Walmart, 112 Dead Bangaldeshis, And You


(My friends at the Fantasy Kingdom amusement park located near the site of the factory that burned on Sunday in Ashulia, Bangladesh, killing 112 workers.)

They stood at the windows of the building, 100-feet above the ground, skin boiling. Fire behind and nothing ahead.

There was no choice.

Was it more courageous to stay and burn or to jump? It takes about two-and-a-half seconds for a person to fall 100 feet. That’s two-and-a-half seconds of air cooling enflamed skin, two-and-a-half-seconds of relief before the end.

One of the advantages — and there are few — of jumping was that your family could identify your body. Eight workers jumped. Workers on the ground thought they were bails of clothing being thrown out the windows,…

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Time is the most important gift

It’s giving Tuesday! You know ever day after Thanksgiving has to have a theme, don’t you?  Tomorrow is…Wednesday?! Did we run out of themes?

Anyhow, this is the day when everyone is supposed to give to their favorite cause. Really this is something that you should do throughout the year and be very intentional about, and not wait for a post-Thanksgiving theme day or a cashier asking you if you’d like to give $1 to X cause.

Do you give when the cashier asks?

I don’t. Yes, I’m the guy in front of you at PetSmart who hates orphan puppies. I like to have more of a connection with a cause than a knee jerk reaction. I put more thought into my giving decisions than I do into what kind of gum…

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Wear a shirt that changes lives


The good folks at Forgotten Shirts have designed two “Where Am I Wearing?” inspired T-shirts. I’m a huge fan of Forgotten shirts. The shirts are sewn from Fair Trade cotton in Uganda where they provide opportunities to people who could use some. And then they are shipped to Minneapolis where 50 teenagers from poor neighborhoods work part-time to screen print the shirts and participate in a tutoring program.

From Uganda to Minnesota, Forgotten Shirts give opportunities to folks facing poverty. You can’t get more glocal than that. During a time when so many of us have forgotten about the lives of the people who make our stuff, Forgotten…

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That moment when you realize that an agent wants your book

You write and you write and you write. You have so many insecurities and questions.

“Is anyone else ever going to read this?”

“Will I allow anyone else to read this?”

Deep down you think that just maybe this book that you’ve slaved away at might be something. You go to the Midwest Writers Conference. You learn to pitch an agent. You pitch one agent and then another agent, and before it’s all said and done EVERY agent at the conference is interested in your book!

Right when this sinks in, I stick a camera in your face.

Your name is Summer Heacock (aka @fizzygrrl) ,go…

After Summer’s soliloquy of squee, Jama, the workshop’s directors, says, “This is why I do this.”

Like Jama, and hopefully like Summer, the conference played…

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Green Festival LA Today

As reported in the LA Times (!!!!), I’ll be speaking at the Green Festival today alongside Chris Yura of Sustain U. So, if you are in the area, stop in.  You can come for free.  Just tell them at the entrance that you are one of the speaker’s guests and then tell them you are my guest at the registration table.

Find me and I’ll buy you an organic beer or Fair Trade coffee.

Free entrance, free beer. How’s that for brightening a rainy Saturday in LA?



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50 percent of the nation disagrees with you

We live in polarizing times.

Has any generation not thought this?

Once you turn 30 you start to have “these kids and their…” moments. These kids and their Justin Beiber, awful cartoons, and 1,000-word per minute texting abilities. We look back on the days when we were young and our tastes were refined and we all got along. Of course, the generation ahead of us looked back and thought “these kids and their…” too.

The Red state Blue State divide. What’s the matter with Kansas? Obamacare vs. Death Panels. Muncie, my hometown, is no different. The Democratic party in town split. When the Democrat running for Governor of Indiana visited Muncie, he had to make two stops, one at the Democrat HQ and one at a…

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“It is with regret that I return my Eagle Scout badge.”

The Eagle Scout Award

Photo by Daniel M. Reck

John S. Nettleton, a fellow Eagle Scout, wanted me to share his letter. After I sent my Eagle award back and I was interviewed on Talk of the Nation, I’ve heard from many Eagle Scouts who have done the same thing.

I’m proud to be a former Eagle Scout with John and so many others who are standing for what is right.

Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive
The National Boy Scouts of America
1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, Texas 75015-2079

Dear Mr. Brock:

My congratulations on your appointment as BSA Chief Executive of the BSA; I trust your tenure will be productive and fulfilling. It is with regret…

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Students looking for Cliff’s Notes…

Where am I wearing? (part 1)

How exhaustive is the overview of WHERE AM I WEARING by Well, they made the Lego recreation above about the time I took 19 kids and 1 old farmer to Fantasy Kingdom in Bangladesh. If you are doing a report, story, or are just plain interested in diving into the subjects I wrote about in WEARING, I’ve never seen a better place to start.

This is by far the most extensive review of everything that’s ever been said about my book, both good and bad. These folks did their homework. I’m surprised they didn’t call my grandma to see what she thought.

Here’s how they introduce the book:


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