I opine

Dr. Pan for POTUS!

Posted in ethics by jaeminuf on September 22, 2008

Yes. Obviously I’m being hyperbolic. Besides, yes, I know. He’s ineligible since he’s neither an American citizen nor a natural born one. But find out why I would feel impelled to nominate him for POTUS.

White-headed langurs are born canary yellow. Here, a newborn langur clings to its mother.

Need a break from trying to decide whether or not the boy who cried wolf is crying for real this time? From trying to decide whether to laugh or cry at the sheer embarrassment that is the American federal government, primarily the White House but the other two hallowed halls aren’t so sacrosanct themselves?

Our leaders can learn a thing or two from Dr. Pan Wenshi, one man who is singlehandedly saving a species from extinction, a village from the poverty that had driven them to cannibalize their natural resources, and humanity’s tenuous faith in its own perfectibility which Mencius propounded.

Read on and enjoy the warm fuzzies! You’ll need it to get back to watching the tragicomedy that is becoming an epic by the day.

A breakthrough in protecting the species came in 1997 when he helped local villagers build a pipeline to secure clean drinking water. Shortly thereafter, a farmer from the village freed a trapped langur and brought it to Dr. Pan.

“When you help the villagers, they would like to help you back,” he said.

As self-appointed local advocate, Dr. Pan raised money for a new school in another village, oversaw the construction of health clinics in two neighboring towns and organized physicals for women throughout the area.

“Now, when outsiders try to trap langurs,” Dr. Pan said, “the locals stop them from coming in.”

It Takes Just One Village to Save a Species:
By helping a Chinese village out of poverty, Pan Wenshi protects the endangered langur

The New York Times

The Wrong Kind of Hungry

Posted in class, economy, education, ethics by jaeminuf on September 1, 2008

School Lunch Line

While school districts struggle with financial problems, record numbers of students turning up for classes this fall are homeless or poor enough to qualify for free meals. – Hard Times Hitting Students and SchoolsNYTimes.com

This is America, folks. Homeless kids who go to school so that they can have at least one meal, the premise being that kids can’t learn if they’re too hungry to think. While I am thankful that we are conscientious enough to ensure both that we’ve implemented one such public assistance program and that schools provide at least that, reading this makes me shake my head at the idea of the US being a first world nation.