Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The importance of consequences

In International Law and Human Rights the other day, the professor engaged the students in a discussion about who would be willing to run a red traffic light and under what circumstances might an otherwise law-abiding citizen break such an important law? Even though several students raised their hands (not me mind you!) when the scenario included an empty small intersection at three in the morning, the situation that is of a particular interest to me is crossing the red light if no other cars are in sight and you have a very ill person (a friend) in the car whom you are trying to take to the hospital. Even I was willing to raise my hand to that situation. However, I realized that if I were in that situation and I ran the red light, I would do so with the idea that I am breaking a law and that if a ticket and a fine are the result, I would be angry but would know that this is how things work. I made the choice to run the red light to save my friend so paying a fine should be a minor inconvenience. 

Many, of course, do not agree with me. They say that it is not fair. That they are trying to be good people saving lives and should not be penalized for breaking the law in that case. For me, this is not about an action being fair or not fair. It is about making a choice – to run the red light and risk a ticket but save a friend or not to run the red light and risk losing a friend. Make the choice and bear the consequences. I personally would pick the first option and even though unwillingly, I would pay the fine. Because that fine is nothing compared to my friend’s life.

Any thoughts on this situation? 

-          Krasi

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Next Frontier

I've talked about Fair Trade and ethical consumerism extensively and I've been happy to report that I now have a handle on which consumables and clothes retailers I can count on to provide me with the peace of mind that comes with knowing my purchase supported a fair wage for others.

The next phase of my mission is to find electronics that are ethical but this is really hard y'all! I've made my dislike of Apple very clear but the truth is ALL ELECTRONICS get their pieces from overseas factories and nearly all these factories have deplorable working conditions.

I'm currently feeling overwhelmed because I can't get away from it! With my coffee, chocolate, and my clothing I was able to step back but with electronics it is impossible unless you go completely off the grid! I don't know about y'all but I like the grid (maybe not so much as know who you tweets every 10 minutes, FB status updates on what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...).

For example, I have been going back and forth about buying a Kindle. Let's look at the pros and cons shall we?

Pros: Very green. I can purchase my textbooks and save not only paper but fuel and carbon emissions because they won't need to ship anything.

Cons: Horrible working conditions for the people that make them. By buying one, I am supporting this business model.

Talk about cognitive dissonance! I can help save the environment while contributing to abject conditions for human beings. I don't know y'all, I'm kinda sad and frustrated. I hope that we now move towards a fair trade mentality with our electronics.

A good article to read on this:

Fair Trade Electronics?

A wonderful segment on this issue:

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

What do y'all think? Would you buy electronics if they were fair trade?

- A

Sunday, January 8, 2012

National Stalking Awareness Month

Hi all! Thanks to the Colorado Coalition against Sexual Assault I have just found out that January is National Stalking Awareness Month. The organization has provided several resources on the topic of stalking and assistance for victims. Because I am such a nice person, I have shared them with you on this blog.

Stalking Fact Sheet

Male Survivors

Additional Resources

- Krasi

Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year

Happy 2012 everyone!

After a three-week vacation among family and friends, I am back in Denver and facing what seems to be a very busy and exciting winter quarter. A few interesting courses to look forward to include the International Law and Human Rights and the History, Culture, and Conflict course which will include a section on the history of witches! Now that’s something that definitely sparks my curiosity:). I am sure both of these courses will provide enough fodder for at least a few entries on this blog so don’t miss out!

Another amazing activity that appears on my agenda this new year is the Human Trafficking Clinic. Yes, I have been accepted as an Associate and will participate in rigorous research on an individual project in the field of human trafficking and will collaborate with the rest of the HTC team to spread awareness, increase knowledge about and advocate for victims of human trafficking. Can’t wait!

As I have realized that will probably be extremely busy this quarter and will be once again inundated with readings and films on depressing topics from the field of human rights, to somewhat keep my sanity intact I am planning to participate in events organized by the DU Alpine Club and the Korbel Climb group. Climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities will certainly help me stay focused and relaxed and I am looking forward for some new adventures.

Before I leave you today, here are some nice snowy pictures from Bulgaria:

- Krasi