Awesome Washingtonians and Americans Compared to the rest of the World

Although racism is still an issue in our country and in our nation’s capital, when was the last time you witnessed things like what you are about to see in the video below in DC or the rest of our country?

Having lived and worked in the EU including London, Bonn, Paris, and Madrid from 2002 through mid 2006, grew up in Shiraz and Tehran, visited many Middle Eastern and Asian countries, I can absolutely confirm the story in this video. I not only experienced this firsthand within their sports community and infamous hooligans, but everywhere including intellectuals, company executives, and the educational community.

As a naturalized US citizen who got off the boat from Iran back in mid 80’s and prior to my temporary move to Europe in 2002, I thought that we in America were racist. Boy, what the hell was I thinking? I agree there are still some pockets of racism in our country, but it is mostly among the undereducated community,. which is quite usual for any country and culture. Read more of this post

Ashley Judd Speaks Out Against Mountain Top Removal At Washington D.C. Luncheon

Ashley Judd and spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defense Council is heading to Washington, D.C. to speak up for Mother Earth.

Today, Judd will be discussing the controversial practice of mountain top removal coal mining at a National Press Club luncheon. Mountain top removal — which President Obama has called “one of the most destructive industries in America” — has leveled hundreds of Appalachian peaks, clearcut forests, destroyed thousands of miles of streams and poisoned drinking water in communities throughout southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, northeastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky.

According to the National Press Club:

“Judd, a Kentucky native, has long been outspoken about the need to stop this harmful mining method. As part of this effort, she has partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups to raise national awareness of the problem and to inspire others to join the fight to end mountaintop removal.”

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Natalee Holloway Resource Center Opened in Washington, D.C.

Beth Holloway, mother of Natalee Holloway, the young woman who disappeared in Aruba five years ago, opened the Natalee Holloway Resource Center (NHRC) yesterday. The non-profit will help families of missing people, and is located in Washington, DC, at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

According to the NHRC page on the National Museum of Crime and Punishment website, the mission of the NHRC is to offer “educational programs, including a traveling safe program, crime prevention, and [to encourage people to pursue] careers in the fields of forensic science and law enforcement. It also provides families of missing persons with an action plan, missing poster templates, contacts, resources, and handles press releases and media reach.” The Center does not actually work directly in recovery efforts, but helps families get the resources they need to help in the process.

Natalee’s name has been in the news recently because police have recently arrested Joran Van der Sloot, who is a suspect in the Natalee Holloway’s missing persons case. He has been charged with attempted extortion, as he allegedly tried to get $250,000 from the Holloway’s in exchange for information about their daughter. Van der Sloot confessed on Monday to the murder of a female Peruvian college student.

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D.C. Hospitals Policies for Gays and Lesbians

One of America’s most prominent human rights organizations said Washington, D.C., scores low in hospitals that follow nondiscrimination policies for gays.

The Human Rights Campaign released their 2010 Healthcare Equality index today. The reports shows that eight of 17 local hospitals do not clearly include a reference to sexual orientation or gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

The report comes after President Barack Obama’s announcement in April directing his administration to require all hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding to protect the visitation and healthcare decision-making rights of LGBT patients, according to the HRC website. Almost all hospitals in the United States receive Medicare and Medicaid money. Read more of this post

Is Russia Silicon Valley for Real or just the New way for the Russian Mobs get Richer?

Here in Awesome DC, we try to keep our focus on everything related to DC. However, as a serial entrepreneur, I found the recent buzz on Russia’s Silicon Valley too good not to blog about.  I think it will affect most of us here in DC in an intangible way.

Reuters reported that Siguler Guff & Company, the NY based private equity firm sitting on a $8.5 billion will be investing $250 million of their fund on Russian Silicon Valley, Skolkovo. The investment will be mostly on digital infrastructure and IT services for Skolkovo which is the first foreign investment on Skolkovo,  according to Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, and more to come.

Siguler Guff got to be either on crack or they are somehow deeply connected to the corrupted Russian business system known as “Russian Mafia”. Read more of this post

$100 Tablet from One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) announced their initiative to build the $100 tablet through their partnership with silicon solutions maker Marvell by 2011.

The hardware will be produced by Marvell using its Moby Platform, featuring a built-in camera for video conferencing, and support for 3D graphics and Flash. The first version of the tablet would be equipped with Google’s Android operating system. Read more of this post

Omidyar Network Commits $10M to White House Social Innovation Fund

Omidyar Network, the Silicon Valley philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam committed $10 million over two years to the White House Social Innovation Fund.

The DC-based fund, launched last year by the Corporation for National and Community Service, provides capital to expand innovative local programs that help solve critical national problems such as poverty, failing schools and childhood obesity. Read more of this post

Rally in Washington DC for Financial Reform

Kamran Abdi
Crowd of protesters converged on K Street in Washington, D.C., yesterday in support of the Wall Street reform bill (S. 3217) pending in the Senate.  Protesters, ignored the steady rain, heard speeches from a wide array of organizations, including National People’s Action, SEIU, AFL-CIO, and Jobs with Justice. Read more of this post

Gay Marriage Licenses Hit New Record in DC

Kamran Abdi
In the first three months of 2010, the court processed 376 applications.

Since March 3 — when gay marriage became legal in the District — the marriage license office has received 2,082 applications. Based on the early numbers, the District is on target to issue four times as many marriage licenses this year as they did in 2009. Read more of this post

Jon Stewart Stands Up For South Park

Elias Shams
The Best of The Daily show for this week wasn’t FOX bashing 🙂  Instead, Jon Stewart came to the aid of his Comedy Central family, defending “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their controversial (and censored) episode in which they portrayed Muhammad. I guess Jon Stewart didn’t get the memo that insane religious idiots have no sense of humor.

The censorship by Comedy Central was meant to protect Parker and Stone, following death threats from radical, NY-based Revolution Muslim which according to Stewart means that while they praise Osama Bin Laden and celebrate 9/11, they have access to our theater district, Jewish delis, and parks. read more…