IS THE WORLD GETTING BETTER?

The January 15 2018 issue of Time magazine, with
“THE OPTIMISTS” on its cover, says yes!

Bad news makes the headlines – hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, nuclear stand-offs, bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the tragic persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar. But, argues Bill Gates (guest editor of this Time issue), these tragedies happen in the context of a bigger, positive trend. “On the whole,” says Gates, “the world is getting better.”

One example: Since 1990, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been cut in half. “That means 122 million children have been saved in a quarter century, and countless families have been spared the heartbreak of losing a child.” This smiling little girl from Tanzania, photographed at age five, stands for all the children of the world who have reached that age.

Gates gives other examples of improvement in the world:

• A century ago it was legal to be gay in 20 countries; today it is legal in over 100 countries.

• Women , gaining in political power, now make up more than a fifth of members of national parliaments.

• More than 90% of all children in the world attend primary school.

• The world over, many fewer people live in abject poverty.

• In the United States, you are far less likely to die on the job or in a car than your grandparents were.

“Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice [and the millions of children who die from disease],” Gates emphasizes. “It means you are inspired to look for [and support] people who are making progress on these fronts “

One organization which strengthens my optimism, perhaps more than any other, is:

MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

Here is the link to their website: www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
22 January 2018
...

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THE WORLD IS GETTING BETTER. TRUE?

The January 15 2018 issue of Time magazine, with “THE OPTIMISTS” on its cover, says yes!

Bad news makes the headlines – hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, nuclear stand-offs, bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the tragic persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar. But, argues Bill Gates (guest editor of this Time issue), these tragedies happen in the context of a bigger, positive trend. “On the whole,” says Gates, “the world is getting better.”

One example: Since 1990, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been cut in half. “That means 122 million children have been saved in a quarter century, and countless families have been spared the heartbreak of losing a child.” This smiling little girl from Tanzania, photographed at age five, stands for all the children of the world who have reached that age.

Gates gives other examples of improvement in the world:

• A century ago it was legal to be gay in 20 countries; today it is legal in over 100 countries.

• Women , gaining in political power, now make up more than a fifth of members of national parliaments.

• More than 90% of all children in the world attend primary school.

• The world over, many fewer people live in abject poverty.

• In the United States, you are far less likely to die on the job or in a car than your grandparents were.

“Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice [and the millions of children who die from disease],” Gates emphasizes. “It means you are inspired to look for [and support] people who are making progress on these fronts “

One organization which strengthens my optimism, perhaps more than any other, is:

MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

Here is the link to their website: www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
22 January 2018
...

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BISHKEK, ORCHHA, SEATTLE ....
MOONSTRUCK WHEREVER I AM

I pay attention to the moon--- particularly the FULL moon. I have taken a picture of the moon at full from the last five months. Mostly photographed through branches of trees. The previous two were in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and then Orchha (India). I took this photograph near my new apartment in Seattle — the full moon of January 1, 2018.

There will be another full moon at the end of January. It is unusual to have two full moons within a single month, occurring only once about every two-and-a-half years. When it happens, the second of the month is known as a blue moon.

A beautiful moon like this, shining over Earth, is surely a good omen for the new year.

WarrenHall Crain
12 January 2018
Seattle, Washington
...

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MOONSTRUCK

I pay attention to the moon--- particularly the FULL moon. I have taken a picture of the moon at full from the last five months. Mostly photographed through branches of trees. The previous two were in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and then Orchha (India). I took this photograph near my new apartment in Seattle — the full moon of January 1, 2018.

There will be another full moon at the end of January. It is unusual to have two full moons within a single month, occurring only once about every two-and-a-half years. When it happens, the second of the month is known as a blue moon.

A beautiful moon like this, shining over Earth, is surely a good omen for the new year.

WarrenHall Crain
10 January 2018
Seattle, Washington
...

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THE SUN AND THE MOON ... A STORY FOR US ALL

Scientists love to study the few hunter-gatherer groups that remain on the planet to figure out how human societies evolved.

One such group are the Agta of the Philippines. The stories the Agta tell emphasize qualities such as gender equality, friendship, and the acceptance of differences. Here is an Agta myth:

The sun (male) and the moon (female) argue about which should illuminate the sky. In a fight, the moon proves that she is as strong as the sun. They settle the argument by agreeing to share the task, one during the day and the other during the night.

From the earliest human societies, qualities of kindness, care of others, and cooperation are deeply rooted in human nature — as shown in stories passed down through the eons and still told today.

These are the qualities that allowed human groups to survive and thrive — the qualities needed today for the continued survival and success of humankind.

[This post is based on the column “Why Our Stories Matter” by Stephen Greenblatt in the New York Times, December 21, 2017 — which has important lessons for us all.]

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
1 January 2018
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LET PEACE BEGIN WITH ME

This is a time of celebration for many world religions and even the nonreligious. For Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and others, it is a time to strive for peace ... as we must all the year round.

In the words of the song, "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me." Each of us can, and must, embrace peace and good will to all others.

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
23 December 2017
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PEACE ON EARTH

This is a time of celebration for many of the world's religions ... with the joy of the season shared by even the nonreligious. For Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and others, it is a time to strive -- as we must all the year round -- for peace.

As the words of the song remind us -- "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me" -- each one of us can, and must, embrace peace and good will to all others

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
22 December 2017
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LIGHT A CANDLE

These are dark days in many parts of the world, and it is easy to become discouraged.

But in fact it is a good time to remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” —Not just to think positively but to act positively.

Here are some ideas:
• Join a worthy organizaiton.
• Contribute some money, even a small amount, to a good cause.
• Help a family member, a friend, or a neighbor.
• Help a stranger.
• Speak up for for your principles.

Comment to add your ideas . Tell us about something you have done or may do to bring light to theworld ... or to your corner of it.

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
16 December 2017
...

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LIGHT A CANDLE

These are dark days in many parts of the world, and it is easy to become discouraged.

But in fact it is a good time to remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” —Not just to think positively but to act positively.

Here are some ideas:
• Join a worthy organization.
• Contribute some money, even a small amount, to a good cause.
• Help a family member, a friend, or a neighbor.
• Help a stranger.
• Speak up for for your principles.

Comment to add your ideas . Tell us about something you have done or may do to bring light to the world ... or to your corner of it.

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
15 December 2017
...

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FREE DOWNLOAD ($0.00)
DECEMBER 9-13 AT amzn.to/2kkCi5f

INDIA LAYS CLAIM TO ME. I grew up in India and, for more than 20 years now, I have spent half of each year there, making my home with a family in Khajuraho, a small town in the centre of the country, and traveling widely. India long ago laid claim to me, and although I hold an American passport, I often assert that I am a proper Indian.

“READINGS FROM AN INDIA JOURNAL” is a selection of 101 from more than 400 entries to my India journal. In these entries, I write about the REAL India – not just the glory of the Taj Mahal, but about India’s everyday people, places, and events.

I want to share my India Journal with as many readers as possible, so I AM GIVING IT AWAY – A FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD – FROM DECEMBER 9-13. Click here:

amzn.to/2kkCi5f

AND PLEASE POST YOUR REVIEW ON AMAZON.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
9 December 2017
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FREE DOWNLOAD ($0.00)
DECEMBER 9-13AT amzn.to/2kkCi5f

INDIA LAYS CLAIM TO ME. I grew up in India and, for more than 20 years now, I have spent half of each year there, making my home with a family in Khajuraho, a small town in the centre of the country, and traveling widely. India long ago laid claim to me, and although I hold an American passport, I often assert that I am a proper Indian.

“READINGS FROM AN INDIA JOURNAL” is a selection of 101 from more than 400 entries to my India journal. In these entries, I write about the REAL India – not just the glory of the Taj Mahal, but about India’s everyday people, places, and events.
Here, for example, is the beginning of my entry “THE OLD FARMER.”

‘TOWEL OVER ONE shoulder, sacred thread over the other, he stands in the doorway in the hazy afternoon sunlight. It has just rained, and the air is clear and fresh. He stands erect and sure, waiting for his daughter-in-law to bring lota and bucket and rope so that he can go to the well for his afternoon bath. He is still handsome at 73. His years in the fields have kept him strong, and today to me, as I watch him through the doorway, he embodies the deep strength of India, this rich land in which sixty percent of the people still live in villages....’

I want to share my India Journal with as many readers as possible, so I AM GIVING IT AWAY – A FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD – FOR FIVE DAYS FROM DECEMBER 9-13. (The $0.00 price starts at midnight Pacific time on the first day and lasts until midnight Pacific time on the last day.)

Again -- Get your FREE ($0.00) download –from December 9-13 --by clicking here:

amzn.to/2kkCi5f

AND AFTER YOU READ IT, PLEASE POST YOUR REVIEW ON AMAZON.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
9 December 2017
...

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FREE DOWNLOAD ($0.00)
DECEMBER 9-13 AT amzn.to/2kkCi5f

INDIA LAYS CLAIM TO ME. I grew up in India and, for more than 20 years now, I have spent half of each year there, making my home with a family in Khajuraho, a small town in the centre of the country, and traveling widely. India long ago laid claim to me, and although I hold an American passport, I often assert that I am a proper Indian.

“READINGS FROM AN INDIA JOURNAL” is a selection of 101 from more than 400 entries to my India journal. In these entries, I write about the REAL India – not just the glory of the Taj Mahal, but about India’s everyday people, places, and events.
Here, for example, is the beginning of my entry “THE OLD FARMER.”

‘TOWEL OVER ONE shoulder, sacred thread over the other, he stands in the doorway in the hazy afternoon sunlight. It has just rained, and the air is clear and fresh. He stands erect and sure, waiting for his daughter-in-law to bring lota and bucket and rope so that he can go to the well for his afternoon bath. He is still handsome at 73. His years in the fields have kept him strong, and today to me, as I watch him through the doorway, he embodies the deep strength of India, this rich land in which sixty percent of the people still live in villages....’

I want to share my India Journal with as many readers as possible, so I AM GIVING IT AWAY – A FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD – FOR FIVE DAYS FROM DECEMBER 9-13. (The $0.00 price starts at midnight Pacific time on the first day and lasts until midnight Pacific time on the last day.)

Again -- Get your FREE ($0.00) download –from December 9-13 --by clicking here:

amzn.to/2kkCi5f

AND AFTER YOU READ IT, PLEASE POST YOUR REVIEW ON AMAZON.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
9 December 2017
...

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DO PASSWORDS DRIVE YOU CRAZY?
INDIA HAS THE ANSWER

India is rapidly working to leapfrog itself out of poverty and become a world economic leader by digitizing its entire economy and power grid. Thomas Friedman, the columnist, has just visited the country. “I was blown away by one big change in India,” he writes.

Friedman then describes a national digital identify system, known as Aadhaar (Hindi for “base”), that has been under development since 2009.

“Every Indian, rich or poor, goes into a field office, has fingerprints and irises scanned into a biometric database and then linked to the individual’s 12-digit ID number with basic identifiers: name, address, date of birth, and sex.” The Aadhaar project now has 1.18 billion users out of an Indian population of 1.3 billion.

This has been a revolution. Even poor people who never had access to any form of ID can now open a bank account, buy, sell, transfer money, and receive payments digitally anytime anywhere. Citizens can go to any of 250,000 community centers with access to a computer.

“It is transforming the lives of ordinary people,” one observer says, “and could generate as much as $1 trillion in economic value over the next decade.”

INDIA SCANS FINGERPRINTS AND IRISES TO IDENTIFY INDIVIDUALS – NO NEED FOR PASSWORDS.

WHY CAN’T IT BE DONE IN THE USA?

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
2 December 2017
...

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A TALE OF TWO WEDDINGS

In the past two months I was honored to be invited to two weddings, one Muslim and one Hindu.

I had just returned to the United States from Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan with a short visit to India en route. When I received the two wedding invitations, I turned right around and went back.

To read the story of these two weddings and see all the photos, go to this link on my website: warrenhallcrain.com/26-november-2017-39-tale-two-weddings/

The photos bring memories of these two wonderful weddings rushing back. So I am somewhat homesick for Kyrgyzstan and India, but I will be returning for visits.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
25 November 2017
...

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A TALE OF TWO WEDDINGS

In the past two months I was honored to be invited to two weddings, one Muslim and one Hindu.

I had just returned to the United States from Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan with a short visit to India en route. When I received the two wedding invitations, I turned right around and went back.

To read the story of these two weddings and see all the photos, go to this link on my website: warrenhallcrain.com/26-november-2017-39-tale-two-weddings/

The photos bring memories of these two wonderful weddings rushing back. So I am somewhat homesick for Kyrgyzstan and India, but I will be returning for visits.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
25 November 2017
...

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SHOULD ELEPHANT TROPHY IMPORTS BE BANNED?

Elephant populations have drastically fallen as they are killed by hunters and poachers . Their body parts, especially their ivory tusks, are sold. Many hunters bring home “trophies” – such as tusks or tails – from the elephants they kill.

In 2014 the United States banned importing trophies from legally hunted elephants in Zambia and Zimbabwe. President Trump is considering lifting the ban.

The reason? These two countries have documented that their elephant populations are now stable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that money paid for permits to hunt the elephants could put “much-needed revenue back into conservation.”

Conservation groups disagree, expressing grave concerns that lifting the ban will send a message around the world that hunting and poaching elephants is “on” again, causing elephant populations to plummet.

Elephants are listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Last Wednesday, President Trump announced that the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe would be lifted. On Friday he put a hold on the decision “until such time as I review all conservation facts.”

What is your opinion? Should the ban on elephant trophy imports be lifted or retained? Please add your comment.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
19 November 2017

Sources:
blog.conservation.org/2017/11/u-s-lifts-ban-on-some-elephant-trophy-imports/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkK...

www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/11/15/trophies-from-elephant-hunts-in-zimbabwe-were-...
...

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SHOULD ELEPHANT TROPHY IMPORTS BE BANNED?

Elephant populations have drastically fallen as they are killed by hunters and poachers . Their body parts, especially their ivory tusks, are sold. Many hunters bring home “trophies” – such as tusks or tails – from the elephants they kill.

In 2014 the United States banned importing trophies from legally hunted elephants in Zambia and Zimbabwe. President Trump is considering lifting the ban.

The reason? These two countries have documented that their elephant populations are now stable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that money paid for permits to hunt the elephants could put “much-needed revenue back into conservation.”

Conservation groups disagree, expressing grave concerns that lifting the ban will send a message around the world that hunting and poaching elephants is “on” again, causing elephant populations to plummet.

Elephants are listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Last Wednesday, President Trump announced that the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe would be lifted. On Friday he put a hold on the decision “until such time as I review all conservation facts.”

What is your opinion? Should the ban on elephant trophy imports be lifted or retained? Please add your comment.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
19 November 2017

Sources:
blog.conservation.org/2017/11/u-s-lifts-ban-on-some-elephant-trophy-imports/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkK...

www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/11/15/trophies-from-elephant-hunts-in-zimbabwe-were-...
...

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GOOD NEWS: FIVE TRUTHS ABOUT ENERGY AND CLIMATE

Here are five true things about how we produce energy( (from a recent New York Times editorial).

1. COAL IS ON ITS WAY OUT. Coal mines are closing at a rapid rate. Why? Because we recognize that emissions from burning coal cause air pollution and climate warming. AND because other forms of energy are now more economical.

2. NATURAL GAS IS BEATING COAL. Utilities are switching from coal to natural gas, which has become much cheaper and produces only about half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy as coal. (HOWEVER, natural gas, like coal, is not renewable, and care must be taken to avoid leaks of climate-damaging methane gas during its production.)

3. RENEWABLE ENERGY IS COMING ON STRONG. The worldwide cost of renewable energy (chiefly wind and solar) has dropped sharply. Two-thirds of energy generation capacity added globally last year was from renewables.

4. WIND AND SOLAR ARE GETTING CHEAPER EVERY YEAR. In some countries, including India, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Chile, renewable energy prices have fallen so much they are comparable to or lower than the cost of newly built coal or gas energy plants – and wind and solar costs are expected to fall another 15 and 25%, respectively, in the next five years.

5. THE COST OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES IS PLUNGING. Batteries are needed to store wind and solar energy for times when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. The cost of lithium-ion batteries fell 73% between 2010 and 2016.

GOOD NEWS FOR PLANET EARTH.

WarrenHall Crain
Tacoma, Washington
5 November 2017
...

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MAHATMA GANDHI, whom I call Gandhi Ji to show my deep respect for him, was an inspiration not just to me, not just to the Indian people, but to the world.

In a testament to his influence across the globe, the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 declared October 2 the “International Day of Non-Violence” in his honor. Gandhi Ji’s insistence on nonviolent resistance to evil inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the American civil rights movement.

I am an American citizen who grew up in India. India long ago laid claim to my heart, and I consider myself to be an Indian as well as an American. I spend half of each year my Indian hometown, Khajuraho, and the other half in my American hometown, Seattle.

This year I was privileged to be in India on October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. His example is, today, more important than ever.

WarrenHall Crain
Delhi, India
5 November 2017
...

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2 Comments on “Facebook Posts”

  1. Pingback: (E MINUS 140) 1 NOVEMBER 2015 #7 TRAGEDY ON THE AEGEAN — AMERICA MUST HELP - WarrenHall Crain for Kiran Verma's Vision

  2. U Kyaw Win

    Warren Crain is a prolific writer/story teller. His books are a good read which speaks from his heart about the human condition.

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