Most Recent Archive

Born in China

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April 28, 2017 Matthew Kauffman Smith Media Matters

If the Academy Award winners were based on cuteness, Born in China would be the runaway winner for best picture, and Mei Mei the baby panda would pretty much win every other category. The latest Earth Day release from Disneynature revels in the cuteness factor of its baby panda, snow leopards, and golden snub-nosed monkeys as they learn to live and survive in the vast China ecosystem. But cuteness only goes so far in life. People eventually yearn for substance, and that bodes true for Born in China. As with its Earth Day documentary predecessors, Disney sacrifices story in favor […]

Swords into Ploughshares

April 28, 2017 Jennifer Wiebe Wider View

Swords into Ploughshares by Jennifer Wiebe, Director of MCC Canada’s Ottawa Office When Ernie Regehr and Murray Thomson started Project Ploughshares in 1976, their initiative was only supposed to last six months. Just over forty years and many awards and accomplishments later, Ploughshares stands as one of the leading peace research organizations in Canada. How did it all begin? The seeds of Ploughshares were first sown four decades ago when two groups of people, each working separately on a common concern, came together. Ernie Regehr—witnessing the links between militarism and under-development while working in southern Africa—teamed up with Murray Thomson (then-Director of CUSO) in 1976 […]

What is Middle-aged? What is Old?

April 28, 2017 Melodie Davis Another Way

#Midlifing: How do you know when you’ve hit it?  Another Way for week of April 29, 2017   I remember going to the 40th reunion of my high school class where I attended my first three years of high school. I took a look around at the gray hair and wrinkles and tried to see in their faces my high school chums. I couldn’t recognize some of those I hadn’t seen in 40 years. Did I look equally different to others? I truly wondered if I looked as old as them. This is a common experience for most of us. […]

Why oppose a popular airstrike?

April 21, 2017 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

Why oppose a popular airstrike? By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach  On the night of April 6, the U.S. attacked a Syrian military installation with 59 missiles. President Trump said that the airstrike was in response to a chemical weapons attack a few days earlier in Idlib province. Many members of Congress immediately came out in support of the airstrike, saying it was a proportional response and what the U.S. should have done after a chemical weapons attack in 2013. This favorable response was echoed by many in the media as well. With so many eager to support this show of force, […]

Reason vs. belonging

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April 21, 2017 Gordon Houser Media Matters

We live in a society where facts don’t seem to mean much. If the president, for example, doesn’t like a report or scientific study, he simply calls it “fake news.” When this ruse was revealed, the one group still thought they were better than average at identifying real suicide notes. He’s not alone. Many of us take similar positions, and, according to some recent books, there are reasons for that. In her article “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds” (The New Yorker, Feb. 27), Elizabeth Kolbert reviews three of these books. All, by the way, were written before last November’s […]

Stories of Peace: A tradition of resistance

April 17, 2017 Gordon Houser Stories of Peace

A tradition of resistance By Gordon Houser When Native people introduce themselves, says Erica Littlewolf, especially to other Natives, they speak of their tribe. They introduce themselves as individuals inside a larger community that involves a land base. In the same way, when I ask her about her passion and why she does what she does, Littlewolf says her work involves “continuing a tradition of resistance.” Her tribe, Northern Cheyenne, was held captive in Oklahoma over a century ago. “They knew they would be hunted by the U.S. government if they went to Montana,” she says, “but they did it […]

Beauty and the Beast

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April 14, 2017 Vic Thiessen Media Matters

Disney’s 1991 Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney animated film. Featuring the delightful songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the highest quality old-fashioned animation, and a well-told (if heavily altered) fairy tale, the film has several flaws—the biggest being the redemptive violence at the film’s conclusion. Disney’s typical need to kill off the baddie has nothing to do with the fairy tale on which the film is based. The film’s biggest flaw was entirely predictable and is difficult to challenge in a remake. I am referring to the killing off of the baddie at the end of […]

Staying awake in Gethsemane

April 7, 2017 Celeste Kennel-Shank Living Simply

The cemeteries where members of my extended families are buried are truly places of repose, surrounded by the fertile fields of Lancaster County, Pa. When I visit their graves, I sense that they are at rest, being at home with God and having returned to the earth that nurtured them. If any of us have gotten caught up in the scapegoating and fearmongering that are so prevalent in our culture and society today, it’s not too late to live in a new way. Grace and transformation are available to all of us. With my strong sense of connection to those […]