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The Sympathizer

Vietnam is a country, not a war.

The war known as the “Vietnam War” was fought by the generation before mine from the early 1960’s until 1975. In the most simplistic terms, the Vietnam war was a civil war between North and South Vietnam (sound familiar?) with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong (a South Vietnamese Communist group) fighting to reunify Vietnam under a communist rule.

The US became involved in the conflict to prevent communism from spreading because the American leaders felt threatened by democracy’s counterpart. Russia and China backed North Vietnam while the US, South Korea, Australia and several other countries backed South Vietnam. After years of fighting, the North Vietnamese captured Saigon in 1975 ending the war (the US lost) and the two regions were reunified into a communist country. Read more »


Where does $1 to Teleton go?

Fundacion Teleton USA is primarily known as Teleton – a Texas-based 501 (c) (3) whose stated mission is to “raise critical funds and awareness to inspire a more inclusive, accepting world for children with disabilities and their families.” Specifically, Teleton raises funds “to build and support the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of Teleton USA (CRIT), which assists children with neurological and musculoskeletel disorders, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, genetic disorders, and amputations.” In other words, Teleton raises funds to help kids but exactly how much goes to the kids? About 25 cents of every dollar, according to the most recent financial information (2014 IRS Form 990).

If you contributed $1 to Teleton in 2014, this is how the dollar was spent: Read more »


The Ultimate Dairy-Free Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese sandwich is classic comfort food that makes for the perfect lunch along with a bowl of soup (preferably tomato). Two pieces of whole grain bread grilled on a skillet (with a touch of olive oil) with cheese oozing out the sides is so simple and yet so satisfying. Crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, the grilled cheese sandwich was one of my favorite go-to sandwiches when I wanted to taste total deliciousness.

Being plant-based doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this all American favorite thanks to Field Roast CHAO Slices – rich and creamy vegan cheese slices that melt just like Cheddar, American, Provolone, or Muenster when placed between two slices of bread and grilled on the stove or in a panini maker. Read more »


The Israeli Conflict in 700 Words

Every newspaper, magazine, and media outlet is spewing out articles about Israel these days – often with several related stories because there is simply so much information and an abundance of opinions, all of which can be overwhelming. The conflict between Israel and the rest of the world is daunting and polarizing which is all the more reason the public needs to be informed. With that in mind, the Israeli conflict is described below in 700 words: Read more »


The Big Why Questions for 2017….

With the beginning of a new year comes hope for a better future, a more enlightened approach to problem solving, and a commitment to do better. And, so we ask ourselves the questions that transcend time. Questions that hang over us like a wet towel or an annoying mosquito that never seems to go away. Questions that we try not to think about because they may be too hard to solve. Questions that are complicated, inconvenient and often easier to dismiss than figure out. But, questions nonetheless that are worthy of our time because they make us look at our ourselves and see if our actions are aligned with our beliefs. The questions also make us wonder if we are part of the problem or the solution. Read more »


Where does $1 to United Way of New York City go?

United Way New York City (UWNYC) is just one of  46 United Way chapters in New York and one of 1,256 chapters in the United States, but this northeast chapter office raised more than $57 million last year and distributed nearly $40 million (69%) in grants to organizations that focus on health, education, and income. United Way is – for lack of better words – a way to unite people and organizations. Read more »