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If millions of people around the world would give anything to live in America, why are so many  Americans unhappy with this country?

What can they do to change their attitude and make the most of their American citizenship?  Reader RESPONSES below

We're compiling stories, poems and essays from everyday people to answer the question: WHAT AMERICA MEANS? Join us in this discovery process. Please include your name, address, telephone and email address with your entry that you may email to us, today!

AMERICA IS FOR US ALL!

Mr President

HE WILL LEAD US!

HERE'S A BOOK ON THE SUBJECT.

Write an essay on one or more of these subjects and send to us by email, today!

Here's one opinion. What's yours?

What is an American? See below. . .

What does America mean?
  1. Basic freedom
  2. Political freedom
  3. Clean air
  4. Housing
  5. Schools
  6. Diversity
  7. Passport
  8. Legal system
  9. Free enterprise
  10. Employment
What do Americans have to offer?
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Branding and Marketing
  3. Education
  4. Employment
  5. Free Enterprise
  6. Intellectual capital
  7. Cultural production
  8. International events
  9. Consultation
  10. Financiers

What does America mean to the rest of the world?

  1. Civil freedoms: speech, press, movement
  2. Economic opportunity: jobs, free enterprise
  3. Infrastructure: utilities, housing, roads
  4. Modern convenience: shopping, banking
  5. Legal protection and recourse
  6. Product availability
  7. Education
  8. Medicine and health care
  9. Access to wealth
  10. Libraries

Go to this page and tell us what you think. We need essays for a book we will write. Icons at the top link to the two songs. -- JC

 www.fyicomminc.com/america/america.htm


HERE'S A BOOK WRITTEN ON THE SUBJECT.

Send entries to divajc47@yahoo.com
and copy it to cuejazz@gmail.com

Hear Spirit Mix

www.americaisforusall.ning.com

Write an essay on one or more of these subjects and send to us by email, today!
Please include your name, address, telephone and email address with your entry.


7/3/07

Hi Joan,
I think this is a good website. America is for everybody. If the people here don't take care of it, and protect the resources there won't be an America to enjoy.

Will Colman

7/2/07

Daniele,

Yes, the site is from me. You can send all entries to me at divajc47@yahoo.com and copy it to cuejazz@gmail.com.

One question: Why did you return to America, if you love Haiti so much? That can be an essay, in itself.   Just let me know when you have time to come by my house. I look forward to it.

Joan

#2 - Joan, I think this is a fabulous idea.  I am guessing it comes from you!  Anyhow, I will think about a couple of themes from that list that I would like to write an essay on and send it to you.  Or is it to be sent directly to the site?  I'll look it up later.

What are you up to for July 4th?  Too bad it is the middle of the week.  I am still going to be busy doing something.  Anything for a 'Celebration'.....

You know that in our ancestral religion, everyday is a celebration!  We celebrate life, our ancestors, our families, our friends, our country, the world, the universe.  I am blessed to have been born "Haitian".  Though my people in many ways are still in bondage, many are free in their minds and their souls.  So, to me, there is nothing more beautiful than the black rural communities of Haiti. This is where I found myself while working i

n the provinces of Haiti, more than 30 years ago.  Sometime when we meet again, I'll bring over some photos of some of these provinces for you to see just how beautiful! We'll talk later.  Have a blessed day.

Ayibobo, Daniele Vanyan Neges

#1 - I think it is a great idea to involve people into pouring out their heart on paper. There is nothing like expressing yourself through the written word. Spoken words, fly, written words last for always. Direct translation from a famous French philosopher (don't ask me who?)

Anyway, the reason why I think that this is wonderful is that when we think and we write our feelings and our thoughts: something happens! We can move mountains. We can attract negativity, we can do some soul searching while we are thinking before we write (so as not to end up with our feet in our mouth).

One of the biggest problems with the African Diaspora in America and everywhere else in the world: is that often they still have a colonized mind - therefore, a colonized heart. Not all of us have reached enlightenment! I call enlightenment reaching freedom from the domination of the master's ways and his philosophy of "divide & conquer".

Can you tell me whether or not this targets a particular group or is it everyone? I suppose, if we talk about Americans: we mean all Americans! Right?

What are the essays going to be used for? Is there a "Think tank" that is going to analyze the essays and have a paper or e-mails or this site to convey certain observations, suggestions, "modus vivendi" to the community at large?

An answer to these questions, for me, would have to be answered before I would entertain, writing an essay of this depth of thought and conviction.

I hope this helps. Let me know.

Ayibobo, Daniele Mangones Vanyan Neges

7/1/07

Ever read Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins?

Check it out! -- Dee Wright

www.myspace.com/worldmusicianaries

TOP OF PAGE

www.fyicomminc.com

Written by an Australian Dentist

To Kill an American

You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!) 'An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan. An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence , which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness. An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country! As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11 , 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists. So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

There are three documents all citizens of the United States of Americans should know about:

  1. Declaration of Independence
  2. Constitution of the United States of America
  3. Bill of Rights

Have you joined these two websites or used them?

FIRST, SEE ALL FORUMS!

What does America mean to you?
  1. Basic freedom
  2. Political freedom
  3. Clean air
  4. Housing
  5. Schools
  6. Diversity
  7. Passport
  8. Legal system
  9. Free enterprise
  10. Employment

What do Americans have to offer the world?
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Branding and Marketing
  3. Education
  4. Employment
  5. Free Enterprise
  6. Intellectual capital
  7. Cultural production
  8. International events
  9. Consultation
  10. Financiers

 

 

FORUM #1 - LET'S GET ALONG! By Joan Cartwright

The Rodney King statement, "Can't we all just get along?", can morph into "Let's get along!" This is a more definite statement. It's not a question but a command to human beings to consider getting along with their fellow humans.

[February 3, 2010, Fort Lauderdale, FL] This morning, in a conversation with my father (90), I conceived this article. He told me that, when he was a child, let's say 10, a boy ran into him with his bicycle, an action that left a memory within my father of the evidence that human beings could not get along with each other for various reasons. He indicated that it wasn't just color, race or creed that put them in conflict with each other, but place of origin. He said the kids from the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas didn't get along with each other. He still wonders why it is this way, even today, that people in the same country, city, territory cannot get along with their neighbors.

Karen L. Anderson, in her article "To The Keepers of the Hearth and Flame" from Life Compass for Women, says it is Esteem that dictates how a relationship will go. "Esteem is how we value ourselves and others," Karen says. She lists six H's of Communication:

  • Hunger: Until someone is hungry to know or learn, save your words.
  • Here: Concentrate on the present because most of us are too busy to visit the past or the future.
  • Honor: Maintain dignity for you and for your relationship partner.
  • Heart: Show empathy and compassion. Offer words and deeds that heal rather than harm.
  • Hope: Encouraging statements and goodwill gestures reflect possibilities for positive change.
  • Humor: Smile and laugh to break the tensions in life and keep a positive perspective.

Karen's website is www.acts-ionsolutions.com

Scholar, Author, Full Philosophy Professor @ Howard By Leshell Hatley in Education, Philosophy, Scholarly Celebrations The preeminent African American intellectual of his generation, Alain Locke was a professor of philosophy and the leading promoter and interpreter of the artistic and cultural contributions of African Americans to American life. More than anyone else, he familiarized white Americans with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, while encouraging African American authors to set high artistic standards in their depiction of life. As a professor of philosophy, he expounded his theory of “cultural pluralism” that valued the uniqueness of different styles and values available within a democratic society. More than anyone else, he familiarized white Americans with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, while encouraging African American authors to set high artistic standards in their depiction of life. (Continue. . . )

 

 

 

* * * * * * *

[Ángel Franco/The New York Times] After a week of watching news coverage of the Haiti earthquake, Nadege Fleurimond, a Haitian-American event planner in New York, fired off an e-mail message to about three dozen friends and associates. Though she was moved by the outpouring of help from local Haitians, she was frustrated that the effort had not coalesced into something larger and more visible. “We succeed as individuals, not so much as a community,” said Nadege Fleurimond, a Haitian who immigrated to New York when she was 7 and graduated from Columbia University. (Continue. . .)

Haitians in America: A Shifting Population “No major press conferences, no major vigils, no major anything with a statement,” she wrote. “Nothing being written about us besides the fact that we were sad and shocked.” The problem, she suggested, was that Haitians, for all their history and achievements in New York, had not emerged as a discernible entity, with prominent leaders, a united presence, a public face. The e-mail message provoked a spirited debate in Ms. Fleurimond’s circle. And as the initial shock of the earthquake begins to fade, the disaster has touched off similar discussions among Haitians all over New York.

Does this woman look at CNN? Every time I turn it on, there's the relief effort in Haiti. Is it that she's looking at what's not happening, instead of what is happening?

There needs to be an open dialogue between Americans, African-Americans in particular, Haitians and Haitian-Americans about their relationship, especially in light of the recent disaster in Haiti and the influx of thousands of Haitians into the United States, the State of Florida, in particular.

Are you interested? Respond to this post at joan@fyicomminc.com and let's begin the dialogue until it spills out into the public forum:

Diva JC on March 21, 2010 at 10:52am

It is so disappointing that so-called "Americans" and "Christians" of the Caucasian persuasion are so "nasty and mean". When will Euro-Americans grow up???

Tea party protesters use racial epithet against Georgia's John Lewis
By William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers, Sat, March 20, 2010
WASHINGTON — Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted "nigger" Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers said.
"They were shouting, sort of harassing," Lewis said. "But, it's okay, I've faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean."
Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building across from the Capitol when protesters shouted "Kill the bill, kill the bill," Lewis said.

"I said 'I'm for the bill, I support the bill, I'm voting for the bill'," Lewis said.
A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying "Kill the bill, then the n-word."

"It surprised me that people are so mean and we can't engage in a civil dialogue and debate," Lewis said.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver , D- Mo. , said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard "nigger."
"It was a chorus," Cleaver said. "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they're being whipped up. I decided I wouldn't be angry with any of them."

Protestors also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank , D- Mass. , an openly gay member of Congress . A writer for Huffington Post said the crowd called Frank a "faggot."

Frank told the Boston Globe that the incident happened as he was walking from the Longworth office building to the Rayburn office building, both a short distance from the Capitol. Frank said the crowd consisted of a couple of hundred of people and that they referred to him as 'homo.'

"I'm disappointed with the unwillingness to be civil," Frank told the Globe. "I was, I guess, surprised by the rancor. What it means is obviously the health care bill is proxy for a lot of other sentiments, some of which are perfectly reasonable, but some of which are not."

"People out there today, on the whole, were really hateful," Frank said. "The leaders of this movement have a responsibility to speak out more."

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol on Saturday as the House Democratic leadership worked to gather enough votes to enact a health care overhaul proposal that has become the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's domestic agenda. Most were affiliated with so-called tea party organizations that originally sprang up during last summer's protests of the health care proposals.

Heated debate has surrounded what role race plays in the motivations of the tea party demonstrators. During protests last summer, demonstrators displayed a poster depicting Obama as an African witch doctor complete with headdress, above the words "OBAMACARE coming to a clinic near you." Former President Jimmy Carter asserted in September that racism was a major factor behind the hostility that Obama's proposals had faced.

The claim brought angry rebuttals from Republicans. On Saturday, Frank, however, said he was sorry Republican leaders didn't do more to disown the protesters. Some Republicans "think they are benefiting from this rancor," he said.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D- S.C., said Saturday's ugliness underscored for him that the health care overhaul isn't the only motivation for many protesters.

"I heard people saying things today I've not heard since March 15th, 1960 , when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus," Clyburn said. "This is incredible, shocking to me."

He added, "A lot of us have said for a long time that none of this is about healthcare at all. It's about extending a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful."

(James Rosen contributed to this story.)

MORE FROM MCCLATCHY

There's no denying Obama's race plays a role in protests Confident Dems now will vote directly on Senate health bill
Tea Party protesters target lawmaker who agrees with them For more McClatchy politics coverage visit Planet Washington. Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:49pm

DGT,

Just a couple of thoughts in response to your last message.

First, I believe that ESTEEM results from self-awareness.
I truly do not believe that the average American worker nor the average Haitian are AWAKE to the reality that EACH ONE OF US CREATES OUR WORLD.

I'm posting your response in reply to my post on ESTEEM.
I believe there must be more and more dialogue amongst common people.

The POWERS THAT BE plan, every day, to keep people asleep and blinded.
As you stated in an earlier post Michael Moore and Spike Lee have done a lot to bring issues relating to common people to the silver screen.

Americans who blindly followed their political leaders, namely Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush for decaded woke the F*%! up when the bank bailout took place. I don't think anything, even 911 woke them up as much as this did.

Having lived in foreign countries for so many years, I know that Americans NEED more education. They need to to be jobless to discover personal ingenuity. Cattle. That's how I see the average American community. I don't agree with you that people in rurual areas are more caring about their neighbors than those in urban areas. They gossip, backbite and condemn each other to useless lives far more than people in urban cities do. Why do you think so many rural cowboys become urban cowboys and girls? They hate their small town lives. They love the big city.

Problem is, like what is about to take place when thousands of displaced Haitians are brought to cities in the U.S.A., they bring their limited mindset with them. There truly NEEDS to be a Town Hall meeting, nationwide to discuss how these people will be trained and educated before we see a complete disaster here, resulting from uneducated people running in the streets. I know, my hometown of South Ozone Park, Queens, NY went to the dogs, when the influx of Caribbeans took place.

Mind you, I'm the grandmother of two girls of Haitian descent. My son is of Puerto Rican descent. It goes back to the argument I've presented all along - people come from all over the world to live in this country because of the FREEDOMS we have. However, they sit in their homes, bought with the money made on their jobs and talk in their respective languages about Americans, especially African Americans, like dogs.

This is not acceptable! and I'm calling for a Town Hall meeting with Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans, Hispanics and African Americans to iron out the problems we have and will continue to have, until all these folks get that it was the blood, sweat and tears of Black Americans that made it possible for them to come here and have these rights, privileges and Freedoms, as skewed as they may be by the so-call "White majority".

You cannot go to Switzerland and get a job and a house, just like that!
You cannot go to most countries and live the life you can live here in the U.S.A.

I will state that for many years, I believed that there should be no borders. But I do believe that when you go to another country, especially one where you have much more than you can dream of having in your own country, you should respect the people that are already there, particularly, when they and their ancestors gave their lives for you to be free in that country.

I understand about the battles fought by Toussant L'Overture and all, but the progress made in this country was made on the backs of Africans in America. We are all ONE, but sometimes, I think foreigners who come to live here really have NO respect for African Americans.

Not sure what your take is on this issue.
JC

Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:48pm
JC,

Once again you have wisdom worth sharing to impart to the rest of us. "Empowerment" has become such a cliche' and buzz word, but the very reason it is so is because, I think, of this matter of Esteem. When we honor the value of each person, of all living things, it seems to me that we encourage self-esteem for all parties and esteem for everything around us. Our inability to get along is probably best explained by our insecurities, fears, weaknesses, and, therefore, questionable self-esteem.

Do you think it has a lot to do with our cultural values (compared to so many other cultures)? As a society, we emphasize individuality instead of community, we glorify taking instead of giving, we worry about "privacy" and personal "secrets," which are concepts fairly alien to traditional societies. (This, by the way, is exactly why we can't get a decent health care system that simply ensures that the whole nation stays well.) Believing that we are on our own, without a trustworthy community safety net, creates an atmosphere of constant tension and worry. I exaggerate only slightly. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of us feel that we have so little control of our lives. Was it Thoreau who observed back in his day that "Most Americans live lives of quiet desperation"? I think it is true that most Americans dislike, often intensely, the work they do for a living. Our workplaces insult and degrade us on a daily basis. The machinery in the factory is always valued more than the workers. A worker who might lose an arm in a machine is more likely to experience anger and scorn for slowing down or stopping production than compassion and understanding, much less any resolve on the part of the factory owners to make the equipment safer.

It is strange that with so much common cause and common interest, we do not bond. Instead, we are successfully manipulated, divided, and conquered. The ruling circles are quite astute at rewarding different groups slightly differently -- men being paid more than women, Whites more than Blacks, etc., which keeps the jealousies and hating going, but it seems never to be directed at the perpetrators. It sounds cold, but we deserve what we get if we keep going for that okey-doke.

There is one major factor in this that we usually ignore and yet it is right in our face, and that is the fact that most of the human race now lives in urban centers. Those of us who have ever experienced rural living know how different it is, in that everybody instinctively looks after one another. The practicalities of survival make everyone friends, basically, whereas in the city, just the opposite seems to occur.

I have long since come to the conclusion that our segment of the population, having been "forced, obligated, challenged and blessed by history to be truth knowers, truth keepers and truth tellers," are the ones who will have to take the lead in making these urban environments more sane, and places of healing and compassion instead of dog-eat-dog competition. We may never get the recognition or thanks that we are due, either individually or collectively, but we will have the satisfaction of having fostered some ESTEEM, for ourselves and others. We will have done our part to make right our relationship with God, with nature, and with the rest of humanity, as the traditional Hawaiians teach. (The discipline of Hula is to practice "doing the right thing, in the right place, in the right way, with the right people, at the right time, the first time.")

We have been getting skewed reports from Haiti, from other perspectives than those of the Haitian people themselves, but it seems that their response to this sudden, unprecedented disaster, might just be the inspiration that we all need. They are, as we are constantly reminded, "the poorest nation in the hemisphere," but, as I noticed when I was there back in 1986, they do not lack ESTEEM. There was poverty everywhere but no sense of defeat. Maybe this is just proof, as the Scripture says, that "The last shall be first and the first shall be last" in terms of having the REAL wealth of ESTEEM.

Thanks for sharing those wise word.

Best all ways,

DGT
Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:48pm
DGT,

And I totally agree with you.

Did you see my blog post LET'S GET ALONG?
www.wordswespeak.wordpress.com

It speaks of ESTEEM.

Let me know what you think of that.
Thanks
JC
Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:47pm
JC,

Everything is relative, isn't it?

I might have told you about going to Kansas City and getting to visit the Truman Library in Independence. What stuck with me was what the tour guide said about how Truman was the last U.S. president not to have been college educated. On the other hand, he was an avid reader, claiming that "All readers may not become leasers, but all leaders need to be readers." What he concluded from all his reading was that in all of recorded history human behavior has not changed. On this he based his political decisions.

It seems that throughout history some people find ways to make life pretty intolerable for other people, which, in turn, leads to revolutions and upheavals, which usually require some ugly actions in order to succeed, which launches the perpetrators of those actions into the leadership of the new regime, and a new cycle of the same madness. It is not for nothing that it is written. "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne."

I once saw a documentary/interview on writer Gore Vidal, who came to the conclusion that the only subject worth writing about is power: What an individual or group will do to gain power over another individual or group, and what they will do to keep it once they have it. It will shock most Americans to know how many people around the world think we live in an intolerable dictatorship, where everything is run by and for the wealthiest minority, so that our elections and pretended democracy is all sham. (The Bush coup of 2000 only confirmed that for such believers). Even at the beginning of the U.S. there were those who were loyal to the king who thought George Washington's violent revolution was the end of the world. Was Cuba better of before Castro, or Venezuela before Chavez, or China before the Communist Revolution? Depends on who answers the question. Maybe the truest statement comes from one of my former colleagues: "Every nation on earth has absolutely the worst government that the people are willing to put up with."

As cynical as that view might be, I still think that the ultimate truth was stated by Jimi Hendrix (and others before him, no doubt): "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then we will have peace." That sounds idealistic, and "impractical," and "unrealistic," and it pisses off all those so-called "realists" who seek to justify their less-than-noble actions, but I feel like if we have to put up with their idiocy, they can put up with ours. It is still a proven fact that "Love Conquers All." I'll go with that, no matter what the politics of the time or place might be.

Peace, Love, Guidance, Blessings,

DGT

Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:46pm

DGT,
Wish you had heard my friend who called me today from Venezuela.
She says her country is now a dictatorship like Cuba and she doesn't sound like it is so great.

I'll stay in the good ole U.S. of A. where everyone in a dictatorial country or on a little island is aspiring to come to. I'm happy to be here, especially in light of spending 5 months in China.

JC

Comment by Diva JC on February 8, 2010 at 1:45pm

More than a few people have shared the thought that if the disaster in Haiti could possibly have some spiritual or cosmic purpose (other than what ignorant "religious" leaders like Pat Robertson suggest), it might be so that the world will have more real knowledge -- knowledge of Haiti's history and how it went from the richest to the poorest nation in the hemisphere through foreign extortion; knowledge of the Haitian people, who, contrary to propaganda, did not engage in anything like wholesale violence and mayhem to fight over food and resources in the aftermath of the disaster, but instead were almost amazingly calm and cooperative; knowledge of how the rest of the world responded to the disaster, mostly with doctors, nurses and medicines, rather than soldiers, and knowledge of this information from Cuba.

A small lesson (among several) that I learned in Haiti has stuck with me ever since. When we visited there, we had the opportunity to spend time with some friends of friends here, and enjoyed a Sunday afternoon gathering in Petionville. Talking about many things, the subject of the "brain drain" came up -- the way some of the brightest minds from the Caribbean, the rural South and poorer countries everywhere get siphoned off to work for corporations or to use their skills elsewhere than for the benefit of their own people and homelands. I was telling them about a radio program I once hosted where Haitian refugees in Boston were talking about this, and pointed out that "there were more Haitian doctors in Montreal than in all of Haiti." As I shared this story, the group in Haiti could fully appreciate it, but then one gentleman added this insight:

"Consider the rare Haitian student that actually gets to complete secondary school and go on to university. Then consider the even much rarer student who can go from university to medical school, probably in Paris or some other nation. All of the procedures that that student will learn, all of the equipment that he or she is trained to use, prepares that student for Montreal. No one is training students for rural Haiti, where there is no MRI machine down the hall..." That thought became part of my teaching ever since, no matter what the subject was. If we are not learning how to apply our knowledge to benefit the communities which nurtured us, then two questions arise: 1) What are we really accomplishing, and 2) who else will do this if we don't?

The following information is most encouraging on this front, and -- on the Knowledge is Power front -- brings some light and truth to the situation where all that is ever heard publicly about Cuba is negative propaganda.
DGT

See: Americans Are Learning Medicine the Cuban WayBy Julia Landau, East Bay Express
Posted on February 5, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/145523

 
FORUM #2 - COMPASSION FOR HAITI By Joan Cartwright

In light of being retired at home with nothing more to do than donate money, food and clothes to the effort to relieve the people who are effected by Haiti's earthquake, I'm writing this blog to follow some of the developments.

Today, I saw that Dr. Karen Schneider was successful in getting a 2 month old baby girl to a Miami hospital after the medical team on the ground in Haiti was able to revive the child found days after the earthquake.

How do you feel about what the Haitian people are experiencing at this time?
  1. What have you done? What will you do?
  2. What do you think about Americans who are helping in the rescue effort?
  3. Do you know any Americans or Haitians here in America that are doing something for the relief effort?

Comment by Judy Rodman on January 17, 2010 at 11:55pm

Hi Diva,
  1. I have donated money to the Clinton effort and joined the discussion about aid on Twitter.
  2. I will donate more money to the "Helping Hands" organization of my friend Joann Tallman who is actually flying over to Haiti with her church delegation from Nashville. I will also pray for the people of Haiti, and for all relief efforts and those going over to help.
  3. I think Americans who help in the rescue effort are real hero humans... much more important than those who usually end up on the "news" and tabloid covers.

Comment by Diva JC on January 17, 2010 at 12:36am Know that they are ok, no matter what they are experiencing. We are only on this planet for a moment in time.

Comment by Carolyn Fuentes on January 16, 2010 at 9:52pm Yes, I donated some funds towards the drive to help Haiti. Also, one of my son's girlfriends has many relatives over in Haiti and are really worried right now. Truly, I regret and will deeply pray for this tremendous tragedy that has tresspassed its force in Haiti.

Comment by Diva JC on January 16, 2010 at 5:09pm I have donated food and clothing to the drive that is held at my rental office. The woman collecting the items by Sunday, Janaury 17, 2010, has acquired an airplane that will transport the items to Haiti. I will donate money to one of the foundations that are working with the relief effort. I believe we all have something we can give to this effort if only positive thoughts and prayers. Yes, I know many who are working to get relief aid to Haiti.

 
FORUM #3 - AMERICANS SAY "STOP THE WAR" By Joan Cartwright

I just wrote to President Obama, asking him to make the CHOICE to STOP THE WAR.

December 4, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Please STOP this warring madness. As our leader, you have CHOICE. Use it.

It is the will of millions of Americans to live in peace. Hear their voices and shut out the voices of war mongers. It is up to YOU and the American people have expressed their desire that this war come to an end, over and over and over, again.

Take the leap of faith that your choice to stop this insanity will be blessed by the receding of threats on our country, once you make that choice.

Your Nobel Peace Prize speaks to your ability to, if only by your position as leader of the mightiest country in the world to influence other peoples and nations.

Do it! Stop the war, now!

Joan Cartwright

Here is Michael Moore's letter to the President. What do you think?

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That's the way General Washington insisted it must be. That's what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. "You're fired!," said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in' hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea -- "Let's invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There's a reason they don't call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan's nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don't believe it, give the British a call. I'd have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev's number though. It's + 41 22 789 1662. I'm sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you're about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the "war president." Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line -- and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn't have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush's Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.
Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you're doing it so you can "end the war") will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you've said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone -- and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout "tea bag!"
Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can't take it anymore. We can't take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of "landslide victory" don't you understand?

Don't be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn't be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can't change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can't be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either."

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that's what they'd do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam "might" be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish -- the full terror of which we scarcely know.
When we elected you we didn't expect miracles. We didn't even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn't even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God's sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON'T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother's son.

We're counting on you.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com
P.S. There's still time to have your voice heard. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email the President.

 
FORUM #4 - ONLY IN AMERICA! By Joan Cartwright

This is just ridiculous. 

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. arrested for disorderly conduct in Massachusetts, while trying to get into the home he has rented. No one is beyond reproach!

See details.

Diva JC

 
FORUM #5 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! By Joan Cartwright

A day to celebrate and aspire
Saturday, July 4, 2009 4:37 PM
From: "President Barack Obama"
To: "Joan Cartwright"

Joan --

This weekend, our family will join millions of others in celebrating America. We will enjoy the glow of fireworks, the taste of barbeque, and the company of good friends. As we all celebrate this weekend, let's also remember the remarkable story that led to this day.

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, our nation was born when a courageous group of patriots pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the proposition that all of us were created equal.

Our country began as a unique experiment in liberty -- a bold, evolving quest to achieve a more perfect union. And in every generation, another courageous group of patriots has taken us one step closer to fully realizing the dream our founders enshrined on that great day.

Today, all Americans have a hard-fought birthright to a freedom which enables each of us, no matter our views or background, to help set our nation's course. America's greatness has always depended on her citizens embracing that freedom -- and fulfilling the duty that comes with it.

As free people, we must each take the challenges and opportunities that face this nation as our own. As long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be fully content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed, that triumph -- that pride -- belongs to all of us.

So today is a day to reflect on our independence, and the sacrifice of our troops standing in harm's way to preserve and protect it. It is a day to celebrate all that America is. And today is a time to aspire toward all we can still become.

With very best wishes,

President Barack Obama

July 4th, 2009

P.S. -- Our nation's birthday is also an ideal time to consider serving in your local community. You can find many great ideas for service opportunities near you at http://www.serve.gov.

 
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