Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Banana Corporations Funding Paramilitary Groups

Law Student Researches Controversy in Colombia
Teaching research, I appreciate the stories that NPR Latino USA presents because they address the different sides and arguments of a controversy. Unlike cable news, the ideological appeal is the judgment of the audience and not the impulsive reactions of pathos.

In Colombia, law student Paul Bieber interviews people injured and maimed in attacks by who the victims describe as guerrilla paramilitary groups used to enforce Dole and Chiquita corporate interests. The corporations and paramilitary groups claim the people have no right to the land. Recently deposed leaders of the paramilitary groups have testified to having been paid by the banana growers to act on their behalf. The corporations respond that in instances in which they have paid these groups, it was only done so for protection from the groups.

From the NPR website:

"Paul Bieber is a private investigator and law student in California. He has an abiding interest in the investigation of instances of human rights abuses. This summer, he went to Colombia on a 10-day fact-finding mission organized by Witness for Peace, the social justice organization based in Washington, D.C."
Listen to the full story at the NPR site, or listen to it at the Public Radio Workshop site:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Together We Thrive in Tucson

A Bittersweet Moment of Unity

I had the chance to attend Pres. Obama's appearance here in Tucson yesterday. On my way out, a reporter with a recording device asked me for my response and I told her that it was a beautiful event, but it was unfortunate that it came about because of tragedy. I explained that Tucson and Arizona are in need of healing because we are in a conflicted and contested place. Too quickly, sides go on the attack when wounds are still fresh.

(photos by Amanda Wray)
What I found frustrating being attendance was the flippant attitude of college age people who treated the event more like a concert than a moment for healing. Raised consciousness is a process. We have hope that those who lacked the understanding of gravitas might reflect on the event as one step towards critical consciousness. As the saying goes, every saint has a past and every sinner a future.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Arizona the Center of Intolerace?

As I have mentioned before, I live in Tucson. When this past weekend's tragic events occurred here, it was surreal to see the city where I live on the news. I had been to that Safeway and I had eaten dinner last Christmas at the Chinese restaurant in the shopping center that was roped off with police tape.
I hope to make President Obama's speech tomorrow at the McKale Center. I leave you with Jon Stewart's reflections.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Technology, Teaching and Rhetorical Analysis

Technology, Teaching and Rhetorical Analysis
I was asked to speak to a group of first year graduate students about teaching rhetorical analysis and using technology. This is a short video I put together using the Xtranormal software.