Ms. Lynch, I am very impressed with your piece and I wholeheartedly disagree with your detractors. I myself have traveled extensively in Madagascar, South Africa, and Mali and I am currently pursuing a Master's degree in International Development.
I can see from your article that, contrary to the comment made by "Asin", you are absolutely understanding of the beauty around you and displaying an incredible ability to self-reflect. I, too, have had the disturbing realization that I was born (in America) with unwarranted privilege. However, nestled in that realization is a concurrent realization that the life you had in America and the life you have to come back to in America is deserving of praise and not criticism (most of it, anyway). I would also like to point out to "Asin" that he or she does a pretty good job of being critical in criticizing you for being critical (mentioning only the "bad sides").
Furthermore, "nlcatter", this article mentions Bristol Beer, Monument Valley Park, and Poor Richard's Pizza and the longing the author has to return to those things (in Colorado Springs). How much more local can you get?
And, finally, "Rapidalfons" and "anan", if you took some time to do research of your own on more than one of Kristin's writings on her time spent in Cambodia (a Google search of her name yields her blog: http://kristinlynch.blogspot.com/ which contains articles she has written for the Phnom Pen Post: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/) you would find that she has written many accounts of her very meaningful interactions with local people and of the beauty she has found there.
This short piece was meant simply to highlight the relative advantages to an individual's chances of longer life expectancy, lower rates of poverty, and not stepping on a land mine at the ripe old age of five bestowed undeservedly upon birth in America. I find Ms. Lynch's conclusions to be both humble and honest.
I have found that more often than not Americans are wont to believe that standards of living in foreign countries are better than they in fact are. I believe this alleviates guilt and fuels outcries to spend less Federal dollars in foreign aid. I commend Ms. Lynch for telling the truth about how difficult it is for people who are no better or worse than us to live a healthy and safe life in other parts of the world.
land mines in cambodia are not US land mines!!! DUH!
This is a true reality life that existing in Cambodia's Today. In the late 1979's when the North Veitnam's Communist invading and occupied cambodia with 350,000 troupe and later installed a Puppet Government leading by Mr. Hun Sen as the Prime Minister, Chea Sim and Heng Sam Rin to work and be the servant to their boss....The reality is that when the Veitnamese's communist came to cambodia for the very first thing that they brought into Cambodia is by the number of approximately 5,000 of Veitnamese's Prostitution workers to served the Puppeteers and fueled them in their head until today's....Life for a young Cambodian's girls and boys are in such a bad condition in the surrounding major Cities throughout Cambodia...If the present Government are doing such a good job in developing the Country they should not have send or exploiting those young khmer girls and boys to be a prostitution or a servant to those foreigners living in Cambodia and those Counties who's in demanding for slavery to served them as they slavery so that their prestige life can be lift above the dirty and dusty land that they stood on daily...The Hun Sen and his Cliques are in no same of doing just that for the shake of creating wealth for themselves and their families...They'll continuing to served their Veitnam's boss for as long as their lives are being proteted...Human's trafficking out of Cambodia is out of Control and young Cambodian girls and boys are forces to do work worsen than the Animal living in Cambodia...Mr. Hun Sen, please open the only eye that you had and the ears to hear and see thing that is happening in Cambodia's daily life!...The present situation in Cambodia is in ever danger to a democracy's process toward peace, prosperity, equality, freedom and justice to all...None of these above mentioned means anything to this man as long as he's in power and being protected by the Veitnamese people who's legally living in Cambodia and having all the freedom more than a Cambodian-born in Cambodia...Do any of you young khmer generation know of any true facts and reality to the Cambodia's present situation at all?...You all live there each day, have you not see what's happening to the khmer people's land and their crying tear each and every day...Maybe or just because your parent is one of the government or a political affiliate and associate businessman in Cambodia...In Cambodia's daily life by the thousands especially the young generation and women who are exploited to work in those thousands Garment's Factories throughout Cambodia that are facing illnesses and sick daily as they are performed work in those Factories for a cheap labor and in a long hours just that the boss and those businessman can robbed our Khmer's lively hood and their future...Cambodia as I see it is nothing more than just an other hand that changed from generation to generation of leadership who's pretending that they're a pro-democracy...The history itself had shown over and over from the Sihanouk, to Lon Nol, the Killer's Khmer-Rouge's regime and now just an other Dictatorship who's in Charge and Control the Country more than 30 years longer than his predecessor of the past...Have anyone in Cambodia who's mission to help and assisted re-build and development of Cambodia really know what's going on wright in front of their opened eyes and ears, or just being there to help spending the millions and millions of dollars that being lend to from the IMF and the World Bank...Today, the Chinese's government are hammering deep into Cambodia's Economies in all aspect of the Country...What about our Westerner's friend to do at present time...They're losing again to the Communist's Power just like in the Veitnam's war...more than 40,000 lives are lost and the memories are being engraved on the stone and marble walls just to remind our children and grand children that was a mistake war by our leadership of the Super Power Country...Now in the 21st's Century again we as a country decided to create more war not just one but two war in many difference countries, like Afkanistan, Iraq and else where in world so that we can fue war to create more world economies for all...Have't you all American learned the lesson of the past?...How many more of innocent lives of the people of this country and around the world must lost so that we are and can continue to engraving more of their names just to reminding our children and grand children that we are doing our job to protect our freedom...Really?...Please do ourselves a very big favor stop being a protector and safe guarding of the freedom...We are as bad as the Communist's Partners...We said that we a pro-democracy and freedom loving people, but yet we are exploiting and doing business in those under develop counties like in Veitnam, Cambodia, Loas, India and many more counties in all over the Globe..Look at the stories that being broadcasting in the news daily about those Factories's workers are being treat in such a slavery possibly can by our businesses's leader from our own government...Please, just do ourselves a favor just stop acting and policing to the world.
"That's about as 'unlocal' as it gets."
Yawn - what a boring and formulaic account. For example, did she bother to find out what percentage of prostitiution is "unfortunately fueled by degenerate Western appetites"? I think between 10% and 1%, depending on the study. Did she bother to learn Khmer or interact in any meaningful way with local people (apart from the times when she would "accidentally lock eyes")? No, of course not - instead she just trotted out the standard cliches. Please Kirstin do some research next time, especially if you want to move on from these meaningless 'opinion pieces' into actual journalism.
This is a one-sided and extremely voyeuristic description of life in Phnom Penh and Cambodia in general. Anybody who has lived here longer than a month knows to value the beauty and equally the simplicity of this country.
Of course there are dark sides but we are living in a country of hope encouraged by a young population eager to study and develop their skills and also their country.
Prositutes and land-mines are such a cliche and mentioning them continuously do more harm over here than they create excitement by the people reading it abroad and feeling sorry.
Come by yourself, visit this country and talk to the people to find out that the author of this article is just repeating old prejudices and not willing to let this country develop out of their past.
Actually, things always contain both good and bad sides. We cannot mention about only its good points while forgetting its weak points. I think you should try to understand both of them simultaneously and learn to accept and change rather than criticizing without actions. To the writer of this article, I see in you that you are lack of praising emotion about the world around you. We are not born to criticize things but spending time to find its good points. Please think again about your world and try to understand the beauty around you, and then you will live in a better place.
It's worse than all that. The political funding system which we now have in place, is basically a way for the richest 20% (who control 85% of the material wealth in the United States) to buy whoever they need to be in office in any position. Whoever you vote for will most certainly support the richest 20%, because they paid for their campaign through whatever means were necessary, and after the politician is done they will be responsible for their well being after that as long as their taxes don't increase, the deals which benefit the corporations they sit on the board of prosper, and things like the inheritance tax are moved from keeping their money to themselves.
(This is also why capital gains taxes remain at about 15%).
The saddest part of course is that Americans have little understanding of how wealth is actually distributed in the country, AND how they actually rank on the list. I know when I was a kid in a middle class family I could not have ever imagined how different the world must look atop a 6 billion dollar fortune, compared to my dad going off to build houses every day. And stepping beyond this our country IS fueled to hate each other. Because we say we belong to this party or that party. How many people who make less than $75,000 total income identify with Republicans who say we don't want to raise taxes on the rich? What they are really doing is saying "Hey don't tax those people who could effortlessly afford it. Continue taxing me because I make an amount of money each year, that should one of the super rich encounter it while walking across the street, they may stop and have someone pick it up for them." So long as Americans can be convinced by the 20 second clips on Faux news;, that one idea is all there is we will continue to be polarized and factionalized against each other, just enough to allow the top 1-20% to rob us blind for another 100 years or so. Once all the parks are gone, and the schools continue in their decline,
and the welfare systems are locked away, and no one outside the sphere of the 20 percent-ers have true health care maybe those of you who wrote about how bad a tax increase would be may shut the hell up. Because you should know this more than anything else: The super rich don't care about our schools, their kids don't go there. The don't care about our parks because their estates eclipse them in both size and beauty, and they sure as hell don't care about our access to welfare programs and health care because when you have billions that is not a reality for you. Keep supporting to cut their taxes and keep hoping that creates jobs. But we all know the reality. They don't want to create more jobs. They want to continue to find ways to keep from creating jobs so they can make more money. Those jobs didn't go to Mexico and India. They are the online travel agents, the digital photo machine, the robots assembling cars and packaging foods. That means that those jobs aren't coming back. And you poor saps felt so sorry about taxing the rich, the very people who have made their lives, and whose ancestors made it their lives, to amass and amass and amass wealth on the backs of hardworking people from every race, color, and creed.
If you haven't already started to buy your ramen noodles in bulk you may wanna make a run to Wal Mart this week. Because we are so far from where this will end that you'll be lucky to have water and electricity to cook them for dinner when the time comes.
What allowed OKC to accomplish this amazing revitalization (which, if you haven't been to OKC, *is* really amazing) was the MAPS tax - a five year 1 cent sales tax increase. After the first successful five years, the tax expired and citizens again voted in favor of a tax increase to fund school renovation. When that expired, they again voted to renew the tax for other city improvements. All these projects were done without incurring municipal debt. We have to be willing to pay for what we'll get.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.
The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.
The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, VT, and WA. These 8 jurisdictions possess 77 electoral votes — 29% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.
Without addressing the key component (money) this is all so much the same hot-air we have heard the past eight years from the same 50 people in the same venues. What is missing is the financial support of the public and until all the 'collobarators' find a way to gain public support, you will remain a small town with 'wannabe' dreams of someday being a small city.
A better means of getting to the public is essential and the public needs to hear credible facts from believable people. All the bullcrap from Mary Ellen and Sallie about these marvelous 'collaborative partnerships' have done nothing but build distrust with the public because nothing is happening!
Yep. 'Collaborative Partnerships'.
Sure need more of those.
People in Texas and Oklahoma do more than 'collaborate' endlessly. They work to achieve what they want and they have county officials they can trust with money.
I'm also a former dancer, kelly, and that wasn't my experience at all. I saw very little in the way of hard drugs, and I watched a lot of girls go from the stage to four-year-degrees or other worthy goals.
Nice job, Beth, demonstrating that the representatives of the far Right, far from wanting freedom from governmental regulation, would actually prefer that the government run our lives. I've never understood quite how voters allow the Reps to slide on that particular canard.
I love you, Beth...
The only thing more pathetic than a guy that goes to a strip club is a dancer there every night(putting her way through college...hehe). Sexuality is great in a lot of forms, but when I was dancing, most of the girls had bad drug habits and daddy issues. These girls need help, and the only thing more boring than the customers is the cop documenting these poor, lost souls. It's not a party, it's a slow downward death spiral. If you want to get fully torqued AND have fun... do a burlesque show.
Ah Beth. Ya got'm right through the heart. Well done.
Excellent job on the article! I fear for this legislature. I had moved away from CO last year due to work and am now in a state (OH) where beer is stocked with the national brands at the grocery store. I have to travel an hour just to find a liquor store that has the same variety that rivals that of what's common in CO.
Don't get me wrong, I can find some craft beer at the grocery stores, but selection is thin and BMC is dominate. Given my choice, I'll take the 'antiquated' system of CO. Folks, this is what will happen in your state and you don't want it. Trust me.
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