By Anne Hallum and Rachel Hallum-Montes
In 1991, my 9-year-old daughter Rachel traveled with me to Guatemala where we were struck by the heartbreaking rural poverty and mudslides worsened by widespread deforestation.
We vividly remember holding a three-year-old child who was so listless and malnourished he could scarcely lift his arms. The worry and fatigue on his mother’s face and the child’s condition affected us both profoundly, despite Rachel’s relative youth.
This experience led us to found the Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR). Since 1993 we have worked to establish programs to teach local communities how to make a living from the land without destroying life-sustaining forests.
To do this, we plant trees together with crops, a practice called “agro-forestry.” Through our years of work, we have found that around 70 percent of the indigenous volunteers on our projects have been from a group that is often overlooked: local women farmers. Working side by side with them to carefully plant tree seedlings in their fields, we have learned that these women know best the value trees provide because they are the ones who hunt for firewood each day.
One “miracle tree” we often use in our projects, the aliso tree, has nitrogen-fixing roots that fertilize the crops and high-protein leaves that feed cows and
Archive for March 10th, 2011
By Anne Hallum and Rachel Hallum-Montes
As we wind down from winter, we enter those awkward few weeks when we’re often faced with a wardrobe dilemma – what to wear between seasons? Luckily, we’ve got some great inspiration for you as modeled by these stylistas at New York Fashion Week. Check out how these lovely ladies do street style in the final days of winter.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the second drinking holiday of the year (the 1st is Super bowl Sunday, of course)! We celebrate with wearing green, decorating with 4 leaf clovers and leprechauns but most of all green colored booze and food. In the spirit of the liquored up day, I compiled a collection of Irish themed foods that are yummy treats that also will prevent or ease hangovers.
Start your morning with these:
* 1 cup white flour
* 4 ounces vegan butter — softened
* 1/4 cup soymilk or soy creamer
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 egg replacer
* 2 ounces sugar
* 2 ounces white raisins
* Walnut halves (optional)
Mix flour and baking powder. Add butter, and blend until the mixture is
The NFL ownership circle is perhaps one of the most wealthy and exclusive in America. And they want to keep it that way.
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of the ongoing NFL labor negotiations has been the NFL Players Association’s proposal that any revenue they give back to owners in a new agreement be tied to ownership stakes in the league. Indeed, the proposal hardly seems to have been covered at all.
Buried on one of the pages on the NFL Players Association’s NFLLockout.com website is this question: “Did you know that NFL owners have rejected the union’s request that players get ownership stakes in return for assuming financial risk?”
Answer: No, most people don’t.
That’s in part because the NFLPA hasn’t previously chosen to make the issue more of a public fight. But sources within the NFLPA told me this week that they have pushed during negotiations for ownership stakes in return for revenue and that NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman has unequivocally told them: “My clients aren’t interested in being partners with your guys.”
If ever there was a statement that best summed up why we seem to be headed for a work stoppage, that’s it.
At best, Batterman’s statement amounts to, “Sorry, you’re not on the list.” At worst, “You’re not welcome here.”
The flat-out refusal on the part of owners to consider allowing players — and fans — to own what would amount to relatively small shares in the league warrants further scrutiny from the sports media.
The request by the NFLPA seems like a reasonable
The November elections sent a decisive message to our elected officials–or at least it should have. Here’s what I heard Americans saying: we are frustrated with a government that seems wholly disconnected from the challenges middle class families face. We want our leadership to focus on rebuilding an economy that creates jobs now, and opportunity for future generations. We expect you–our government–to do what We the People are doing in these challenging times: tightening our belt, cutting the extras and prioritizing the things that really
If we ever had any doubts about this being a global society, TV and the internet are making it more obvious every day. Over the past few weeks, I, like many of you, have been moved by the efforts of the citizens of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya in their efforts to end the rule of dictators in their respective countries. They stood together to demand human rights, access to education and the opportunity to earn a living wage to provide for themselves and their families. Throughout the coverage, my thoughts went out to them, especially to the women in the crowd, who more often than not have had even fewer opportunities to advance under these authoritarian
I’m twenty-eight. I won’t pretend to be wise. I won’t tell you why you’re not married with kids. I strongly believe that every woman has her own
Montreal police are investigating a violent ice hockey impact between Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara and Montreal Canadien Max Pacioretty.
Pacioretty was left with severe concussion and a cracked vertebra after Chara slammed him into a glass partition during Tuesday's match.
Quebec prosecutor Louis Dionne filed his request for an investigation after seeing the match on television.
It now must be determined if there are grounds for criminal prosecution.
Although Pacioretty had to be carried off on a stretcher, the National Hockey League (NHL) said it would not suspend Chara for Tuesday night's
“I tell my students to write about a subject that fascinates them.” – Kaylie Jones
It is an enormous pleasure to share interviews with authors that have played an inspirational part in my own writing. A distinguished teacher and writer of poetry, novels and screenplays, author Kaylie Jones was born in France and returned with her family to the U.S. in 1974. She received an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and pursued Russian Studies in
The Mario Batali Foundation was established to ensure that kids had enough food in their stomachs. It should really come as no surprise to anyone that knows Mario that he would want to do something to make sure that kids had the energy to dream big. Mario believes that if you want to be a rock star, you can. If you want to be a rock star chef, you
The response of our State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, to the murder of two U.S. Airmen and the wounding of two others in Germany was firmly noncommittal. Crowley was unwilling to call the incident terrorism.
After all, he said, you wouldn’t call the shooter who killed federal judge John Roll, and five other people and who seriously wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson a terrorist, would you?
According to many witnesses, the assailant in Germany yelled “Allahu Akhbar” (Arabic for “God is Great”) as he gunned down the young American servicemen, who were in
With Miami festivals WMC and Ultra hogging the electronic music scene this month, Austin isn’t exactly the first place you’d target for a deejayed dance party that can press on til sunrise. It’s a thick scene for the indie rock bands and raspy guitar-strumming folk singers, but nestled between them — in the time separating dinner from breakfast — the DJs, and those hungry to hear them, turn to the tables. Here, the talent known by blogs and Beatport charts, or the talent that has yet to be discovered, serves up everything from booty bass to hyped-up electro, even creating new genres in the musical breeding ground of SXSW.
Leading up to a festival known for showcasing some of the best of the unknowns, there’s a certain buzz already upping the anticipation for DJ sets throughout the
Thanks to my friends at the Gallup Organization, our partner around the new Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index, I now have the data-backed evidence to “make the case” for the power of innovation and ideas in the success of nations; here in America and around the world.
Based on verifiable data, from 1963 through 2009, there were 4.5 million total patents granted globally, with more than 2.6 million of those patents originating here in the United States, or almost 2/3rd’s of all world patents. News flash: The U.S. also happens to be the largest economy in the world. Now stay with me here.
Within the United States, California has more than 450,000 total patents, or 20% of all
This week the for-profit college industry hosts its annual Hill Day, where students and industry representatives come to Washington to talk to their representatives and lobby for industry priorities. The lobbying conference comes as the industry finds itself fighting on all fronts to block a proposed rule meant to rein in what many are calling bad practices by the industry. This fight has spurred the highest lobbying spending by the industry in its nascent history.
In 2010 the for-profit college industry spent $7.57 million on lobbying, almost three times as much as it spent in 2009. The industry also doled out over $1.3 million in campaign contributions over the 2010 election cycle.
The subject of the lobbying fight is a proposed rule by the Department of Education aimed at stemming a growing student debt and default problem in the industry.
The new rules aim to mitigate a growing default and debt problem among for-profit college
Yesterday I was in Springfield, Illinois when Governor Quinn signed into law the abolition of the death penalty in this state and commuted the sentences of the fifteen death row inmates here to life without parole. When the bill first passed, I wrote exhorting the governor to sign the bill. Like some, I felt it was taking an inordinate amount of time for him to make a decision on what to do. I stand
In a way, I can identify with Charlie Sheen. When I was a kid, I threw a tantrum. I told my parents that I hated them and stormed into my room and packed an overnight bag. Then, I announced that I was running away and walked out the front
The men face piracy, kidnapping and firearms charges, the US Department of Justice said.
The couple who owned the boat and two guests were shot to death after pirates took them hostage off Oman.
The suspected pirates were captured by US naval forces sent to the scene of the hijacking.
The 13 suspected pirates were indicted on Thursday by a grand jury in Norfolk,
James Clapper told the US Senate that Col Gaddafi's superior military force would prevail over the long term.
And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would not act in Libya without international authorisation.
Meanwhile, Libyan rebels are fleeing the port of Ras Lanuf after sustained attacks by Col Gaddafi's forces.
In Washington, Mr Clapper, who is the top intelligence adviser to US President Barack Obama, told the Senate he saw no evidence Col Gaddafi would step down from
There’s just one week to go before the current budget agreement expires. If a new agreement is not found, we face the prospect of something no one wants: a government shutdown.
My fellow senators and I are working hard to avert that, but so far, the debate has centered on so-called “domestic discretionary spending” — basically the 12% or so of the budget that goes to programs other than the military, Social Security, and Medicare.
And let me tell you: a bipartisan compromise simply will not be found in domestic discretionary spending cuts alone.
Just yesterday, the Senate defeated H.R. 1, the House Republicans’ scorched-earth spending proposal that sought to cut such critical national priorities as border security, cancer research, and food safety inspectors.
The defeat of
How cheered Libya’s reeling opposition must feel now that they know that the White House is dispatching Secretary of State Clinton to meet with them during her trip to Tunisia and Egypt to have a post-revolutionary exchange of views.
As they lose ground and are surely being overrun, the freedom fighters must also be overwhelmed with gratitude that NATO’s Action Committee is meeting to exhaust as much time as may be needed to render a “no fly zone” an exercise in futility.
And as Colonel Gaddafi’s forces continue to hammer them, his opponents must be toasting to the generous statements of concern emanating from the White House asserting that all options are on the table to come to their rescue.
After all, we really do care that Gaddafi is killing his people with the aid of other megalomaniac
The Obama administration has encouraged something of a lovefest between President Obama and Ronald Reagan. Gauzy stories about how highly our current president esteems the 40th — along with equally gauzy commentary about how these two share a talent for appealing to a wide swath of the American public — have been all over the news.
Time Magazine put a ribbon on the meme with its “Why Obama Loves Reagan” cover package about the Obama/Reagan “bromance,” with no less an eminence than presidential historian Douglas Brinkley proclaiming that Obama is “approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion.”
Obama’s praise of Reagan leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of those who thought Reagan’s geniality was largely an act that masked eight years of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, including wasting untold billions on a crony-rewarding military spending binge.
But Obama seems to have overlooked Reagan’s greatest gift and most effective tactic: the ability to declare that virtually any triumph that happened while he was president, and even after, was his own; and that whatever went wrong was the fault of big government liberals.
The Romans called this post hoc ergo propter hoc — literally, “after the fact, therefore because of the fact.” When I was in college, my logic professor called this the Rooster Fallacy: The rooster crows when the sun comes up, so the rooster thinks he made the sun come up.
That was Ronald
I was just a babe in the arms of my militia mother, an unformed chip of a New Man, when Fidel Castro traveled to Libya in the spring of 1977. Received with full honors by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, he awarded him the Medal of Valor, a distinction conferred for the first time on a foreign personality. In front of the cameras the commander-in-chief rewarded the recently named leader of the revolution with a handshake. They looked at each other and recognized their
If your brood is anything like mine, traveling with the little ones is not exactly all sunshine and cupcakes — more like overcast with a chance of hysterical temper tantrums. Thankfully, if you’re clever about your destination, at the end of interminable plane/train/car/mule journeys lies salvation. So hop online, book a kid-tested, mom- and dad-approved room in one of our top family picks below, and stock up on Xanax (for you) and “Spring” Oreos (for them, although I confess I’m a little curious how they managed to get the filling to be so… yellow) and you’ll be relaxing in harmony in the blink of an
On Feb. 5 and 6, 2010, a blizzard dumped historic snowfalls on the mid-Atlantic region of the country. Elkridge, Md., got more than 38 inches over the two days, and Washington, D.C., where I live, ended up with about 20 inches of accumulation. That’s a lot of snow for us, but this was just the