Author - John Coyne

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RPCV Governor Doyle To Be New Peace Corps Director?
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What Dodd Had To Say About the Peace Corps
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Chris Dodd's Peace Corps: "The Ambitious Sense of the Possible"
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Step # 5: Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Happy All The Time: Former Peace Corps Director Gearan at HWS College
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Step # 4 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, and Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Step # 3 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Save Money, Improve The Agency, and Make All PCVs & RPCVs Happy!
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Salinger’s Holden vs Harry of Hogwarts
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Step # 2 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Save Money, Improve The Agency, and Make All PCVs & RPCVs Happy!
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Peace Corps Books In The Library Of Congress

RPCV Governor Doyle To Be New Peace Corps Director?

A local Wisconsin paper columnist Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer writes this weekend that RPCV Jim Doyle (Tunisia 1967-69) is President Obama’s pick to be the Peace Corps Director. Amy spins it this way: “Our ethically-challenged Governor, Jim Doyle, is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to sign off on the Wisconsin state budget.  This is a budget that includes huge increases in taxes and fees.  Huge increases in spending – unprecedented during times of high unemployment and a recession.  And when all is said and done, Wisconsin will still be over $2,600,000,000.00 in debt.” The rumor in Wisconsin is that Doyle is on his way out, headed for D.C. as the new head of the agency. At the moment Doyle’s approval ratings are in the low 30’s,  and he has little chance, according to Amy Geiger-Hemmer,  of winning another term against Republicans Scott Walker or Mark Neumann in 2010. ” We’ll see. Remember, Republicans have been wrong before. At least we know that this governor won’t be headed to Argentina!

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What Dodd Had To Say About the Peace Corps

 Mr. President: I rise today to introduce the Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009. For 48 years, the Peace Corps has stood as a uniquely American institution.  What other great nation would send its youth abroad, not to extend its power, not to intimidate its adversaries, not to kill and be killed, but to build, to dig, to teach, to empower – and to ask nothing in return? And for 48 years, those young men and women – hundreds of thousands of them, myself included – have returned stronger, wiser, and inspired – prepared to live uniquely American lives of service and accomplishment. For half a century, the Peace Corps has shaped not just these American lives, but the identity of all Americans: who we are as a people, and what we hope to achieve in the world. Today, I rise to offer this legislation for one simple . . .

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Chris Dodd's Peace Corps: "The Ambitious Sense of the Possible"

Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) author of most recently, Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach published this essay last late night,  June 25, 2009 10:23 PM on the Huffington Post. Early this evening Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut gave what will probably prove the most important speech in the history of the Peace Corps since that late October night in 1960 when Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy introduced the idea of a volunteers serving in the developing world. Dodd’s Senate speech introduced the Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 to grow and reform the 48-year-old agency. If passed, the legislation will likely make Dodd the father of a bold new Peace Corps for the 21st century, at least double in size, and immensely larger in purpose and impact. The bill was born not in his office in the Russell Building but . . .

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Step # 5: Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

 Step # 5 Show Us The Money! The President’s Transition Team highlighted the fact that the Peace Corps has never fulfilled the promise of the Third Goal. This problem lies with where the Peace Corps money is situated in terms of the government bureaucracy. The Transition Team wrote, “the power of returned Volunteer cultural and linguistic skills in the new multi-cultural America; show that Peace Corps service abroad helps solve problems here at home-completing the loop for Peace Corps; and create a re-employment stream for returned Volunteers. Taxpayers will see an impact at home (as teachers, public health workers and more). Over time, this grows into more support, first for overseas mission, and then for the domestic goal.” The Peace Corps gets its funding from the “Foreign Operations” account, called in the vernacular, the 150 Account. In Congress, the Peace Corps budget is bunched in with other foreign assistance and national . . .

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Happy All The Time: Former Peace Corps Director Gearan at HWS College

The June 25 issue of the Recorder CommunityNewspaper in upstate New York has an article on ‘happiness’ today written by Liz Parker. Parker writes about the address that the new graduates of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York received for their president, former Peace Corps Director (1995-99), Mark Gearan. Mark told the students about a book he had read, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World. The book was written by NPR correspondent Eric Weiner. (Weiner, by the way, will have an article out shortly in The New York Times Magazine about where the Peace Corps is today.) Gearan quoted from the book: “Recent research into happiness or subjective well-being reveals that money does indeed buy happiness. Up to a point. That point, though, is surprisingly low: about $15,000 a year. After that, the link between economic growth and happiness . . .

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Step # 4 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, and Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

Step # 4 Laptops For PCVs The modus operandi of the Peace Corps is that Volunteers arrive in their villages with clothes on their backs and good will in their hearts. The truth is that from day one Volunteers have arrived in the developing world with radios, cameras, enough clothes to outfit a village and, in some cases, even a few extra rolls of toilet paper stashed away in their footlocker! Today, I know, PCVs carry ipods, cell phones, and often enough, their own computers. The book lockers that the Peace Corps sent along with new PCVs disappeared in the early Sixties, a victim, my guess, of the budget and the increased number of PCVs. Back then the agency had 16,000 Volunteers overseas. That’s a lot of books. We don’t want to bring back the booklockers (much as we loved them) for this is the Age of Information Technology. We have a new agency, and . . .

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Step # 3 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Save Money, Improve The Agency, and Make All PCVs & RPCVs Happy!

 Step # 3 The Peace Corps: A World of Volunteer Service Sponsor and support–with funding!–a series of local events organized by RPCVs groups at the city and state level. Named this national effort for the 50th Anniversary: The Peace Corps: A World of Volunteer Service Develop a Public Relations campaign–with the pro-bono help of a major PR firm– that has the Director of the Peace Corps on television in every local station in America. Crisscross the country in 2011 telling the Peace Corps story. Work with the National Library Association to sponsor readings at libraries in America where RPCVs come and read their letters home from overseas. Work with national civic groups in a like fashion. Using World Wise School connections tap into the resources of middle schools and high schools in America. Local RPCVs visit the school during Peace Corps Week, yes, but also visit high school during Career . . .

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Salinger’s Holden vs Harry of Hogwarts

There has been a lot of fresh talk in the news about the law suit filed by J.D. Salinger’s lawyers concerning a new book entitled, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a take off (or rip-off) of The Catcher in the Rye. 60 Years Later is a novel written by a young Swedish writer styling himself J.D. California. In The New  York Times on Sunday, June 21, 2009, there was a short piece in the Ideas & Trends page on how today’s young readers see the famous Holden Caulfield as a “whining preppy, not as a virtuous outcast” while Harry Potter is a nerd conqueror who “wins out over a smirking malcontent.”  Teenagers today would rather read about Harry than Holden. First off, in terms of literature there is no connection between Harry Potter of Hogwarts and Holden Caulfield of Pencey Prep. JK Rowling’s books are for children (and those who . . .

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Step # 2 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Save Money, Improve The Agency, and Make All PCVs & RPCVs Happy!

 Step # 2 Move Recruitment To PC/Washington  Today, Recruitment for the Peace Corps is divorced from the role of the staff in  PC/Washington. Few people at HQ (beyond those doing selection) have any idea of what is coming down the pike. New recruits arrive at the airport ready to fly off to the developing world like so many free range chickens ready to be plucked. The Peace Corps needs to return to the most effective recruitment system the Peace Corps ever used. In April 1963, Bob Gale, who had been vice president for development at Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota came to the Peace Corps and sold Shriver on blitz recruiting. Gale, who worked for Bill Haddad, then Associate Director for the Office of Planning and Evaluation, didn’t want to lose Gale, but Shriver told Haddad that recruiting was crucial to the Peace Corps. “The trouble,” Shriver told Haddad, “was . . .

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Peace Corps Books In The Library Of Congress

Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77) has started a campaign to get Peace Corps books into the Library of Congress.  Like all RPCVs, Larry is starting at the top to draw attention to his very good idea to save the history of the Peace Corps. Here’s his letter to President Obama on this issue. Lend your support. Write to the President. Here’s what Larry had to say: President Barack Obama 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20500 RE: CREATION OF A PEACE CORPS COLLECTION AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS June 21, 2009 Dear Mr. President: If you want to read my Peace Corps’ firsthand experience book (South of the Frontera), you can’t. Don’t bother to look for it. It is out of print and even after nearly fifty years, the Peace Corps has not established a depository for books written by Americans who sacrificed. There is not even a shelf in the . . .

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