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      I was born in 1968, the year Wallerstein calls one of “world revolution”. It was a revolution that both failed and succeeded: women and minorities got more rights, often a lot more, but the end result was an oligarchy, where most people were equal in their lack of power, and where every year saw ordinary people becoming poorer, no matter what the official st […]
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Sunday: Happy Father’s Day!

Round up your dad, or a reasonable facsimile, and treat him nicely today.  If my dad were still around, I’d take him to a baseball game.  I love to go to the local minor league team games and swill beer all afternoon.  At the Somerset Patriots park in Bound Brook, NJ, you can get Sam Adams or Bass Ale and kick back with a bag of peanuts to watch tubby suburbanites make complete fools of themselves between innings.  Loads of fun.

If I were in Pittsburgh, I’d be mourning the last day that Iron City Beer was produced in the city.  Iron City, pronounced Arn City, is moving to Latrobe, PA.  The company owes the water company some ridiculous amount of money and sold the facility to pay it off.  (So, THAT’S what explains its unique “flavor”.)  You’ll still be able to get Iron City during a Pirates game, if you really want to, (it’s like lutefisk.  Tradition)  but it won’t be authentic somehow.  But who knows, maybe Latrobe water will make it taste better.

Anyway, if baseball and beer are not your dad’s cup of tea and you don’t do ice-cream, maybe you’d rather spend some money on the world in your dad’s name.  We have two suggestions for you.

First up, you can check out the Clinton Foundation.   It’s doing work all over the world to address climate change, HIV/AIDS and sustainable development.  In the present financial environment, big donors are cutting back on their charitable giving (thank you Bernie Madoff).  The Clinton Foundation has done some really wonderful work and it would be a shame if money became the limiting reagent.  Maybe some of us small donors can step up and make up the difference.  If you donate today, you can send your dad an e-card to show him what a good thing you did with your allowance.

Second, check out The Confluence’s team page on Kiva.  Kiva is a microlending organization that assists small entreprenuers internationally and in the US.  You can lend in increments of $25.00.  That’s little more than a yuppie food stamp.  And your donations combined with others will add up very quickly.  When the loan is paid off, you can turn that money around and lend it out again.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Money’s tight during the summer, what with camps and stuff.  But I can cough up a few bucks for these organizations and feel pretty good about my Father’s Day.  If Daddy were still here, he’d say, “You’re alright, kid, I don’t care what they say.”

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