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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global issues.
"I am from Kansas so I also use the pseudonym 'Kansas' and 'alone' when I write and publish.- I-keep two blogs--one with BLOGGER and one with WORDPRESS.- My writings range from reviews to editorials or to travel observations.- I also make recommendations related to policy--having both a-strong background in teaching foreign languages and degrees in teaching in history and the social sciences.--As a Midwesterner, I also write on religion and living out ones faith whether it be as a Christian, Muslim or Buddhist perspective."
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Another Modest Development Proposal for my Omani Friends: Renewable Energy
In my college days in Kansas 4 decades ago, I studied a few courses related to international development and the courses often focused on concepts like sustainable development.The Sultan of Oman, i.e. in the country I have lived and taught in for the past 5 years, is currently suffering from a economic and development downturn.The problem is that, like my home state of Kansas, Oman has focused on austerity.Renewable Energy...
Saturday, June 25, 2016(4 comments)
To Oman from Kansas: Humble Solution for one Petroleum Overly Dependent Economy
Oman went from one of the most underdeveloped nations in the 1970s to one of the more developed Arab nations in a period of about 30 years. It did so by over-relying on petroleum industry--as did all the other countries in the GCC. With the recent glut in the oil market, all petroleum countries are scrambling to create a sustainable economy. The problem is these lands have focused on austerity. (This part 1 of a series)
Thursday, June 9, 2016(8 comments)
Will Duterte Help Reform the Philippines or Will he be a Black Mark and Repeat Abuses of the Past?
The garrote was the principal device used for capital punishment in Spain and the Philippines for one and a half centuries. Will the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, take the Philippines forward or will he join the long history of mediocre to bad presidents? He has promised to resign if he fails in 6 months? Can we hold him to that? In this book review of DEATH BY GARROTE, these issues are discussed.
Thursday, May 12, 2016(3 comments)
Federal Solutions are in Semitic Tradition and Arabian Peninsular States Should Embrace Them
The great federalist Daniel Elizar wrote, " The biblical grand design for humankind is federal in three ways: " It is based upon a network of covenants beginning with those between God and man, which weave the web of human, especially political, relationships in a federal way -- that is through pact, association and consent." Arab, Hebrew other cultures have historically embraced federalist solutions but not enough these days
Thursday, April 14, 2016(14 comments)
Why Sanders and the Pope Mostly Get Along
All and all, Sanders and the leaders of CST teaching of the Catholic church have a lot in common to think and talk about this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing what comes of the renewed Socialist-Catholic relationship in years to come.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016(1 comments)
Will Oman Ever Get Saudi Arabia (Kicking and Crying) out of its Yemeni Quagmire?
As the USA continues to sell billions of dollars of military hardware and manpower training to the Saudi Kingdom, the nation of Oman sits perched to help the KSA get out of its quagmire in Yemen. However, isdom in Saudi Arabia is still lacking as bombings of Sana'a and other parts of Yemen continue to destroy the lives of thousands and millions
Wednesday, October 14, 2015(2 comments)
Hunger of Memory--Nearly a Quarter Century Later
It has been over a quarter of a century since Richard Rodriguez hit the national stage in American imagery and media. Has he been a positive or negative force in the modern era of multiculturalism? I think so--even though Rodriguez has been anti-affirmative action, anti-bilingual education, and been anti-chicano.
Thursday, September 17, 2015(8 comments)
The Tories and Immigration: "Is Cameron in the minority on the issue of Immigration?"
Spectator wrote, "In theory, the Conservative party should be the natural home of new voters who are ambitious, entrepreneurial, hard-working and family-orientated. The immigrant vote--to the extent it can be considered a coherent block at all--ought to be fertile Tory territory. By and large, these are families who have moved to Britain to get ahead and to avail themselves of what Michael Howard called 'the British dream'."
Monday, September 14, 2015(1 comments)
Jim Morrison, the Beat Poet?, and a Revolving Door Upbringing
The whole world would have looked like a Revolving Door to Jim Morrison after visiting just a dozen schools--but he had to move to nearly two dozen. In those cold war days, if you were an American kid, like Jim Morrison, you'd have had to become (or develop) a new person/person in every place you arrived at, i.e. if you didn't wish to be quashed by the authorities pigeonholing you.
Thursday, September 10, 2015(3 comments)
Don Mosley's book, Faith Beyond Borders, Calls Us to Act
Since the 1990s, Mosley and his Jubilee Partners have been speaking to Christian churches every where.M says "I long for the day when every church congregation in the United States that claims to follow Jesus clamors to have the privilege of sponsoring at least one of these refugee families! The churches themselves would be tremendously blessed, and the suffering in those 'warehouse' camps would be drastically reduced, What i
Wednesday, April 29, 2015(16 comments)
Obama is Going Back to Basically Sound Political Science & Should Veto and Carry Out Executive Orders!
Game theory is the study of strategic decision making. Specifically, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers." By failing to use veto power and executive orders properly both the Clinton and W. Bush did much less in their second terms of office than they could have. Only by using vetoes and executive orders more often can a president be effective.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015(11 comments)
OMAN & ITS SPECIAL HISTORY: Retrospect, Present, & Future?
How has Oman managed to mostly stay out of the Middle East debacles in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Syria while its neighbors, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE (along with Yemen) have been engulfed in fighting and in financing civil wars? Let's review the history and see if peacemakers can learn from the Oman story, which in the 1950s and 1960s saw jihadis from Saudi+Maoist and Soviet insurgencies+ other fighters here.
Sunday, April 12, 2015(4 comments)
What's it like living next door to War-Torn Yemen? (Part 3): More on Empathy & Reflections
What does American national religion have to do with what America represents or abroad? If you are not American, what kind of national religion did you grow up in or were you programmed with? What about Christianity? what other religion holds sway? What ideology? What theology? What is the way to live now and when the warring is done?
Wednesday, April 8, 2015(3 comments)
Oman, its Youth, Their Job Security, Omanisation, Inefficiencies, & the Future
Currently Omani women make up about 45 or 46 % of the jobs in the government or public sector while only making up about 22 percent in the private sector. The military provides the largest numbers of jobs in the country of any entity but women play less of a role in that sector. The military and government of Oman are putting up a lot of monies now to retrain those leaving the military, i.e. forced to retire young
Sunday, March 29, 2015(2 comments)
Low Level Mutual Embargo via the USA and Oman through Postal System--Why?
Who says government agencies are logical? or supportive of community interests? An embargo by definition is a "governmental restriction on trade for political purposes."
But there are other ways intergovernmental agencies use embargoes to make it hard for their cross-national partners (and its own citizens) by usage of embargo by state authorities. Kevin Stoda discusses this with his example on Oman-USA today.
Sunday, September 7, 2014 Disowning Sons? (in Islam?)
Is there a growing trend for parents to disown their offspring who go off to fight in jihads without their permission? What is the rationale for the trend (if there is one)?
Saturday, June 21, 2014(8 comments)
Rolling Back the Clock? --Progressive Style?
By rolling back the clock on injustices, we (and our children) will experience an America where cases of war criminality are tried in court and not by drone attacks from above. We could even offer up former presidents, vice-presidents, defense secretaries, lawyers and others up to the International Court in the Hague to show our contrition to the world and immediately take real acts of remorse--paying indemnity to victims.
Thursday, April 17, 2014(93 comments)
Clive Bundy and Jesus' Parable of the Vineyard
"A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time." So, starts one parable that raises up the sins of the posse of Clive Bundy.
Saturday, March 8, 2014(9 comments)
How to Think and Survive in a Militarized US Society
This is an important time for us in the peace movements in the USA and around the world. We are finally gaining a mass of heroes around which we can raise generations to think, act, and serve the country and the world differently. The struggle for resistance to a militarized American mind is important. As a lifelong educator, I wish to share part of the process and insights from my early life. I also lift up new heroes.
Thursday, February 27, 2014(3 comments)
The relationship between an SS-WhistleBlower in Nazi Germany and what we need to be witnessing MORE OF
Dear Americans and proponents of peace, justice, and freedom world wide,
Creative resistance is now more needed than ever. Begin to react, infiltrate, and change this status quo that has spiritually, emotionally, and socially impoverished our world with endless war as its only main productive aim. Stop terrorism and all its ilk–even if it is state terrorism as Kurt Gerstein faced on a daily basis throughout his youth.
Friday, February 21, 2014(2 comments)
Empathy for Learners—One Way to Have more for TESOLers in Oman and Elsewhere
Currently on Planet Earth, roughly one hundred million people have found themselves teaching English or some other second, third or fourth language, like Chinese, Spanish or French, to others. Teaching and Learning Languages is a lifelong project for some. For others, it is just the act of helping one's fellow man become economically viable. This article is about empathy, and lifelong learning for the teacher/student.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013(3 comments)
Memory from Nazi Germany and Images of the Trial of Bradley Manning
Nazi-led Total War (1943-1945) under Goebbels and Hitler brought only further starvation and destruction to his homeland--even after Thoelking had been thrown in the brig and he had been threatened with charges of aiding and abetting the cause of the enemy. Why should not a soldier (Manning) speak the truth about war to his comrades and the powerful military brass in such an instance? Likewise, why should soldiers be prohi
Thursday, May 30, 2013(4 comments)
Collective Occlusion: American Narratives and Silencing of Important Cultural Memories
Each of us grows up in a home with a distinct history and a distinct perspective on the meaning of larger historical events. Our parents' stories shape our historical consciousness, as do the stories of the ethnic, racial, and religious groups that number us as members. We attend churches, dubs, and neighborhood associations that further mold our collective and individual historical selves.
Monday, April 22, 2013(22 comments)
How to Help your Employees, Administrators, and Students Understand What Unites Them - and What Makes Them Unique
Too many countries, especially those here in the Middle East, are focusing on high-stakes exams instead of making the classroom reflect more of what we experience in the real world. In this paper the author encourages colleagues, trainers, and teachers across two continents to strive to use simulations and simulation games in class and in training sessions. He focuses on on well-known simulation on culture: BARNGA.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 My Octogenarian Taxi Driver and finding Insights into Oman
In no other country have I learnt more from indigenous Taxi drivers than I have in Oman. (I have been to over 100 lands.) I suggest you probe your taxi driver to find out what is going on when you travel here. I have heard that even the Sultan sometimes drives a taxi to get the pulse of his nation, too. So, take advantage of this opportunity for insight when in Oman.
Monday, July 2, 2012(8 comments)
Attendance Reforms Still Needed in Schools & Universities of the Arab World
The issue of "dumbing down" the curricula has been a worry for educators , students, and families for generations.But the government can do better when it allocates resources, so that "dumbing down" is not demanded of a curriculum.This article makes a proposal concerning student allowances and bonuses to promote good learning behaviors and models, especially in Middle Eastern classrooms.Unemployability is already a big issue
Friday, June 1, 2012(2 comments)
Culture Shock Oman: Modesty in the LR
I want to share the following anecdote not-because the incident in-itself is all that profound--, but rather, it is how I responded and began to search for explanation behind the "culture shock" or how I sought to recover from it which provide a model for what I suggest you follow when living and working abroad, especially in the Arab world.
Monday, May 7, 2012 MISSING CLASSES--What to do when Motivating Lessons are not Enough: Notes from Developing Lands
Over 25 years ago, when I first studies international development, I was told to not allow a lot of cultural baggage to get in the way of development. We were told to not judge nor impose. However, I have come to one of those junctions where the society is developing adversely and a spade needs to be called a spade. Learning does not take place in a vacuum. I am talking about issues of absenteeism, truancy and time.
Saturday, April 28, 2012(1 comments)
Group Evaluations that Support and Clarify Professional Practices and Soft Skills for Students
In the Arab world, there have sometimes been discrepancies between the training offered at the tertiary levels and the present (& future) needs of the labor market, many students, teachers and integrate themselves as individuals in a successful group, office, or team. Evaluation practices that support students and society well in terms of both improving individual achievement in the academic- and professional worlds.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012(4 comments)
How important is Classroom Attendance for University Students?
On the one hand, American university students are forced to have high attendance in the classroom. In contrast, universities in other lands are often not too concerned at all about attendance. Only recently in India and the Middle East have schools even begun to consider actual attendance in courses to be of concern. This is because they are test -driven societies. The test is more important than time in the class.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012(1 comments)
Jeff Quinn's "Man On The Scene: Kaliu"--Insights into Taiwan and East Asia
In a way, this sort of confusion at what it means to live and travel in a globally integrated world are revealed both in Jeff's reflections in Kaliu and in the reality of the confusing geo-political hotspot--which we all still-know as the Two-China Policy reality that U.N. member states and their citizens have been confronting for 4 decades now
Sunday, February 12, 2012(5 comments)
"SUBCONTRACTING" and Teaching Word-Wide
Have you worked as a subcontractor? How have you been treated ? how secure have you felt? This article looks at the topic of subcontracting and education--world-wide.
Monday, January 23, 2012(2 comments)
(Part 2) Two Large Scale English Teacher Exchange Programs Compared in Japan and Taiwan
East Asian states are turning to foreign language education and foreign language teachers from abroad to empower their students. This second article, which focuses on the issue of grassroots and the need to empower local stakeholders early on, is part of a series of pieces comparing large-scale teacher exchange programs.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011(1 comments)
Part 3: Teaching and Contrasting Cultures "Blowin' in the Wind"
In short, most of the class of Taiwanes students focused on the straining and stoic momentum expressed in the text, "Blowin' in the Wind". Well over the majority did not interpret it as a hopeful, marching, protest song.
In short, these students would concur with Bob Dylan himself, who had said, " "This here ain't no protest song or anything like that"."