"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded.
And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

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    Listed on Blogwise
  • Thursday, January 12, 2006
    Did you even READ the book?

    That's my question for all the people who are acting as if the revelation that James Frey either embellished or plain made up pieces of his bestselling book, A Million Little Pieces, is the most shocking coverup this side of Gordon Liddy.

    I've read the book. I stayed up 'till nearly 2 am Monday night reading it because a friend of Robin's needed to borrow it for her bookclub. I loved it. It's a great read, incredibly entertaining, riveting, wildly intense and powerful. It's one of those books that gives you weird dreams if you read it before bed. The prose is so pervasively unique that you find yourself thinking like he writes. There are parts of it through which you cringe so hard that you get muscle cramps.

    For those of you who don't know, it's a first-person story of someone who is addicted to about everything except Pop Rocks who goes through drug rehab. He is a self-confessed "alcoholic, drug addict and a criminal" and it is his story of what it was like to return from that abyss.

    You probably wouldn't have heard of it except Oprah annointed it a month or so back, which is the literary equivalent of the miracle of the loaves and fishes for book sales. Now TheSmokingGun.com has done some background checking and it seems that some of the legal problems he describes as him getting into might not be true at all.

    To the people who are getting all sanctimonious about this, I have just one question:

    Did you even READ the book?

    In addition to being an "alcoholic, drug addict and criminal" (and, perhaps most damning, a former Hollywood screenwriter), if the description of himself in his book is even half-true, he is also a belligerent, self-serving, egotistical, stubborn, damn-everyone-else-and-screw-the-world-I'll-do-what-I want-to-do asshole.

    It doesn't exactly stretch the limits of human imagination that he might be a liar, too.

    Think about it. You're this kind of guy to begin with. You're trying to get a novel published and the publishing house says it would sell better as a memoir (which in many ways it already is) and asks you to truth it up and resubmit it. Do you:

    A-- tell the absolute truth and make the book a lot less attractive
    B -- say "$@*#^$& off, this is my art, I'll find someone who will appreciate it."
    C -- change a few things that really don't matter and give it back to the publishing house and get a fat check!

    Hmmmm ... which one of these would James Frey do. Well, it wouldn't be out of character to do B -- but he obviously didn't do that -- so it's between A and C. Which is the more likely ... let me see. Which would be more in character for this guy ... let me see.

    Now, admittedly, that it purports to be a true story (names changed to protect whomever he felt like protecting) makes it more powerful -- so I'm not going to say that it absolutely doesn't matter. And yeah, people might feel somewhat embarrassed if they, like I did, told people that they had to read this book "and the best thing about it is ... it's true!" But get over it!

    My point is that why are people acting like this is a big surprise. James Frey is laughing all the way to the bank ... and the only reason I imagine he is trying to cover his ass at all instead of saying "gotcha suckers!" is that he's got a movie deal coming, another book deal and he's playing the PR game so the gravy train doesn't stop.

    Of course, the most hysterical -- and most pathetic -- thing about it is WHO is making the big stink. The 24-hour pseudonews networks and infotainment industry -- an industry that LIVES on half-truths and notruths -- is acting as judge, jury and executioner. Yes, the industry that gives us the "True Hollywood Story" and "Geraldo Rivera Presents..." is acting like a sacrilege the level of someone peeing on the Mona Lisa has taken place.

    I'm shocked! Shocked that there is gambling here at Rick's!

    Here are your winnings, sir.

    I still think people should read A Million Little Pieces. It's a great read, and odds are that it is a pretty accurate picture of what some really hard-core people go through in rehab. At worst, it would scare me away from anything I might get addicted to.

    But to everyone who is offended and outraged...

    Seriously, did you even READ the book? And if you did ... can you really say you're surprised?
    Mike at 1/12/2006 05:26:00 PM

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    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.

    Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.

    "Christ's example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin