Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bernard Nathanson Abortionist Turned Right to Life Activist: 1926-2011




Bernard Nathanson, one of the most captivating spokespeople to have joined the right to life movement passed away Monday in New York City of cancer. He was 84 years old. By his own estimation, Nathanson performed over 75,000 abortions, including one upon his own girlfriend back in the 60′s.
Nathanson founded NARAL, (National Abortion Rights Action League) in 1969 and operated an abortion clinic in New York City in the 60′s and 70′s. He went through a process of soul searching  that led him to dramatically change sides on the abortion question.

Click here to read the rest of the article on GlobeTribune.Info

Mixed Emotions and the Music of Nadim Mohsen [Videos]

Mixed Emotions and the Music of Nadim Mohsen [Videos]

February 22, 2011
Nadim Mohsen
Lately, I have been looking at tweets coming from the Arab world, hoping to pick up some news from Yemen, Libya or Egypt. When you are in Brooklyn, these are all a part of your neighbourhood. My family is connected by marriage to Iraq and Yemen, so these are not distant places on the map.
I found one tweet that recommended a video by a musician, composer and poet from Lebanon named Nadim Mohsen.


Click here to read the complete article on GlobeTribune.Info

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Announcement to Readers About My Facebook Page



  For three years, I have been writing on Magdeburgerjoe.com and its sister site, Rudistettner.com. Back in November, I launched GlobeTribune.Info, a news site with a more "newsy", professional and less personal layout.

One bit of advice I got from James Johnson over at Indyposted.com is that there is a great deal of value to social networking. At my own cost, I ignored his advice for a long time, preferring to concentrate solely on writing. I was persuaded by one of my children to follow his advice. I therefore opened up a Facebook page under my professional name of Rudi Stettner. Since opening it up, I have sent out invitations to be friends on Facebook to people whose interests might overlap those on GlobeTribune.Info. There is a Jewish component to my audience, a political section and a world music section, to mention a few interest groups that I touch on. I send out friend requests on this basis.

I run my Rudi Stettner Facebook page as a way to keep people up to date on my articles. I am promoting myself as a writer. Anything that is related to my professional persona is what I put on my Facebook page. I may in the future have a Facebook page under my private name. My wife and children keep me up to date with family news and pictures, so at the present time this is really not necessary.

Aside from promoting myself as a writer, the only things I'm selling are my political views and the (so far) small ad revenues I get when people click on Google Ads on my site. My dream is that some day, someone will buy a 60 million dollar mansion through a Google ad on my site. So far that has not happened.

The biggest pleasure of writing on my sites is touching the lives of strangers who I will most likely never meet. Even on a day when I only get a handful of "hits" I get a rush from seeing that someone in Senegal, Croatia or Vietnam has taken the time to read my articles. This gives me the feeling that a common person can reach around the world and put his or her ideas out for consideration. It is a phenomenon unique to our age.

Any time I send a "friend" request as Rudi Stettner, it is in my capacity as a writer. It is important to make this known. Being a married grandfather, I like to make sure this is understood. When I was young, asking someone to be your friend meant exactly that,or sometimes a little more. Any guy my age who went up to a girl young enough to be his daughter and asked her to be his friend was a dirty old man. There is plenty of strangeness out on the internet. If I get an e mail saying "Who r u?? or something like that, I will identify myself and include the url to this article. I'd rather be writing articles, or shopping for a new topic.

That is another valuable side to Facebook. People put up articles, videos and other items that jump start my creativity. I have a quota for articles. The less time I spend looking for a topic, the quicker I can get to work on my daily quota.

I hope this explains the "Rudi Stettner" Facebook page to friends and family who wonder why I am not more chatty, and to strangers who wonder who I am.

PS The picture on my Facebook is of Emperor Franz Joszef II. It is not my picture. I look like a walrus with a mustache.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inner as Well As Outer Change in the Arab World




Anyone who lives in a western democracy is inclined to feel some sympathy with the revolutionary currents in the Arab world. The idea of toppling a dictator captures one's imagination. In my adult lifetime I have observed the overthrow of dictators in Haiti, Romania, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. Without violence, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and quite a few other nations have turned away from dictatorship and embraced free elections and human rights.

There is a misconception about a dictatorship, that a country can be filled with wonderful people and that the dictator inflicts suffering upon the people. The reality is far more complex. In East Germany, more than 20 years after the fall of communism, people are still dealing emotionally with the fact that they were spied upon by neighbours.

In Haiti, when Baby Doc was overthrown in 1986, the same society that produced the foot soldiers of the Duvalier dictatorship also produced brutal warring factions. Today, there are those who look back with nostalgia upon the "kinder gentler" brutality of the Duvalier dictatorship.

After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, there are those who long for the austere stability in the days when the USSR stretched uninterrupted across 12 time zones. There are still people today who view Stalin as a hero. Millions of Russians wanted to be Communist Party members, and the 5% or so of the population who made the grade enjoyed varying degrees of perks for being the "revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, America has found that overthrowing a dictator is fairly easy. What is far more difficult is for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan or any other authoritarian regime to learn the ways of free men.

The political culture of Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and other countries in the Arab world gave rise to brutality and to dictatorship. Any regime that replaces the ones now in place will employ the same people. In Egypt, the government of Mubarak turned a blind eye to pogroms against Christians, as well as the rape and kidnapping of Christian girls. Any government that follows that of Mubarak will still be dealing with the same climate of intolerance that has developed over centuries in Egyptian society.

It will be good to see change come to the Arab world, where the winds of revolution blow so strongly today. But that change must be internal as well as external, if it is to do any good at all.