By labf

The Ick List

Our Assistant Producer, Nadia Nasir, argues the case for adding something to her ‘Ick List’… read on to find out what exactly it is and why it makes her feel quite so ill…

In ancient Thebes, a king discovers a truth so horrifying that he blinds and exiles himself, prepared to suffer through the rest of his living days. This is the tragic ending of Oedipus The King, a play written by Sophocles and the kind of Grecian drama that no modern soap opera could ever hope to rival. Because the horrible truth King Oedipus discovers is the worst of the worst – it turns out he murdered his father and sired children with his own mother. Which, we can all agree, is totally, totally gross. […]

Getting The Story Out (Alive)

On election day in the U.S., where press freedom is supposed to be the strongest cornerstone of that democracy – by being a consistent check on American government excesses, failures or deception – the group, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) published a story about Syria that follows a disturbing, truly dangerous pattern.

When a people revolt, protest or seriously challenge those in ‘government’, just about the first thing to go in many countries is any semblance of freedom of the press. In so many places around the world, the press isn’t truly free before an internal conflict and resultant government repression. But, when normal press coverage – and foreign press coverage – is sharply constrained, the stories that get out typically aren’t as attention-getting in scope; they don’t reach the same numbers of people. Stories ‘behind’ the pictures are even more difficult to tell. […]

The Common Denominator of War

Our own Nadia Nasir wonders what is worth remembering on Armistice Day if we cannot seem to stop going to war…

On November 11, 1918 at eleven o’clock in the morning, a war-torn Europe finally reached armistice. Seven months later, a treaty was signed in Versailles, and it was official: World War I was a thing of the past.

So much a thing of the past, in fact, that on a bright autumn morning ninety-four years later, as I sit on my couch sipping coffee, I’m surprised to hear the radio announce the anniversary of Armistice Day – or, as it’s known today in the U.S., Veterans Day[…]

What’s So Funny ‘bout Peace, War & Economics?

You’re in a grocery store and shopping for dinner tonight. On your left is that delicious tikka masala marinade you’ve been hearing so much about, and on your right is a rocket-propelled grenade. No, you heard me correctly – there is military-grade artillery at your neighborhood supermarket, because in truth there is little to no economic difference between how a jar of marinade and an RPG are created and consumed. […]

A Collective Courage

There is no question – a 15-year-old Pakistani girl has become synonymous worldwide with courage: Malala.

It is a beautiful name – melodic and memorable – yet its fame and familiarity over the last few weeks derive from an unspeakably cruel act. That paradox, perhaps, provides its strength.

The fact is: one ordinary yet extraordinary young woman, shot and nearly killed by those in Pakistan who would deny her and other girls’ the right to education – to their own opinions, growth and accomplishments – is rightfully a global icon and inspiration. […]

The Whistle No One Blows

When we hear about whistleblower laws, we mostly think about government employees reporting corruption, waste or malfeasance of some sort, or a private company employee exposing the truth about workplace abuse, defective manufacturing, safety hazards, or executive excesses.

In an ideal world, whistleblower laws are designed to offer job protections, and sometimes there are also financial rewards offered in exchange for the risks taken by those speaking out – the idea being that the information is for the public good. […]

It’s A Sign

One small sign can say so much – ‘Vote Here‘. Vehicles pulling up to park. Voters making their way into a polling station. It’s usually a humble sign they see… with an arrow pointing the way toward democracy. There are few if any freedoms more cherished and more critical to the common good.

I voted last week in the U.S. election. It was a beautiful fall day – there were healthy lines, along wth a healthy outlook. People were sociable to each other, and seemed quite comfortable, because it’s all so natural here. Still, I’d say many in the States don’t think all that often just how fortunate we are, in comparison to some. […]

Who Am I?

There are tens of thousands of adoptees across the globe who wonder where they came from, as in: who they came from? It’s about identity, and the questions are all but inevitable.

It is not a sure thing, though, that adoptees want to know the answers to their questions. I know many who’ve been adopted; I’ve talked about this with them.

I am, in fact, adopted too.  […]

Home Free

A new article from Tom Gasparoli – Emmy Award-winning journalist, newspaper columnist and author:

Her name is Alison, and just before the Let’s All Be Free team turned on the camera to interview her about being free, she whispered that she was worried, and wondered if she’d have anything meaningful to say.

We reassured her that she would do fine. The camera light went on. We asked one question. […]

One Question

A new article from Tom Gasparoli – Emmy Award-winning journalist, newspaper columnist and author:

Two men debate in Denver, Colorado. Tens of millions around the world watch.

One will be the president of the United States next January, his hands at levers of power – and responsibility – that stretch worldwide.

What if the moderator had asked them: what does being free mean to you? What should it mean to the people in your country…or around the globe? […]