Ruby Ramblings

Bledsoe Creek, TN
February 9, 2009, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Nashville, Travel

While I have been unemployed, as are a record number of Americans in 20 years, I am grateful to be spending my time catching up on what is happening in the world in such a beautiful setting.

The view out my bedroom window.




War and Peace Report
February 9, 2009, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Books, War | Tags: , , , , ,

I highly recommend the Feb. 9th broadcast on It interviews a Congolese doctor who has opened the only hospital in the Congo open to the thousands of women raped everyday as an act of war. This is something that has received very little press coverage in the US.

(This is an excerpt from the broadcast, but I highly recommend watching the whole show at their website.)

Also on today’s show was an interview with Pratap Chatterjee, author of Halliburton’s Army. He is an expert on corporate crime, and outlines the rise of contract employees in American military through Halliburton and KBR.

Halliburton's ArmyHalliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War

What I find interesting in the connection between these two stories, is how clearly they outline economic disparity between countries. Chatterjee describes how Fijian truck drivers hired by KBR are paid $170 a trip to risk their lives to bring supplies into Iraq, while American contracters hired for the same job are paid upwards of $100,000 and given military protection.

In the Congo a massive civil war has been raging, largely funded by American backed Rwandian military, and woman are the major targets. But women are not worth anything in a war market. It is not cost effective to fund hospitals or provide police protection for Congolese women. For anyone thinking this has nothing to do with them, the war has been vastly elevated by foreign control of coltan mines – a naturally occurring metallic substance used in the production of cell phones, laptops, and play stations.

Power to Women and Girls of the DRC
<img src=” Fight to LIve ” alt=”” />All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo

Tibetan Teachers
February 5, 2009, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Buddhism

The Khenpos, the teachers of the Buddhist Temple I go to in Nashville have started posting teachings on YouTube, which I think is adorable. This is how available information has become in the world that two elderly Tibetan monks, who escaped across the Himilayas on foot when they were teenagers to come to America and open a temple, are now giving online teachings. I find it really interesting to listen to Kenchen Palden speak in Tibetan (Kenpo Tsawang then translates in English).

Kenchen Palden Rinpoche and Kenpo Tsawang Rinpoche teaching the basics of the Four Noble Truths.

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

February 5, 2009, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Politics

If nothing else, the economic downturn has produced some great fodder for political cartoons.


shoe dodging