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Founder of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy.
The Culture of Empathy website is a growing portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews, videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.
I am also working on a documentary on empathy
more bio here:
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 Failure of Center-Right Conservative Values, Principles, Ideology, Philosophy & Polices
In the face of a great defeat, conservatives have their new talking points. They are trying to make the case that America is really a Center-Right country. See this video from ThinkProgress of how conservatives are trying to make the case. What they are failing to acknowledge is that Center-Right Values, Principles, Ideology, Philosophy & Polices have failed and that the country is looking for a new direction.
Monday, November 3, 2008 Failed Conservative Values: Bill Honigman on Restrictive Intolerance and Porcupines
I interviewed Bill Honigman, who is the California State Coordinator of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). He said conservatives are restrictive and intolerant like porcupines. While he doesn't think the values of individual conservatives have failed, he feels the values of the conservative movement have failed. I have to disagree with him there. I feel that individual conservative values have manifest themselves in...
Sunday, October 26, 2008(4 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Markos (Kos) Moulitsas on Self-Delusion
I interviewed Markos (Kos) Moulitsas, founder of the Dailykos.com and asked him about the failure of conservative values. For him, the conservative value of self-delusion was the greatest failure. He says conservatives value their ideology over actual reality and he pointed out a series of examples of how this ideology ignores reality.
Monday, September 22, 2008(1 comments)
Progressives Blast Failed Conservative Values!
I've been asking people about the the failure of conservative values. Here are links to the latest batch of interviews that I just placed on Youtube. The failed values that come up are quite varied, but those sighted most often are fear, hypocrisy, conservative family values, division, rigidity, hyper individualism, self-delusion, etc. I also ask people to create a metaphor of what the Failed Conservative Values are like.
Saturday, September 13, 2008 Lipsticked Hydra at Failed Conservative 'Value Voters Summit'
This weekend conservatives are holding their annual Conservative Value Voters Summit 2008 in Washington DC. Last year I wrote an article about the Summit and called for counter rallies to challenge this conference as part of a progressive effort to Take Back the Values Debate. There didn't seem to be much interest or support of the idea among progressives. Progressives still miss the point.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008(3 comments)
Failed Conservatives Values: Jim Hightower on Grasping Greed
Every morning I can't get out of bed until I've heard Jim Hightower on my local NPR radio station. It's my inspiration to face another day. So, it was a real treat to meet him at the Netroots Nation Conference in his home town of Austin, Texas. I asked Jim about the failure of conservative values. He said the failure is the ethic of greed and the alternative to this are the progressive values of fairness, social justice and.
Sunday, September 7, 2008(2 comments)
RNC GOP Conservatives Failed to Remember Small Town Values
Here's a funny clip from the Daily Show's coverage of the Republican National Convention. In their various speeches, conservatives made a big point of trying to connect their Failed Conservative Values to Small Town Values. Yes, they never give up on the values debate and always try to add a new wrinkle to their rhetorical values debate arsenal. However, this time the Daily Show's best darn news team on the planet went o
Thursday, September 4, 2008(28 comments)
Sarah Palin and the Same Failed Conservative Values
Like at past Republic National Conventions, there has been a lot of talk about conservative values. Nothing new there, but this time the convention has the feeling of a sinking ship. The conservatives are doing a lot of talking about the exact same Failed Conservative Values that they have been talking about for the past 30 years. It's the same Failed Conservative Values of indifference, incompetence and...
Monday, August 18, 2008 Video: Rallies & Protests in SF as McCain and Obama Rake in the $$
Barack Obama came to the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel for a fundraiser yesterday on Sunday, August 17. He raised 7.5 million dollars. Just 3 weeks earlier John McCain had braved being corrupted by the dreaded 'San Francisco Values' at a fund raiser in the same hotel.
Saturday, August 16, 2008(5 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Gavin Newsom on Inclusivity and Noah's Ark
I interviewed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom about what he personally feels are the most important progressive values. He mentioned several progressive values, such as, Interdependence, Stewardship, Empathy and Tolerance, but focused on Inclusivity as the most important. He cautions progressives not to 'eat their young' and implode internally from all their differences.
Friday, August 8, 2008(3 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Gavin Newsom on Division & Schizophrenic Tasmanian Devils
The likes of Bill O'Reilly and Newt Gingrich have long railed against 'San Francisco Values' as a cause of America's ills. I sat down with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the Netroots Nation Conference in Austin, Texas to talk about conservative values. Gavin articulated the case for how the conservative value of division has failed. He listed case after case of failed results and finally likened conservative values to
Thursday, July 31, 2008 Melanie on Progressive Flying Monkey versus Conservative Snail Values
I attended an anti McCain rally at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. There I interviewed several people and asked them to create a metaphor for Progressive and Conservative Values and to create a dialogue between the two. In this story, Melanie sees conservative values as snails and progressive values as monkeys with wings. See how the snails and monkeys get along.
Sunday, July 27, 2008(6 comments)
Presidential Candidate Bob Barr on Failure of Conservative Values
At Netroots Nation in Austin, Texas, you can always tell when a VIP is in the room. Just look for the person with a deferential crowed gathered around them and follow the direction the cameras are pointed. - There was Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate. After patiently waiting for the other interviewers to finish asking their questions, I asked Bob, "Have Conservative Values Failed?"
Monday, July 14, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Zeus Yiamouyiannis on Innovation and Caring
In this interview Zeus Yiamouyiannis talks about how innovation is a progressive value. He also sees caring and nurture as progressive values and talks about having learned these values growing up on an organic farm and tending to the animals. On one hand, conservatives talk about traditional values of self interest and selfishness, on the other hand, innovation, caring and nurture are some traditional progressive values.
Sunday, July 13, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Jeremy Rothe-Kushel on Caring
In this interview, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel talks about the progressive value of caring. He recounts learning to care more deeply by being with his family at his great-grandmother's death bed. It's a learning process to expand your sense of care beyond just thinking of yourself - to caring for your family, community, nation and the world.
Sunday, July 6, 2008(13 comments)
Fatally Flawed Conservative Values; on Hypocrisy
Several people I asked about the failure of conservative values mentioned hypocrisy. Michelle, Owen and Steve brought up areas of conservative hypocrisy in; family values, education, finance, the economy, the occupation of Iraq and in human rights. While we all may exhibit varying degrees of hypocrisy in our lives, it seems that the conservative movement has embraced and institutionalized this value.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008(1 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Blame, Hate & Lying
I interviewed Congresswoman Maxine Waters and asked her about progressive and conservative values. In this section, Maxine mentions that conservatives have tricked people with the failed conservative values of blame, hate and lying. These values are also failing because more people are not following them anymore and in fact, people are starting to turn toward progressives values.
Saturday, June 28, 2008(1 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Gordon Wright on Psychopaths and Fear
Gordon Wright values freedom but was raised by a conservative autocratic, dictatorial and bully of a father. He feels conservatives fear life's changes and it's spontaneity. An example is how all of George Bush's public events are totally choreographed and controlled events. He also thinks that the corporate conservatives value of heartlessness and unfettered self-interest, are the same values as a psychopaths.
Friday, June 27, 2008(8 comments)
The Failed Conservative Values of James Dobson
James Dobson is a major leader of the social conservatives. He is considered one of the more moderate of the 'Value Voters' leaders because he doesn't support spanking any child under the age of 18 months, while other conservative leaders do. Dobson is now attacking Barrack Obama. Isn't it time for progressives to start unmasking how the values of the conservative movement have failed?
Thursday, June 26, 2008 Failed Conservative Values: Elaine Charkowski on Patriarchy Family Values
Elaine Charkowski talked to me about how conservative values have failed. She says, Conservative Family Values is about patriarchy and fear of authority. It's about not using your own mind and woman are to be subservient to the man. The type of power used is random punishment and reward, which studies show is the best way to drive animals crazy.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008(5 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Louise Specht on Hierarchy Authoritarian Narcissism
I asked Louise Specht about the the failure of conservative values. She addressed the hierarchal and authoritarian nature of conservativism and how this can lead to narcissism for the people at the top. Steven Colbert does a great job of imitating a conservative on the Colbert Report. I just saw him begin his show lately by saying, "Did I tell you I love me lately?" He hit's the nail on the head, as does Louise.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008(11 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Dona Ridgeway on Authoritarianism
Donna Ridgeway is a blogger living in the Santa Cruz, California area. She was raised republican and was in the military, but then started questioning. She says the Failed Conservative Value is authoritarianism, it's a lose lose situation because if the authoritarian fails, everything fails. However she sees a lot of problems with progressives as well. There's a lot of egos with progressives and herding cats is hard.
Saturday, June 21, 2008(1 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Arianna Huffington on Family Values Hypocrisy
Arianna Huffington is a well know progressive speaker and activist. She started the popular Huffington Post website and it seems you can't turn on a progressive TV show without her popping up on it and taking a swipe at the conservatives. I saw Arianna at our local bookstore where she was promoting her new book, The Right is Wrong. During the Q and A, I asked her how conservative values have failed. She had plenty to say.
Friday, June 20, 2008(8 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: They're Not Working - George Lakoff
George Lakoff is a linguistics professor at UC Berkeley and author of numerous books on metaphors, framing and politics. Howard Dean has called him, "one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement." George was at our local bookstore talking about his latest book, The Political Mind. During the question and answer period, I asked him if he personally feels that Conservative Values have Failed?
Friday, June 13, 2008(8 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: David Sirota on Economic Darwinism
David Sirota came and talked about his new book, 'The Uprising' at the Oakland Democracy for America meet-up on June 11, 2008. During the Q and A, I asked David how conservative values have failed and he talked about the failure of Conservative Economic Darwinism. The full video of his 70 minute talk is now online.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008(1 comments)
Attack of the Anaconda - Failed Conservative Values
Sometimes it helps to use a bit of imagination and creativity to look at things in a different way to shake up the status quo and change mindsets. I've been asking people to create a metaphor for the Failed Conservative Values. For example, if conservative values were a type of machine, or land, or animal, etc., what would they be like? Here are some of the images people came up with.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008(1 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Nancy Kops on Selfishness
I interviewed Nancy Kops and asked her about Failed Conservative Values and what are Progressive Values. She feels caring is the most important liberal-progressive value. She knows many conservatives and finds them to have good hearts and be very caring about the people around them. However, she can't figure out why they can be attracted to the Republican Party. She thinks they just don't see the big picture.
Monday, June 9, 2008(2 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Arun Akkineni on Self-Righteousness
I interviewed Arun Akkineni about Failed Conservative Values. He felt that self-righteousness is a Failed Conservative Value and it's scary and dangerous. With self-righteousness, you see the world as black and white and don't see the nuances. You also don't incorporate other peoples ideas, which makes for poor decision making. He points to the current conservative administrations creation of the war and occupation of Iraq..
Sunday, June 8, 2008(4 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Aris Harmon on Fear and Power
I interviewed Aris Harmon about the failure of conservative values. He said conservatives can be very nice people but they try to maintain the status quo and are afraid of change. For this reason, their fear of change is easily manipulated by other conservatives such as, Grover Norquist and Abramoff, whose sole value is power at any cost. He also sees the failure of critical thinking as the reason conservatives are so eas
Saturday, May 31, 2008(1 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: All about Greed
I interviewed people around the Democracy for America booth at the California Democratic Party Convention in San Jose. I asked people how have conservative values failed? It surprised me how many responded that the conservative value of greed was the biggest failure. Here are some of the comments.
Friday, May 30, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Jim Dean on Responsibility and Participation
In this second part of my interview with Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America, Jim talks about the Progressive Values of responsibility and participation. Progressives are now standing up to participate in and take responsibility over the political process. Democracy for America helps in supporting these Progressive Values of Responsibility and Participation.
Thursday, May 29, 2008(6 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Jim Dean on Corruption
I interviewed Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America (DFA) at the Democratic Party Convention in San Jose, California. I asked Jim how conservative values have failed. He says current conservativism is like a despotic dictator and is about corruption, power and the rewarding of friends.
Friday, May 23, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Norman Solomon on We're All in it Together
I interviewed Norman Solomon at the 2008 Democratic Party Convention in San Jose, California. Norman is a columnist and his book "War Made Easy" was recently made into a movie with Sean Penn narrating it. In this second part of the interview, he talks about the progressive value of responsibility for each other. This responsibility is the basis of the popular progressive phrase, 'We're All in it Together'.
Thursday, May 22, 2008 Failed Conservative Values: Norman Solomon on Dog Eat Dog Greed
I interviewed Norman Solomon at the 2008 Democratic Party Convention in San Jose, California. Norman is a columnist and his book "War Made Easy" was recently made into a movie. He talked about how he sees 'dog eat dog greed' as a Failed Conservative Value.
Friday, May 2, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Scott Henderson on the Common Good
I interviewed Scott Henderson in Los Angeles. Scott told me the Common Good was the most important progressive value and 'we're all in it together'. He tells a story about growing up in the 50's and feeling a sense of community, but that we've lost that now. He thinks conservatives characterize progressives as wanting to be supported by the state and thinks conservatives have good intentions and mean well, but....
Wednesday, April 30, 2008(7 comments)
Failed Conservative Values: Jeeni Criscenzo on Scapegoating
I interviewed Jeeni Criscenzo in Sacramento, California. Jeeni brought up the prevalent use of scapegoating by conservatives. I find it curios how a Conservative Movement that preaches individual responsibility is so adept at finding scapegoats and not taking true responsibility. I think it has to do with the type of responsibility they preach. It is not the unqualified progressive sense of responsibility,....
Sunday, April 27, 2008 Failed Conservative Values: Barack Obama on Status Quo versus Change
In his Pennsylvania primary speech, Barack Obama talked about change and how the Status Quo resists change. As I interview people about what are Progressive Values and about how Conservative Values have Failed, the interviewees repeatedly talk about the conservative fear of change and the promotion of the status quo.
Saturday, April 26, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Brianna Leavitt on Taking Back Family Values - Justice & Responsibility
I interviewed Brianna Leavitt at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. She feels conservatives have taken over the term Values and Family Values, but she doesn't want to just give up the words to them. She goes on to talk about the Progressive Values she learned in her family. Her mother always reached out to the poor and homeless. Brianna was taught empathy, justice and responsibility by her parents and grandmother.
Friday, April 25, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Peter Harvey on Community versus Intolerance
I interviewed Peter Harvey at a Oakland California Democracy for America meeting. Peter passionately talked about the progressive value of community and shared an early memory of the community reaching out to him. However, he thinks that conservatives have completely missed the mark of religious teachings by going off into intolerance
Wednesday, April 23, 2008(7 comments)
Failed Conservative Values Stories: Violence and Brutality
This article is a rather harsh critique of deeper Failed Conservative Values. In interviews, Richard Wagner told me he thinks thuggery is a failed conservative value and Herman Blackmon mentioned the lynch mob. I didn't think that either the lynch mob or thuggery were actually values. They seem more like manifestations of a value or perhaps of multiple values.
Sometime it's hard to know what is a value and what isn't.
Monday, April 21, 2008(28 comments)
Failed Conservative Values Stories: Barbara, Carole, Nina on Dogmatism
I'm starting a new series of articles on how Conservative Values have Failed. It's obvious that conservative ideas and policies have failed, but the failures go even deeper to the very heart and essence of the conservative movement, to their Failed Conservative Values. In this series, we will pull back the mask of Conservative Family Values, Conservative Traditional Values, individual freedom, individual responsibility, ind
Sunday, April 20, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Patricia Player on Security
Patricia Player volunteers for OneCareNow.org, the California single payer health insurance initiative. I interviewed her at a street fair in El Cerrito, California where she was staffing the One Care Now booth. She didn't identify as being progressive because she doesn't like labels. She did talk about the value and importance of security and from her talk, I realized the relationship between security and caring.
Saturday, April 19, 2008(2 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Michelle on Values or Non-values is Insulting
We interviewed Michelle on Earth Day when she was cleaning up Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. She's a lawyer and was very careful about the definition and meaning of the words; values, progressive, liberal, conservative, etc. She sees complexity in these words and doesn't like to generalize. Michelle also talked about how she finds it insulting the way conservatives talk about values and imply only they have them.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Kimon Kotos on Caring
From my 100 or so video interviews of people to date, I find the progressive value with the greatest emotional impact is caring. People will often become emotional and tear up when recounting stories about caring, having been cared for, or how they offered care to others. I find it is one of the most overlooked values mentioned by progressive leaders and politicians. I interviewed Kimon Kotos in Los Angeles.
Sunday, April 13, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Suzanne Kite on the Golden Rule
We continue with another story about the golden rule. In this interview with Suzanne Kite, she says that progressives value the Golden Rule, "Treat people like you'd like to be treated, and don't gossip." As she says, "The problem is in politics there's always gossip". I'm finding there seems to be a lot of different versions of the Golden Rule.
Saturday, April 12, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Mary L Jacobs on the Golden Rule and Respect
I interviewed Mary Jacobs in Los Angeles, California at a convention for California Democratic Clubs. At first she brought up the Golden Rule as a progressive value. She connected that to the importance of respecting all people. She told a story of how, at the age of 9 years old, she used a bit of violence to stand up to disrespect.
Friday, April 11, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: More Creative Progressive Metaphors
I didn't get many responses to my last post about creating a metaphor for progressive and conservative values. Come on progressives, be more imaginative. Let's make creativity a progressive value. I quite enjoy hearing and seeing the metaphors. When I individually sit down and ask progressives for a metaphor, after a little prodding, they always come up with great metaphors. Here are some more.
Thursday, April 10, 2008(1 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Metaphors of Progressive Values
When I interview people about progressive values, I've also asked them to create a metaphor of those values. Sometimes creating an image to represent some feeling or thought can shed some new light on it. It can illuminate some aspect that you may not have thought of before. I also find metaphors to be fun and creative. Here are several metaphors of what Progressive Values are like.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008(3 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Mimi Kennedy on Nonviolence
Mimi Kennedy is an actress and Advisory Board chair of the Progressive Democrats of America. I interviewed her at a conference in Los Angeles, California. She told me that nonviolence is her most important progressive value. She told me the story about having painfully learned the importance of truth and transparency at a young age as well.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008(3 comments)
Progressive Values Stories Rescue: Howard Dean on Values
Conservatives have done a good job of articulating their values and have dominated the national discussion of values. Progressives are now playing catch up and are working to reclaim the values debate. At the 2007 YearlyKos convention, Howard Dean addressed this values topic in his speech. He described the problem and laid out his suggestions for the most important Progressive Values. He suggested Fairness, ......
Sunday, April 6, 2008(2 comments)
Progressive Values Stories: Jeremy on Responsibility
I met Jeremy at a Wellstone training in Sacramento, California. He feels that responsibility is the most important progressive value and that conservatives have falsely defined democrats, liberals, and progressives as "tax and spend." He feels it's good that progressives are now speaking out about their values and that they actually are about fiscal responsibility.
Saturday, April 5, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Ahjamu Makalani on Justice
Ahjamu Makalani is Vice Chair for the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus. I asked him about the whole progressive values discussion and how he compares progressive and conservative values. For Ahjamu, justice is personally the most important progressive value.
Friday, April 4, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: John on Equality
I interviewed John at his house in Oakland, California. John says progressives are looking for equality, for fairness and for justice and that these are the same values that most Americans have. He went to Berkeley schools in the 60's and 70's, and was excited about the overall cultural search at that time of really trying to understand what equality might be.
Thursday, April 3, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Drew & Carol on Openness versus Secrecy
I met Drew at an Obama event in Oakland, California and Carol Hanelberg at a convention in Los Angeles. They both had in common a value of openness. Drew is disturbed about the secrecy in government and feels Barack Obama will bring transparency. Carol talked about openness starting at home and extending out to family, friends and society.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 Progressive Values Stories: Attica on Caring
I met Attica at a house party in Oakland, California. Attica talked about the progressive value of caring about our friends, our communities, our families, our country, the world. I enjoyed hearing her childhood 'funny moment' story of learning about caring from her grandparents.