Monday, April 23, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along? The Battle in Korea

It's the same old song and dance - just a different date: Tensions rise as the young, North Korean president threatens South Korea this week.
As the story goes, North Korea has made public threats to South Korea that they plan on "destroying" the president and its government. A caricature with the face of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had rocks thrown at it by delegates of the state earlier today.

The North's threats came just a few weeks after a failed test-launch missile launched by the North claiming it to be an "earth observation satellite" in orbit. This sparked tensions between the two states.

The battles around the world have to end. Our troops will end up in Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq and North Korea forever if this does not come to an immediate hault. (Where did Turkey come into the cluster? Read the news about Turkey Vs. Syria) These wars will inevitably lead to more bloodshed, and will inevitably leave the U.S. no choice but to assist in the pain, anguish and devastation.)

It's the 21st Century, and we're supposed to be living in a civilized, global world. We shouldn't be on power-trips or battling eachother to see who is on top. You know the story of Jack and Jill, and of course, someone will have to tumble to the bottom.

Can't we break the cycles of violence? If so, how and more importantly, when? I'm not even confident we know what we're fighting about anymore.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why the U.S. Should Play Nice with Syria

"Iran has used Syria as a staging ground to train and support militants who have crossed into Iraq to hurt our troops and to train for other terrorist activities." - Robert Zarate, a geopolitical strategist with Capitol Hill

Syria: A small country outside of Asia and the Middle East that has it's own share of problems. (and could potentially create a major problem for us) Many of us have heard the recent news involving Syria's clash between government and protesters, and plans to get the president out of office. Violence has spread for the past few months and has gone as far as suggesting to slaughter children and families.

Many of us know about the humanitarian crisis under fire that this country faces; but many of us also don't know why this country should matter to us. We already thrust ourselves into Iraq and Afghanistan. Do we really need/want to care about a country that doesn't exactly have strong connections to us? The answer is yes.

Here's why you should care about Syria:

1) Syria borders Iraq, where our troops are still involved in the "War on Terror." If Syria weakens its power, this can trickle down to Iraq and have negative effects on our men and women.

2) Lebanon, another bordering country of Iraq and Turkey (a U.S. Ally) can also lead into a civil war if problems go down with Syria, leading to a war that we will most likely get involved in because we have to be the helpers of the world (as noted in African Security and the African Command).

3) Al Queda, U.S. enemy #1 would love another reason to go to war with the Americans if we co-op with any of these countries to "fix" the problems in Syria.

4) Oh, and, did I mention that if we have to go into the Middle East, again to fix another country's problems (again), then our oil prices will go up and our economy will suffer (again)? Don't forget, gas rose well over $5.00 last year in all parts of the U.S., and the war cost us $1 trillion.

Yes, it turns out, this small country could potentially create big problems for the U.S. We may get involved in another war where we will not leave for another 10 years. Syria is alleys with Iran, as well, who haven't yet friended us on Facebook quite yet. We'll have to watch out for them, too

Ugh..must we always get involved in other country's affairs? As you can see, the plot thickens; and the conclusion may be anticipated.

More information on this article may be found on CNN's site.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This is Why Canada is On Top: About CAN Readers

In an era where we have more options than efficient time, Candians are using their daylight wisely by reading. Statistics show that the reading behaviors of Canadians are much better than Americans. Unlike Americans, Canadians are not dropping books over play time on the Internet, or watching television. For example, in 2005, it is estimated that the average Canadian book buyers purchases 12 books per year.

Here are some brief statistics on readership in Canada as it relates to the U.S, courtesy of Canadian Heritage:
  • Eighty-five percent indicated that “reading is very important to me” (PCH).
  • The PCH study found that Canadians deem the four following sources the most important for finding out about books: recommendations from friends (40% “often helps”), gifts (24%), book reviews (23%), advertisements (19%).
  • Canadians' reading rate remained virtually constant over the past two decades, while Americans' declined.Where 87% of Canadians read a book in a 12-month time frame, 57% of Americans had.Where 79% of Canadians read literary materials in a 12-month time frame, 47% of Americans had.Where one-half of Canadians read virtually every day, almost half of Americans read an average of less than one book per year.

So, what's the story, U.S. readers? Why are Americans not spending more time reading books and less time browsing the Internet? To add some spice to our conversation, did you know that Canadians prefer a physical book copy rather than an e-book? In stark contrast, studies show that Americans read the daily news on their computer, but are not quick to pick up a book. Americans also choose to read from their personal computer before using their ebook reader. However, 41% would rather use their ebook reader, as it is portably convenient, rather than their phone (29%) or tablet (23%).

Yes, it's true that e-book readership is on the rise, and Kumarian Press is rolling in with our own collection of ebooks, without giving up our paperbacks (which are great for sharing with others!).Check out our collection of ebooks by Kumarian Press and be a part of the 88% of Americans who read both physical copies and ebooks.

To me, it doesn't matter how you read, what you read, or why you read, JUST READ!

*Additional statistics brought to you by Mashable Business - April 6, 2012's article "Americans Reading More Ebooks on Computers Than Ereaders, Phones [STUDY]"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Posting By New KP Author: Susan Ross

"When I began doing research for Expanding the Pie, I found it interesting that a Google search for non-governmental organization (NGO)/non-profit-corporate partnerships yielded results that were mostly under the heading of Business-NGO partnerships. This made me wonder if there is a difference in these terms. After many interviews with non-profit and business managers, I concluded that these terms are different, but it is a matter of perspective rather than who leads the partnership. Business-NGO partnerships relate to how businesses select and develop relationships with NGOs. On the other hand, NGO-corporate partnerships encompass a NGO’s strategies for working with corporations.

We live in a changing environment with the development of an interdependent global economic system combined with dramatic technological, communications and scientific advances. Expansion of global trade has improved economic opportunities and living standards for millions, but it has also left many behind as well. It is clear that the “status quo” interventions are not working. The world is now at a critical “tipping point” for effective and sustainable solutions. If actions are not undertaken soon, the effects of key issues, such as climate change, may be irreversible or severely jeopardize our children’s future. Thus, new paradigms are needed to find effective solutions that maximize the strengths of all the sectors—non-profits, businesses, governments, foundations, and academia-- to overcome these challenges.

As a result, partnerships have become all the rage. While partnerships have many benefits, they are hard, time-consuming, messy and often do not produce the desired results. I believe that we can all learn from the successes and challenges of our peers so the book includes 46 case studies that produced ground-breaking approaches that result in benefits for companies, NGOs, governments and the society at large- thus expanding the pie for everyone. In addition, many managers are struggling to develop effective partnerships so the aim of the book is to provide a user-friendly reference with a comprehensive eight-step-decision-making framework to systematically and strategically approach initiating, implementing and evaluating partnerships. It also provides several tools to help managers: manage their existing partnership portfolio; asses if current partnerships are still creating value; design effective partnership agreements; and indicators to evaluate the partnership’s added value." --Susan Ross

Expanding the Pie will release at the end of April and is available to pre-order. The book retails for $24.95. Contact Marketing Associate Jennifer Kern for more information on ordering copies: