Olga Bonfiglio

Olga Bonfiglio is a professor at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and author of Heroes of a Different Stripe: How One Town Responded to the War in Iraq. She has written for several national magazines on the subjects of social justice and religion. Her website is www.OlgaBonfiglio.com. Contact her at olgabonfiglio@yahoo.com.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, August 06, 2009
The Oak Ridge Conundrum of War and Peace
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, “the city that made the atom bomb,” clearly illustrates the difficult conundrum people must face when their government decides to build a stockpile of highly lethal nuclear weapons. The origins of this conundrum are steeped with justifications like (a) “the bomb” ended the World War II and saved American lives; (b) the weapons protect us from our enemies and have prevented World War III; and (c) the research and manufacture of nuclear products preserve jobs, homes, and the local economy.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009
Gardening Changes Fast Food Addict's Life
Last summer, Kalamazoo College senior Nick Leonard discovered a new way of life by way of his senior project. The pre-law English major was concerned about environmental issues, but he wrestled with ways he could approach this complex and multi-faceted subject in an authentic and compelling way that was meaningful to him. Thanks to his girlfriend, who is a gardener and an activist in the local food movement, Nick decided to seek a two-and-a-half-month internship with the Detroit urban garden program.
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Sunday, July 05, 2009
Happy Birthday America: How Exceptional Are You?
Today, as we celebrate the birth of our nation as the world's beacon of freedom and democracy, we might also ponder the insights from a book by Godfrey Hodgson, The Myth of American Exceptionalism . Exceptionalism is an especially pertinent topic for us during this insecure period of empire, war and economic decline.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Urban Agriculture as a Career Path
DETROIT — “I want to be an urban farmer,” said Tom Howe, 19, a freshman at Wayne State University. “I want to start a community garden in some kind of ecovillage with farmers and chefs.” This may seem an unusual career goal for a young man of the twenty-first century, let alone one from Birmingham, an upscale middle class suburb of Detroit. It’s also counter-intuitive that a major university located in the middle of the cultural center could offer Howe a means to his aspirations.
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Friday, May 29, 2009
Who Wants to Be George W. Bush?
BENTON HARBOR/ST. JOSEPH, Michigan – Private citizen George W. Bush poked his head out from his quiet, exclusive Dallas neighborhood last night to give his first major speech since leaving office. Ironically, the place he picked is near one of the nation’s poorest, most racially divided cities. It also happens to be in one of the reddest, most conservative congressional districts.
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Monday, May 18, 2009
Back to the 'Old Normal' of Domesticity
This year I decided to learn how to garden. My resolve wasn't just a notion for a new pastime or a move toward hip liberalism. Rather, it was my response to global warming and in particular, the depletion of fossil fuels, which has a direct effect on our food system.
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009
It's Human Security, Stupid, Not National Security
Jody Williams is an emotional, strong-willed and determined woman. She is also passionate and not averse to yelling, swearing or pounding on the podium when it comes to creating a peaceful world. “We can only be secure when justice and the sharing of resources in the world are present,” said the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient to an audience of nearly 400 at the annual Great Lakes PeaceJam held last weekend at Western Michigan University. “Human security, not national security will bring security to everyone in the world.”
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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Our National Report Card on War
Today marks six years since the start of the Iraq War and six years and five months since troops invaded Afghanistan. These wars were presumably started in response to 9/11 in the attempt to stop terrorism and protect us from Saddam's caches of WMD. So, how are we doing? Let's take a look. Over the past six years in Iraq we have buried 4,261Americans and 317 coalition troops and seen 31,102 Americans wounded ( www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties ).
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Monday, March 16, 2009
Hot, Flat, and Bothered
Thomas Friedman has done it again. He has taken a global situation, this time it's climate change, and set out to educate the public about how we got there and what we can do about it. However, in his explanation, the self-described "somber optimist" inadvertently ends up salving readers with the expectation that technology will save us and we can go on with our lives as usual. Hot, Flat and Crowded focuses on the threats and opportunities of climate change in this new age that he calls the Energy-Climate Era (ECE), which begins now.
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Thursday, March 05, 2009
Apologize, Apologize, Do Not Feel Free to Avert Your Eyes
Recently, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said it would be “wonderful if [Mr. Obama] would apologize for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on behalf of the American people.” Such an act would submit our nation to the power of forgiveness, which is what Nelson Mandela did when he became president of South Africa.
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