't look good at all. I'm so sad upon reading this news. Somehow I'd held out hope over these many months. Steve and his family are in my prayers.

Claire Lyons, Paul Faeth, Tom Kalil at 2008 CGI

[left to right]
Claire Lyons, Global Grant Program Director, Pepsico Foundation
Paul Faeth, Executive Director, Global Water Challenge
Tom Kalil, CGI Global Health Working Group Chair

Press Conference: Water and Sanitation Mega-Commitment
2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
New York
September 26, 2008

Clinton Global Initiative Meeting - New York 9/26/08 -

Claire Lyons, global grant program manager for the PepsiCo Foundation, stressed that clean water is a necessary building block for human life. "If we can provide more clean water and clean sanitation, we will save lives," she said.

Nodding to recent skepticism among donors about how their contributions are spent and their desire for measurable results, she said charitable causes "have to find ways to spend philanthropic dollars more smartly" and that groups pledging large donations need to "leverage it, multiply it."

Source: WSJ

Paul Faeth says the traditional top down approach to solving the global water crisis has failed, and he feels that it's time to enlist the help of local innovators. He has previously said, "[..]What we're trying to do is help communities help themselves and finding in social entrepreneurs some great ideas for doing things that no one has ever thought of before."
[source: Global Challenge website]

Tom Kalil
"Each of us has the potential to make the world a better and more humane place. Working together, there are no limits to what we can accomplish."

Source: CNN
Editor's Note: The Clinton Global Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, is meeting in New York this week, focusing on issues such as health, poverty and climate change. Tom Kalil is chairman of the initiative's global health working group and special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California, Berkeley. In the Clinton administration, Kalil was deputy assistant for technology and economic policy and deputy director of the White House Economic Council.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Last year, 9.2 million children didn't make it to their fifth birthday. Of these, roughly 4 million children died within the first 28 days of life -- the newborn period.

Many of these newborns die for reasons that are easily treatable or preventable. Their lives could be saved with very simple and low-cost interventions. For example, birth attendants can wash their hands before helping with a delivery, and use a clean blade to cut the umbilical cord.

[read the rest here]

John McCain on Financial Crisis, CGI meeting 9-25-08

Tom Brokaw: "Life is Junior High" (2008 CGI meeting)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Matt Damon Visits 2008 CGI Meeting

Matt Damon, Founder of H2O Africa
Cause: Water Sanitation/Africa
2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
New York
September 26, 2008
Link: Coalition Pledges $400 Million For Clean Water, Sanitation
photos by Jude Nagurney Camwell

When he was asked by a reporter if he'd considered playing roles in films that would raise social conscience...films that saved lives (rather than simply playing gangsters and hipsters ie: Oceans Eleven), Matt Damon told a weird and delightfully funny story to show that he already had played such a life-saving role. The story surrounded German cannibal Armen Meiwes, who'd made the news several years ago when his intended (once-willing) victim went to meet Meiwes and pulled out of the pre-made agreement to be cannibalized by Miewes at the last moment after having gone to the cinema with the cannibal to see "Oceans Eleven"!


[left to right] Matt Damon, Paul Faeth, Tom Kalil

Feliciano Dos Santos and "Estamos" Are Saving Lives

Feliciano Dos Santos
Cause: Estamos [Water Sanitation]
2008 Clinton Global Initiative
New York
September 26, 2008
[Photos by Jude Nagurney Camwell]

Feliciano dos Santos
Sustainable Development

From the Goldman Prize Website

Using music to spread the message of ecological sanitation to the most remote corners of Mozambique, Feliciano dos Santos is empowering villagers to participate in sustainable development and rise up from poverty. In Niassa province, many villages lack even basic sanitation infrastructure. Without reliable access to clean water and waste management systems, the population is highly susceptible to disease. Santos, who grew up in the region, today heads an innovative program that is bringing new hope to Niassa. With his internationally-recognized band, Massukos, Santos uses music to promote the importance of water and sanitation in Mozambique. His program is now serving as a model for other sustainable development programs around the world.

Sanitation and Poverty

Throughout much of Africa, the lack of proper sanitation poses significant challenges to development. When drinking water is compromised, disease often follows. The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all sickness in the world is attributable to unsafe water and sanitation. More children under five die from water-borne illnesses than AIDS. Recognizing both the environmental and societal risks associated with poor sanitation, the United Nations has declared 2008 the “Year of Sanitation” in order to bring further attention to the issue worldwide.

In Mozambique, more than half the population lives in extreme poverty without access to basic sanitation. The northernmost province of Niassa is one of the poorest and most isolated regions of the country. Most of its nearly one million inhabitants live in small villages dispersed throughout the province, which is as large as New England, yet has only 170 kilometers of paved road.

Waste Fuels Sustainable Development

Sanitation continues to be a taboo subject throughout the world, though it remains one of the most pressing problems in poverty-stricken regions. Santos has successfully found ways to discuss human waste management techniques with villagers through both grassroots outreach and music. He grew up in Niassa with no clean water or proper sanitation and is disabled from polio. As an adult, he has focused on improving living conditions in the region. Santos understands that environmental and health problems are interrelated in regions dealing with poverty issues like Niassa. As the director of Estamos, he works directly with villagers to provide community sanitation, promote sustainable agriculture, lead reforestation projects and support innovative HIV/AIDS initiatives. Santos believes that sanitation and water supply issues must be solved in order for other development projects to take root.

Santos and Estamos promote low cost, environmentally sustainable “ecological sanitation,” a process that uses composting toilets, called EcoSans, to transform human waste into nutrient-rich agricultural fertilizer. Typically, a family will use an EcoSan for a number of months, adding soil and ash after each use. The pit is then buried and left for eight months, and the family moves on to another pit. During the eight months all the harmful pathogens die off, leaving a rich fertilizer that can be dug up and used in the fields. The compost not only provides natural fertilizer, but also enhances the soil’s water-retention capacity. Families using ecological sanitation report markedly fewer diseases, a 100 percent improvement in crop production, and improved soil retention. Before ecological sanitation, many villages used costly artificial fertilizers on their crops, and often were barely able to feed their families. By using the compost instead of artificial fertilizer, many are able to produce more food than they need and can generate a small income by selling some of their harvest.

Santos and Estamos believe that no sanitation system or behavior change should be imposed on villagers by an external NGO. As an insider, Santos and his team lead participatory workshops in which villagers come to understand their sanitation options, and, if they like, choose the option they prefer and build it themselves.

Since Santos and Estamos began their work in Niassa in 2000, they have helped thousands of people in hundreds of villages gain access to clean water and ecological sanitation. This is a considerable achievement considering the lack of infrastructure in Niassa’s remote villages. Estamos continues to grow and is now working in three districts in northern Mozambique. In one remote area, a local chief working with Estamos is leading a group of 70 villages to achieve 100 percent sanitation coverage. This achievement would be the first of this magnitude in Mozambique.

Empowerment through Music

Santos’s band, Massukos, incorporates the sanitation message into music, performing in villages across Niassa and at times around Mozambique and abroad. Since Santos began his music-based outreach, people throughout Niassa and Mozambique have begun to focus more on the country’s rural sanitation problems. By connecting with Mozambique’s rich performance traditions, Santos and Estamos connect to villagers in a culturally appropriate way through music and theater. When Santos and the band arrive in a Niassa village, the entire local population often appears to hear them and their message. But the music is not the only reason for Estamos’s success. In July 2007, Massukos traveled to the UK where they released their album “Bumping” and performed at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival.


2008 Goldman Prize for Africa: Feliciano dos Santo

2005: Mozambiquan music stars Massukos land in the UK to take part in the Make Poverty History campaign. Water, sanitation and hygiene practice are some of the gravest challenges facing the developing world and the film explores how Massukos use their music to draw attention to these issues. Along the way they encounter Gordon Brown MP, Sir Bob Geldof, Rolf Harris, DJ Charlie Gillett and many others. Feliciano dos Santos -- the band's leader and the director of the NGO Estamos -- also delivers a petition to Tony Blair at Number 10 on behalf of WaterAid.

Goldman Prize Winner Feliciano dos Santos talks about contributing to the Water & Sanitation chapters of Hesperian's "A Community Guide to Environmental Health"

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world's largest award for grassroots environmentalists. Awarded annually since 1990, the Prize is given to environmental heroes from the six continental regions of Africa, Asia, Islands & Island Nations, Europe, North America and South & Central America. The Prize is announced in April every year, to coincide with the international celebration of Earth Day. The purpose of the Prize is to recognize sustained and significant efforts to preserve the natural environment, including, but not limited to, protecting endangered ecosystems and species combating destructive development projects; promoting sustainability; influencing environmental policies;and striving for environmental justice.

The Mozambique Poo Tour
Water and sanitation are some of the biggest challenges facing the developing world. Yet they continue to be low on the political agenda. In a bid to raise the profile of this human crisis, former ‘Neighbours’ star Mark Little and a group of musicians set off to Mozambique to discover how communities are tackling the issues of human waste. Uplifting and thought-provoking, this documentary addresses fundamental issues which are all too often met with resounding silence.[..]In the remote village of Muita, Mozambican music heroes, Massukos, are holding a concert. They’re on a nationwide ‘Wash your Hands” tour, backed by water charity Estamos, to spread the word of peace, love and clean hands.


Children of Congo: From War to Witches (trailer)

I'm looking forward to seeing this documentary. What happens to innocent children on the streets of places far away makes our troubles here in the US seem so small. We have so much to share with those who clearly need a chance...especially the young girls shown in filmmaker Dan Baluff's trailer [above]. I pray we awaken in our own developed countries with a renewed common purpose & morality. I hope that we see governments, the private sector, and NGOs coming together to do more than sit in heartbreak...but to act in unison..with common provide an environment where superstition is left to the stubborn few in small corners and where girls and boys are able to realize their full potential. ~ Jude

Rural Innovation Plenary at 2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting

Plenary Session on Poverty & Rural Innovation
2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
New York
September 26, 2008

[Left to Right]

Steve Gunderson
[President and CEO, Council on Foundations]

Muhammad Yunus
[Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank]

Rick Warren
[Pastor, Saddleback Church]

My Notes on the Plenary Session:

Elsie Meeks said that she believed she was the only representative on the panel who spoke for poverty within the United States, specifically Native American poverty which often goes unseen by those who do not visit tribal reservations. Her words, "If we can't do this [alleviate poverty] in the US, how can we do it in any other nation?"

Muhammad Yunus told the audience at the Sheraton Towers that, in the 1990s, he recalled a Governor named Clinton and the First Lady of Arkansas [Hillary] inviting him to the United States to become involved on the issue of alleviating poverty in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Looking toward Elsie Meeks, he marveled about their presence on the panel together and their common work within the United States, "We've gone from Pine Bluff to Pine Ridge."

Dr. Yunus spoke about another current social business of his in the United States. Grameen Queens [NY] is an extension of his ever-growing list of Grameen businesses. He said, "New York provides banking for the whole world. What about its own neighbors?"

Speaking about the nature of social business, Dr. Yunus explained how, once the business is created, it can be duplicated many times. He feels that Philanthropy, as we've come to understand it, must be "reinterpreted...expanded." He recommended getting out of the Charity business and, instead, to give people real use our creativity to make a meaningful and lasting change. He believes that once a charity dollar is given, the subject of good intention is given the benefit once. When social business is created, however, he believes that the benefits don't end because investment continues to be made. He used the example of Group Danone [the yogurt company] which, in 2007, promised to invest $500,000 in a joint venture with Grameen to nourish children in Bangladesh. The way it works is that, in the future, Danone would expect to take back their initial investment and keep putting the rest of the profits back into the joint social business venture.

Wangari Muta Maathai, explaining her view that of all the Millennium Development goals, Sustainability [currently listed as Number-Seven] should be Number-One in priority, went a step further to say that those who are trying to alleviate poverty must never lose touch with the grass-roots in developing countries. Without grassroots-based concentration on Sustainability, no other Millennium goal can be realistically achieved. Poverty exists at that grass-roots level and the people who work the soil and suffer with the effects of climate change must be met where they are. She cited the Land, the Soil, the Water, and the Forests all as opportunity areas for management solutions. She said that the issue of Climate Change is tied in with the alleviation of poverty and, since she was speaking to a group of potential investors, added that a great opportunity for successful investment exists in all matters surround that issue. One example she used was investment in carbon credits, which she feels will help keep tropical forests standing in places along the Amazon and in Southeast Asia. She stressed her hopes that the United States government would "get on board" with Copenhagen 2009 [a major Climate Conference in Copenhagen].

Jacques Aigrain, CEO of SwissRe added that commercial solutions are being found to be at the core of successful civil outcomes when targeting "poverty traps" (as Muhammad Yunus calls them). Mr. Aigrain explained that what is happening today with social business is not your classic philanthropy. He believes free-market solutions will develop more effective sustainability...more quickly.

Toward the end of the session, Steve Gunderson asked the philosophical question: "Ten years from now, what will we wish we'd done today?" I think it was as good a closing question as there could've been.

Wangari Muta Maathai, Founder, Green Belt Movement in Kenya, 2004 Nobel Laureate
The Green Belt Movement, Professor Maathai, and their compelling stories are featured in several publications including her autobiography, Unbowed(2006), The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience (Wangari Maathai, 2002), Speak Truth to Power (Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, 2000), Women Pioneers for the Environment (Mary Joy Breton, 1998), Hopes Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet (Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, 2002), Una Sola Terra: Donna I Medi Ambient Despres de Rio (Brice Lalonde et al., 1998), and Land Ist Leben (Bedrohte Volker, 1993).[..]Professor Maathai serves on the boards of several organizations, including the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Learning (USA), Green Cross International, Environment Liaison Centre International, the WorldWIDE Network of Women in Environmental Work, and the National Council of Women of Kenya.

See "Nobel Peace Laureates Al Gore and Wangari Maathai Warn of Threat to National Security and Stability without U.S. Leadership on Deforestation"

Muhammad Yunus [Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank]
Muhammad Yunus, nicknamed "banker to the poor," won the Nobel [Peace Prize] in 2006 for inspiring a global microfinance movement that has lifted millions out of poverty by granting tiny loans. Started 30 years ago with a $27 loan to women in Bangladesh, his Grameen Bank has mushroomed by providing credit to poor people who do not have access to mainstream banking.[..]Unlike Wall Street, which is reeling from a flood of loans that may never be paid back, Grameen bank has a recovery rate of more than 98 percent.[..]"Today, if we are prepared, we could buy some of those falling banks in the United States, no problem, it's possible," Yunus said semi-seriously at former U.S. President Bill Clinton's philanthropic summit, the Clinton Global Initiative. [Source: Reuters]

Rick Warren [Pastor, Saddleback Church]
Pastor Rick Warren told former US President Bill Clinton’s global summit on Friday not to overlook the contribution that millions of people of faith around the world play in tackling some of today’s biggest challenges. "If we take the people of faith off the agenda, we've ruled out most of the world because most of the world has some faith," Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of the southern Californian Saddleback Church, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. "There's already an army ready to be mobilised, an army of compassion." [Source: Christian Today]

Elsie Meeks, President and CEO of the Oweesta Corporation
Elsie Meeks is a champion and leader for creating sustainable asset building strategies for Native communities across the country. Through its training and technical assistance services, Ms. Meeks' organization is at the forefront of the movement to increase the number of Native community development financial institutions (CDFI) serving Native peoples. These institutions and their programs are the foundation of any successful economic development strategy. [source:]

Jacques Aigrain, CEO and Member of the Executive Committee, Swiss Re
[No photo available]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel to Sing for Obama

Some Things Bill Clinton Wants You to Know About Obama

Sarah Palin in CGI Audience for McCain Comments

GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin sat quietly in the audience, attracting a lot of press, at the recent Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Manhattan.

She was gone as soon as John McCain was gone.

The curiosity level was high since we know so little about this athletic pretty bespectacled moose-stalking mommy/governor who was chosen by John McCain as his running mate....but there no words from her. A wave and a smile. The CGI audience got a brief glimpse of her and that was it.

You can see what I saw:

Obama, Bill Clinton, Larry Summers on U.S. Economy & Future

At one of the last plenary sessions of the recent Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Manhattan, former President Bill Clinton said that wealthy countries must not learn the wrong lessons from the current financial crisis. He recommended that we "fix" the problem while, at the same time, we do not fail to understand the problem. As for the work that he and so many others are doing at the annual Global Initiative meetings, he offered great confidence in that which they are, as a group, trying to accomplish for all people by making money "the old-fashioned way", indicating an honest and straightforward attempt to create and invest in new markets where there once were none in order to shape a far more sustainable world. He assured this group that he surely did not see them or their committed work as "the problem".

Former Harvard president Larry Summers, who attended the CGI meeting last week, seemed to have reiterated President Clinton's warning about the overall problem on Wall Street being misunderstood in a September 28 Financial Times op-ed:
The idea seems to have taken hold in recent days that because of the unfortunate need to bail out the financial sector, the nation will have to scale back its aspirations in other areas such as healthcare, energy, education and tax relief. This is more wrong than right. We have here the unusual case where economic analysis actually suggests that dismal conclusions are unwarranted and the events of the last weeks suggest that for the near term, government should do more, not less.

Lawrence Summers
2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
New York
September 25, 2008
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Seeing the need for legislation that would provide the quickest and strongest budget impacts at this moment in precious time, Dr. Summers recommends:

The best measures would be those that represent short-run investments that will pay back to the government over time or those that are packaged with longer-term actions to improve the budget. Examples would include investments in healthcare restructuring or steps to enable states and localities to accelerate, or at least not slow down, their investments.

A time when confidence is lagging in the household, financial and business sectors is not a time for government to step back. Well-designed policies are essential to support the economy and given the seriousness of healthcare, energy, education and inequality issues, can make a longer-term contribution as well.

This is a necessary time for the greatest leadership to shine through. I was disappointed in both Presidential candidates in last Friday's debate because they seemed to be mired in the small details. A great leader will not simply say what the people believe they need to hear or become caught in the trap of the political minutiae, but will rise above the trifling temporal restraint of the looming national election and escape the constraint of the smallest details to reassure the American public that these may not be our best days, but the possibility of a better day with honest limits to leadership and more realistic global interdependence and cooperation in a more innovative atmosphere with the creation of new career opportunities and a sustainable and peaceful world is an exciting possibility.

I heard Barack Obama speak toward this vision for the future at the CGI meeting on September 25th and I wish the audience that watched the debate the next night could have heard it.

Here's my own video of Senator Obama speaking about his vision for America's future at the CGI meeting.

Monday, September 29, 2008

David C. Novak - "YUM" at 2008 CGI Meeting

David C. Novak
Cause: "World Hunger Relief"
2008 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting
New York
September 25, 2008


The Clinton Global Initiative Thursday recognized Yum Brands Inc. for its worldwide commitment to raise and donate $80 million over the next five years to help the World Food Programme and others provide 200 million meals for hungry school children in developing countries.

Louisville-based Yum also pledged to donate 20 million hours of hunger relief volunteer service, $200 million worth of its prepared food to hunger agencies in the United States and to use the company’s marketing clout to raise awareness of the hunger issue.

Former President Bill Clinton announced the commitment during a special session on school food programs. It will mean that one million children can come to school every day for a year and get a nourishing meal.

Yum plans to raise $80 million through its World Hunger Relief campaign, which it says is the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort aimed at ending world hunger.

Singer Mariah Carey will be featured in the company’s posters advertising the campaign, and those who donate will receive a free download of her song, “Love Story.”

Yum (NYSE: YUM) is the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants.

See the World Hunger Campaign account at FLICKR

Josette Sheeran - "Fill The Cup" 2008 CGI Meeting

Josette Sheeran
Cause: "Fill the Cup"
2008 Clinton Global Initiative meeting
New York
September 25, 2008

"Fill the Cup" is an international campaign to raise awareness and funds for the 59 million children in the world's developing countries, who go to school hungry. The campaign slogan and logo is based on the millions of plastic cups that WFP uses to handout porridge or other food rations to millions of school children around the world.

Shortly after joining WFP in April 2007, Executive Director Josette Sheeran was handed one of the millions of red cups that WFP uses to distribute its free school meals to young children. Scratched on the bottom of the cup was the name "Lily". Sheeran now never travels anywhere for WFP without a red cup in her luggage. It has become a powerful symbol of the difference that filling a cup with food can make to a hungry child's life.
[Source: "FAQ - Fill The Cup" WFP]

Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Wyclef Jean for Yéle at 2008 CGI meeting

Wyclef Jean
Cause: "Yéle Haiti"
2008 Clinton Global Initiative meeting
New York
September 25, 2008
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore
Cause: "Fill The Cup"
2008 Clinton Global Initiative meeting
New York
September 25, 2008

Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

How did Drew become interested in the "Fill the Cup" campaign?
See this short video of mine: