“Granito: How to Nail A Dictator” to air on some public television stations


I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala in the late 1980s.  Since that time, I have tried to stay informed about what is going on there.  It is an amazingly beautiful country with a brutally violent history.  It was with great sadness that I recently learned that the United States will no longer send volunteers to Guatemala and many other Central American countries because of an escalation of drug war violence.

(As an aside, I recommend that you watch http://www.thehouseilivein.org/ for why the drug war is a failure.)

The purpose of this post is to highlight the national distribution of “Granito: How to Nail A Dictator,” which I have heard is an amazing film and will be nationally broadcast on public television stations starting on Thursday, June 28.

However, as I explained in the post below, many public television stations have decided not to air it at all (this seems to be true for WHUT and MPT), and some, like WETA, have decided to air this film only in the middle of the night. 

How is it that Antiques Roadshow can air repeatedly occupying many prime viewing slots and an amazing documentary film is relegated to the middle of the nightSee post below to help correct this problem.

New Group Tweet Account for Peace Corps community

I created a new grouptweet account (http://grouptweet.com/) for current and former Peace Corps Volunteers: http://twitter.com/pcorps


Currently, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPVCs) on Twitter. While, I am sure that they all have very interesting lives and tweet streams. I doubt anyone wants to subscribe to (follow) them all.

However, I (and presumably some of you) would want to know (on occasion) if they have something particularly relevant for the Peace Corps community to to hear.

That is the idea behind pcorps

It will not send out updates. However, followers will be able to receive any “direct message” sent by a follower of pcorps to pcorps

That way followers of pcorps can stay connected, without getting overwhelmed. pcorps will not be moderated. It will be dependent on its followers to be selective regarding the tweets they send directly to pcorps

In other words, if you are a person that sends out a lot of tweets and only a few are particularly relevant to the Peace Corps community, only those tweets that you “direct message” to pcorps will be received by the other members of the community (who do not follow your twitter account directly).

Just become a follower of pcorps and pcorps will follow you back. Then if you or any other follower of pcorps sends a direct message to pcorps , you (as a follower) will get a copy in your tweet stream.

Slight change to the PcorpsTwitter account. I started moderating membership a bit to prevent spam. I also started ocassionally retweeting followers tweets because people are not contributing much via direct message.

If you have something useful to contribute and have not been followed back, leave a comment here and tell me your connection to the US Peace Corps.

Doubling the Peace Corps: an idea whose time has come

When President Kennedy created the Peace Corps in 1961, he envisioned ramping up the number of volunteers to 100,000 per year.  We would like to see that, but have taken on a more pragmatic goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps.  Just imagine what the world wold look like today if there were 3 million returned Peace Corps Volunteers (instead of 200K) among the electorate.  Harris Wofford postulated the other day that our foreign policy, our image abroad, and our domestic policy would be much different.  I believe it would be unrecognizably different (and 10 times better and more progressive).

Please take actions recommended below.  Follow and post your efforts using the Twitter hashtag #PCx2

Below is a blog post from http://peacecorpsconnect.typepad.com

A Time to Focus: Next Tuesday’s MorePeaceCorps National Day of Action

from Jonathan Pearson
National Peace Corps Association Advocacy Coordinator

A lot can change in 48 hours in Washington. And I’m not just talking about the fickle weather, where a cold February day can be quickly supplanted by a brilliant feel of spring.

I’m also talking about politics and government and advocacy. It can be discouraging and hard to navigate and sometimes it can be downright nasty! But then, things can turn and renew the feelings of spirit and hope.

We’ve experienced that in the last 48 hours, as the last touches were placed on a delayed budget process for the current fiscal year that has strapped the operation of many government programs, including Peace Corps. Discouraging for sure, with a small increase in funding for Peace Corps, bringing current funding to only $340 Million. Many have responded to this and expressed their disappointment.

And now, new developments in the last two days give me reason for optimism – mind you, measured and cautious optimism – as we turn to the budget for Fiscal Year 2010.

Yesterday, President Obama put down his first true mark on a budget blueprint for America. And the indicators for Peace Corps – though still vague – are very positive. While a President normally has his complete budget to Congress by now, a new President is given some extra time. So, while the exact numbers are not expected until April, consider this: The International Affairs budget has dozens and dozens of individual line items, and Peace Corps was one of the few programs the President chose to single out. Included in the President’s Funding Highlights was this:

“…additional funding for key programs that advance U.S. foreign policy goals, including significantly increasing funding for energy initiatives, programs addressing global climate change, agriculture investments, and the Peace Corps.” (emphasis added).

That was yesterday. Then came today. I looked at the latest list of co-sponsors of the “Peace Corps Expansion Act of 2009”. Not even two weeks in circulation, and nearly 1 out of every 5 Congressman/woman in the House of Representatives has signed on as a co-sponsor, including RPCV sponsor Sam Farr (D-CA) and the bi-partisan members of the House who served in Peace Corps: Mike Honda (D-CA), Tom Petri (R-WI) and Steve Driehaus (D-OH).

These are exciting developments. They are not guarantees and we need to be vigilant.

And that brings me to the first big advocacy action of the MorePeaceCorps Campaign. Next Tuesday’s MorePeaceCorps National Day of Action.

We need to build on the momentum of the Obama budget outline and the Peace Corps Expansion Act. MorePeaceCorps Campaign Coordinator Rajeev Goyal and I ask you to engage your lawmakers next week to positively reinforce these recent developments by urging them to co-sponsor the Farr legislation and sign onto Senate and House “Dear Colleague” letters that will be circulating. And if they do? We urge you to thank them! And if they don’t? We want to find ways to work with you and build momentum to turn that opinion around.

Next Tuesday, when you visit www.morepeacecorps.org, the site will be converted to focus attention solely on the Day of Action with links to your lawmakers and instructions that we hope will allow you to take quick, effective action.

So…what can you do to help right now? The easiest thing is to help us spread the word. Share this message, post on your blog, let’s make it happen.

Tuesday…March 3rd. You are about to bring the voice of the members and friends of the Peace Corps community to our nation’s capital, like it never has been heard before.


The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has launched the MorePeaceCorps Campaign to advocate for a reinvigorated Peace Corps.

Its goal is to sign up 50,000 people for the campaign before 9/11/08, when both Presidential candidates are expected to attend the ServiceNation Conference co-chaired by Caroline Kennedy and Alma Powell. We are trying to reach as many returned Peace Corps volunteers and Peace Corps supporters as possible.

Please visit www.morepeacecorps.org, sign up and tell your friends. The Peace Corps community needs to be the loudest voice in support of Peace Corps.

Also check out Peace Corps photostream

and www.peacecorpsjournals.org

and www.peacecorpswiki.org