Penney Kome

Penney Kome is an award-winning author and journalist who has published six books with major publishers. She is also the Editor of Straight Goods. She is co-editor with Patrick Crean of Peace: A Dream Unfolding (1986, Sierra Club Books). She started marching against the atomic bomb when the placards were taller than she was, and she emigrated from the US to Canada in protest against the war in Vietnam.

Jun 242013

Flash floods may bring reassessment of fossil fuels' true costs.

by Penney Kome

Last Thursday, rising flood water overwhelmed Calgary as suddenly as an earthquake. Wednesday’s torrential rainfall seemed to be just another instance of Calgary’s skies dumping a month’s worth of precipitation in one day. But then the rain continued on Thursday too — and, says a CBC report,  the combination of still frozen ground in the mountains, saturated soil, and water’s tendency to run downhill led to a flood that paralyzed Canada’s fifth largest city

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Jun 132013
Obama with soldier.

President calls off War on Terror, forswears military force authority.

by Penney Kome

“America is at a crossroads,” US President Barack Obama said on May 23, in a speech that clearly stated his intention to end the US’s state of perpetual war, and to achieve that result at least partly by using drones. As I wrote in Drones: re-inventing war, drones are the key to changing international conflict from being hellishly bloody and expensive mass combat, to being intensely focused violence in a specific area for a short time — that is, policing.

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Jun 112013

Real time broadcast courtesy of RT (Russia Today) TV.

from RT TV

Turkey has deployed riot police at Taksim Square in Istanbul, the focus of the ongoing anti-government protest in the country. Hundreds of security troops have arrived at the scene early morning. The square itself was mostly empty of protesters at the time.

Taksim Square in real time

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Jun 032013

Mash-up showcases animals at their least gracious.

from YouTube

Watch for the cat boxing a dog while riding a Roomba vacuum.

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Apr 302013

New 'social progress' tool measures national and global social shortfalls.

by Penney Kome

“The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 and the challenges in Mexico over the last decade have illustrated the shortcomings of economic growth as a proxy for social progress,” said Harvard Business School Professor Michael E Porter. His team has produced a new 12-point measurement tool by which governments and social agencies can evaulate the social value of their investments and policies.

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Mar 042013

Unexpected move opens up OR time for elective surgeries.

by Penney Kome

Pots and pans have been banging and clanging in Banff lately, as residents marched to protest the sudden announcement that  Minerals Springs Hospital (MSH) will be closing its maternity ward, and the Operating Room (OR) time used instead to expand local surgeons’ joint repair and plastic surgery services for visitors.

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Feb 112013

Drones are the most awful weapons ever invented, except for all the others.

by Penney Kome

Drones! The very term conjures up images of the Terminator and Robocop, or at least Robosoldier. Peaceniks have been (justifiably) skeptical about this new technology. I’d like to play devil’s advocate, and suggest that drones may represent a turning point, from wholesale slaughters to much smaller-scale conflicts.

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Dec 182012
Faces of the children who died in Newton, CN, at Sandy Hook School

Repeal would let victims sue gun makers out of business.

by Penney Kome

On December 14, a man armed with several guns smashed a window and entered an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut — where he promptly started shooting. By the time he finished, six adults were dead and 20 young children were dead or dying.

On the very same day, another man entered an elementary school in China, armed with a knife, and attacked young children there. By the time he was restrained, 23 children had been wounded – two severely – but none died. 

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Dec 132012

Alberta's Child Well Being Initiative uses dolls to show how many kids go hungry.

by Penney Kome

At first glance, the photo looks like a quilt competition, with chains of women standing on the legislature steps, holding large brightly coloured sheets ruffling in the breeze. Ruffling? Yes, the quilts’ stripes are rows of paper dolls, and in Edmonton’s frigid blasts, anything not glued flat tends to ripple loose.  

Each doll represents a child, a child whose hands and feet are often cold in the winter, whose middle often feels hollow, whose head often aches from hunger, who knows not where the next meal or the next bed will come from. “The night before we delivered the paper dolls,” said Carolyn Pogue, “there were 21 guests in our church’s Inn from the Cold basement dormitory. Fourteen of them were children.”

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Dec 102012

Nuclear reactor accidents leave residents stranded in radioactive zone.

by Penney Kome

Getting news from Japan has been difficult since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdowns. The early December Ending the Nuclear Age conference in Chicago was fortunate to hear from three people very familiar with Japan: Akiko Yoshida from Friends of the Earth Japan; Dr Norma Field of Chicago, whose mother was Japanese and who visits Japan regularly; and Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima.

Akiko Yoshida brought photos, videos, charts and hard-to-find news about how the residents of Fukushima are faring.  Her presentations refuted the widespread notion that the people of Japan are too submissive and obedient to attend protest demonstrations.

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