Tag Archives: United States

Is it Better to be Poor in a Poor Country?

Let’s face it – it sucks to be poor anywhere. But I think a lot about relative poverty. Very frequently here in Uganda, people will ask me to “take them to America.” I know the vision in their minds. They … Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Poverty, Society | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

WikiLeaks Hurts the Good Guys, Too

Let me paint you a picture.

You are a dissident in a country with a violently oppressive regime. For years you have been fighting for your own rights and those of your people, but you have been doing it secretly since otherwise, you know you and your family would be killed.

Wanting advice, protection, or support, you take the risk of reaching out for help. Despite its faults, the United States is still the country that you are likely go to, believing that at the very least, you will not be turned over to your own government, and that they might even help you in your democracy-building efforts. You have a secret conversation with a U.S. diplomat, who promises to check with the home office to find out what they can do for you. You return home and breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t seem to have been followed after the meeting.

The next morning you get on your computer to check the news. In the first link, you see your name on a cable sent from the embassy in your country to the State Department in the U.S. – the follow-up to your meeting. Then you hear a knock on your door… Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

You Can't Cram for Christmas

I realize that this might seem like the wrong season for this post (and, frankly, a bit off-topic for this blog). But, really, it shouldn’t seem that way. For those of us in the United States, we still have two major holidays between now and Christmas – Halloween in October, and Thanksgiving in November. No matter how early the retailers try to convince us to start our Christmas shopping, it somehow feels like we don’t really need to get prepared until after Thanksgiving.

But Santa’s no chump. He’s not easily suckered. This morning my son woke up singing a Christmas carol – you know, the one about him knowing when you are sleeping, awake, being good, being bad, when you are picking your nose and when you told your boss you were sick so you could go fishing. And then we got talking about THE LIST. And then we got talking about when, exactly, he starts working on that list.
And it came to me. Sh*#!!! I have to start being good now! If Santa knows all these things about us, then presumably he doesn’t wait until after Thanksgiving for his surveillance.

So, let this be a gentle reminder to you – it’s never too early to start being good.

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Way off Topic | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment