Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

I seldom write about politics here — because in a democracy everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But when children are being deliberately brutalized for political gain, it becomes a moral imperative to speak up. My hope is that some of you will call your representatives in Congress and ask them to please support more […]


One of my goals when I travel is to get beneath the touristy veneer of a city and actually interact with its people. It’s not always about photography — although I’ve gotten much more comfortable with being an awful street photographer. Rather, it’s about forging a human connection. And, as a tourist, some of the […]


Esteban and I had the tremendous privilege and honor this morning of hearing His Holiness The Dalai Lama give the opening speech of The Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Now in its 26th year, the Forum tackles not only the hopeful topic of world peace, but also more pressing social issues such as faith, human rights, […]


I’m the first to admit it: I dressed kind of weird when my family moved to Minnesota from Peru. My innate lack of style — and years of wearing the state-mandated gray school uniform — somehow led me to believe that green-and-white plaid pants were OK. Of course, my pants were not OK. Neither was […]


Yesterday I got the news that a former colleague committed suicide. I didn’t know Larry Oakes very well in my days at the Star Tribune. Mostly, he worked out of the Duluth bureau — but occasionally he’d call the news desk in Minneapolis and ask me to transcribe a story. I remember him as a […]


A story ran in the New York Times the other day about a cop who encountered a barefoot homeless man in Times Square. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” [Officer Lawrence DePrimo] said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” […]


When I accidentally documented a major news event in 2007, my photojournalist friends advised me to hire a rights-management agency — and fast. I was grateful for their advice: Within 24 hours, my images were all over the Internet. Most of the online news sites had acquired the photos through the Associated Press. But a […]


My friend Tom (aka., “The Blogfodder”) has been at it again. Today he sent me a treasure trove of great reads—including some good advice, should I decide to become a busker: “If you can’t be original, be good.” (I couldn’t help but think of my pal Rudy McLeod, who is both original and good.) I […]


The United Nations is calling it one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades. Almost 11 million people are suffering, a quarter of Somalia’s population is displaced, and an estimated 10,000 people a day are dying of hunger. Scores of others are battling malaria. The pictures are heartbreaking. Tyler Hicks, The New York Times via […]


Today is Holocaust Martyrs Remembrance Day, and I wanted to post something to mark the occasion. I’ve written before about being moved by the memorial plaques that dot Paris’ streets … about the brilliant individuals—like Hélène Berr—whose lives were senselessly snuffed out … about mass actions against the innocent. But today I’m not going to […]


I’ve been thinking a lot about resurrection and redemption these past few days. Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched two friends struggle with their husbands’ alcoholism. One had the courage to throw down an ultimatum—either you stop drinking, or I leave—and to follow through when her husband chose the bottle. The other has […]


Exactly one week and one hour from this moment, I hope to be landing in Paris. Is it wrong that I’m already packed?


It’s been 10 days since my husband had a heart attack. I spent the first few days shuttling between our house and the hospital. Then, I did my best to support Esteban’s recovery at home. I worried on Monday that he was still in pain, but yesterday Esteban called me from the grocery store. “Need […]


Esteban’s uncle Cliff died this morning. He was 85 and he’d been battling Alzheimer’s for a decade. So when he fell last weekend and broke several bones — and when he developed pneumonia a few days later, and when he lapsed into a coma yesterday — his family knew it was time to let Cliff […]


For more than a year, Facebook has been under fire for its capricious privacy practices. Last year the Wall Street Journal reported on the sharing of Facebook users’ information, without their knowledge or consent: Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing […]


Yesterday I heard about a woman who fell into a shopping mall fountain because she was text-messaging (“texting”) while walking. Today I heard that she has hired a lawyer, and plans to sue. Among her allegations: She feels humiliated. Hmmm. The video didn’t identify her by name. But now she’s (very publicly) taking legal action. […]


Well, here we go again: It’s New Year’s Eve. And starting tomorrow, millions of people will resolve to be better—and do better—in the year ahead. I’m a big supporter of self-improvement. So if you’ve decided to lose weight or quit smoking or cut down on your drinking, I highly recommend zenhabits.com. I’m also a big […]


Earlier this summer, I wrote that all art is in some way derivative. I was reminded of that post when this week’s issue of Time arrived. Tim O’Brien’s cover illustration of Sarah Palin “in progress” ignited a spark of recognition. I’d seen a similar image before—and I knew exactly when and where. Here’s a snapshot […]


Today, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson dealt a legal blow to President Obama’s health care overhaul by declaring it unconstitutional. At issue is whether the federal government has the authority to mandate universal insurance coverage. I obviously can’t speak to the constitutional issues. But I can say with some certainty that the current system is […]


Imagine being being locked in a small room with a man who has a violent history. A couple of people are watching from behind a reinforced-glass window as the man in the room starts beating you. You pound on the window, pleading for help, but the people behind the glass just watch. You fall to […]