Tag Archives: Congress

The Amistad Travels To Cuba As A Reminder Of Slavery


 

Post by Jerry Smith in National

a repost from 2010 – Black History Month

WASHINGTON – Days from now, a stately black schooner will sail through a narrow channel into Havana’s protected harbor, its two masts bearing the rarest of sights — the U.S. Stars and Stripes, with the Cuban flag fluttering nearby.

The ship is the Amistad, a U.S.-flagged vessel headed for largely forbidden Cuban waters as a symbol of both a dark 19th century past and modern public diplomacy.

The Amistad is the 10-year-old official tall ship of the state of Connecticut and a replica of the Cuban coastal trader that sailed from Havana in 1839 with a cargo of African captives, only to become an emblem of the abolitionist movement.

Its 10-day, two-city tour of Cuba provides a counterpoint to new and lingering tensions between Washington and Havana and stands out as a high-profile exception to the 47-year-old U.S. embargo of the Caribbean island.

For the Amistad, it also represents a final link as it retraces the old Atlantic slave trade triangle, making port calls that are not only reminders of the stain of slavery but also celebrations of the shared cultural legacies of an otherwise sorry past.

When it drops anchor in Havana’s harbor on March 25, the Amistad will not only observe its 10th anniversary, it will commemorate the day in 1807 when the British Parliament first outlawed the slave trade.

The powerful image of a vessel displaying home and host flags docking in Cuba is not lost on Gregory Belanger, the CEO and president of Amistad America Inc., the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the ship.

“We’re completely aware of all of the issues currently surrounding the U.S. and Cuba,” he said. “But we approach this from the point of view that we have this unique history that both societies are connected by. It gives us an opportunity to transcend contemporary issues.”

It’s not lost on Rep. William Delahunt, either. The Massachusetts Democrat has long worked to ease U.S.-Cuba relations and he reached out to the State Department to make officials aware of the Amistad’s proposal.

U.S.-flagged ships have docked in Havana before, but none as prominently as the Amistad. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has periodically approved Cuba stops for semester-at-sea educational programs for American students, and the Commerce Department has authorized U.S. shiploads of exports under agriculture and medical exemptions provided in the Trade Sanctions Reform Act of 2000.

“Obviously we have serious differences, disagreements,” Delahunt said. “But in this particular case the two governments, while not working together, clearly were aware of the profound significance of this particular commemoration.”

The original Amistad’s story, the subject of a 1997 Steven Spielberg movie, began after it set sail from Havana in 1839. Its African captives rebelled, taking over the ship and sending it on a zigzag course up the U.S. coast until it was finally seized off the coast of Long Island. The captured Africans became an international cause for abolitionists; their fate was finally decided in 1841 when John Quincy Adams argued their case before the Supreme Court, which granted them their freedom.

Miguel Barnet, a leading Cuban ethnographer and writer who has studied the African diaspora, said it is only appropriate that the new Amistad would call on the place of the original ship’s birth. Indeed, he said in an interview from Cuba on Wednesday, it is the horror of the slave trade that left behind a rich common bond — not just between the United States and Cuba, but with the rest of the Caribbean — that is rooted in Africa.

“That’s why this is an homage to these men and women who left something precious for our culture,” he said.

The new Amistad has crossed the Atlantic and wended its way through the Caribbean since 2007. It has worked with the United Nations and UNESCO’s Slave Route Project. Using high technology hidden in its wooden frame and rigging, the ship’s crew of sailors and students has simulcasted to schools and even to the U.N. General Assembly.

It will do so again — with Cuban students — from Havana.

Women and our Rights : past present future …challenged everyday


oh yeah, it’s a rant … tweaked

keepabortionlegal

So,  here we are in the 21st Century, Women have a constitutional right to have an abortion yet secret bills are being passed as if they(republicans) know what is best for all Women, just think about that and ask yourself … why is a healthcare panel made up of men considering women’s health who keep making strange comments about our lady parts while throwing ALL Women into one basket then under a bus ? trump says women should have some sort of punishment for exercising their rights while conservative lawmakers governors and mayors continue to puke on the Constitution by passing lawless bills.

The fact is Women lead very different lives, make individual decisions every minute of the day ~just like men … an abortion, like any other procedure is just one of several health care issues Women may have to encounter.  The best solutions: Birth Control in all its forms as well as safe affordable legal constitutional right to an abortion. I find it beyond offensive to hear Republicans infer that an abortion is chosen carelessly and for those who seem to think birth control in all its forms is a federal or states right issue actually use it as a Republican political football.  The fact is that Republicans with Women in their lives forget that their position pushes up against 98% of those who use birth control and they need to stop forcing their “family values” on women, focus on Jobs, Immigration, ending any idea of income inequality and Climate Change among just a few issues at the moment. I say,  honestly it doesn’t look at all possible for republicans to come to their senses, so vote for the Democratic Party that supports upward mobility as well as the middle lower classes and the poor = equality for all…

Call on your favourite republicans and ask why they assume Women are ill-equipped, silly, naïve or would put up with abortion bans without a fight ? least we talk about how hard a decision like an abortion is: It is NOT easy or done willy nilly! and while they seem to forget it conveniently …women DID use coat hangers, went to folks who were NOT in the medical field but took their money,  performed abortions and some women, this ended up being a fatal choice

Hey, whatever happened to ” liberty” under the Bill of Rights and “freedom” under Civil Liberties seriously -or does this only apply to certain men ?

We might be deep in this era of trump but never forget that on Sunday, January 22, 2012, President Obama released a statement letting Women know that he is reaffirming his promise to protect a woman’s right to choose.    Announcing that  “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule  Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.”

There were changes to the announcement above as well as big changes to health care for women … It was a time for hope and audacity because of the new health care law women looked forward to less discrimination.  We know some in the insurance field, doctors and or hospitals will try to beat the system, but the law is there to refer to now and covers All Americans not just some. It is hard for me to believe pro-lifers do not understand that every part of a woman’s health is subject to being penalized and that includes our reproductive health care, which includes a wide range of health care issues.  Isn’t bad enough that lawmakers actually would subject women to demeaning practices like a transvaginal scope; make them wait for 72hrs, but to make doctors liable and or do jail time too.  I have to say that among other ridiculous laws that need a vote in Congress, such as The Hyde Amendment requires a vote every year.

…   the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.     wiki

I also admit that it pisses me off that the latest group of people in congress are still getting away with saying one thing in front of a camera yet voting another way on the floor of congress, which includes spewing and or forcing their “family values” platform/ideology on what I thought were free Americans. What year is it again?  If the Republican Tea Party now the Nationalist party truly wants smaller government, they should stop trying to control women, their bodies and or change laws for the sake of that “family values” platform or whatever the claim it is now, and whatever it is now, it is definitely the epitome of big government and an invasion of privacy.

The right seems to be aligning their demands for stricter abortion laws one state at a time. I cannot be the only one tired of the “Do as we say Not as we do Political Party of NO. It has my blood boiling. Now, Tea publicans running for President and some media folks are saying it is time to move on from nasty politics. I say if you want to become President of the US of A give Americans full disclosure. Women need to know if you support unnecessary procedures like a transvaginal scope  … Yet; the same people accuse President Obama of withholding information from the public or being un-American get offended when asked to provide personal information.  We are their constituents; we all deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion, race, gender, and or abortion. The beliefs of members of Congress dictate to how the vote will affect our constitutional rights. If you were listening, for three years conservative politicians, some conservadems ramping up of vitriolic “family values” rhetoric pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base. It is obvious now that Republican Governors had a plan to take the rhetoric a step further by passing anti-abortion legislation all over the country in fact as stated by NWLC – “Ninety-two. That’s the number of anti-abortion measures passed into law across the U.S. in 2011. In addition, in case you are wondering, yes, that is a record — in fact; it is over 2.5 times the previous record. “

Bad enough that Women must continue to fight for our rights for equal pay,daycare, medical leave let alone for safe affordable access to reproductive health care.

Now, as we move toward the end of 2017 with the trifecta that is trump and both chambers of Congress, controlled by Republicans who decided to vote on a right to reproductive rights on the anniversary of Roe V Wade in 2015.  This move by men in Congress was and is always incredible since there are more female members of Congress now and yes, a lot of right of center members who say they are fiscally conservative, want less government in their (our) lives.

Yet, topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom get them flustered, put their undies in a bunch about abortion funding and seem to prefer that abortion be outlawed altogether if possible. I could not vote for a woman who feels I am not qualified, mature enough or have a “right to choose” no matter what side of the political aisle they sit. The fact is, women who choose to have an abortion, do so with great trepidation not because they are heartless but based on options given by qualified medical teams or if the fetus is not viable or at risk or both mom and fetus are at risk. FYI! the decision is discussed with a counselor and a doctor before any procedure happens. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy one and offering a safe place, an affordable procedure is better than having a woman or women desperate enough to take actions that could put their lives at risk like they did prior to roeVwade should always be in the back of congress…  it is the right thing to do. The idea that any member of Congress would want to control a woman’s body is ludicrous at best and again, the epitome of BIG Government; they should make something like the Hyde only better a law. The conservative ideology, clearly barbaric; spews old school dogma and not only crosses the line on numerous occassions, but it has also solidified a need, a call for an unprecedented effort for a grassroots movement to keep our Democracy safe

If you live under a Republican-controlled State and need or know someone in need of safe affordable healthcare with limited funds, your life has got to be beyond difficult.    Now, imagine the impact that repealing, replacing and eliminating access would have on ALL our families, friend’s or co-workers. Let alone the idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights; seen but not heard and yes it sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen to congressional members led by republicans and those running for office closely.

Just when I thought we were all moving into the 21st century … sigh

Resource :the internet

Nativegrl77 … the issue of choice is important and taken for granted in this era of trump …. Don’t let this guy turn the clock back on women because…  for women who lack resources things could go bad quickly … folks in restricted states need to help each other out

6 tips …


WordPressDancing-3.

6 tips for putting words to music

 I am not a songwriter musician or lyrist, but I love to read definitely listen and more often than not dance to the spoken word when put to music.

 My personal interest is in the art of movement, specifically dance;  when music is combined with words in innovative patterns can soothe invigorate irritate as well as make you move and feel good.

 They say Music is said to soothe the savage beast least we talk about when done right …  Words can touch our souls and that also awakens our senses. Most of us can agree that the art of dance and or music transcends language barriers.

So, my six tips are below …

 (1) Make it personal because reading experiences about a one night stand love at first sight, first love, lust, a long term love brings a sense of connection folks sometimes look for and set to music can only enhance a good lyric . .Right

2) Be yourself  folks do go out their way to learn the lyrics to a song and will like love and feel  the performer is genuine in their delivery and not trying to be something else,  can actually be heard seen felt 

3) The kind of music that makes an impression also provides imagery and a vision of something the song is about; even if it is abstract, the image is sort of like a coffee table object.  Always up for interpretation depending on who is listening to reading or learning the lyrics … of course, when it comes to love … when someone is singing to you … take time to listen; I heard that once and then again you may have heard the song but weren’t feeling the music

 (4) Rhymes Reason and Rhythm because who doesn’t like the art of movement …and more often than not that is what kind of music makes great artist move up into the stratosphere … in my opinion. I dance because I have to and anything that has a great hook a great bass or syncopation definitely will be played more than once in my house. The rhythm of life

 (5) Always assume a video of your creation is a possibility so … be that visionary

 (6)     🙂  Always believe you were born to make music  (:


So, what makes you get onto the dance floor … 

first posted in 2013, def tweaked

FDR had something to say about voting


votingFranklin D. Roosevelt once said

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

In the Library … Lillian Walker , by John C. Hughes


OLYMPIA…Bremerton civil rights heroine Lillian Walker

The new book is called “Lillian Walker, Washington Civil Rights Pioneer,” written by John C. Hughes, an author and interviewer with The Legacy Project, an oral history program established by the Office of Secretary of State in 2008. The book is published by the Washington State Heritage Center and printed by Gorham Printing.Joyce.

“The YWCA’s goal is to make Mrs. Walker’s inspirational story available to all school and public libraries in the nation as an example of a young person who not only had the courage to stand up for what is right, but also to continue to stay involved in her community to make it better over a 70-year time period,” Jackson said.

Click here http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/oralhistories/lillianwalker/ to read The Legacy Project’s oral history on Lillian Walker based on sit-down interviews, as well as photos and other materials.

Lillian Walker helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP in 1943 and went on to serve as state NAACP secretary. She was conducting sit-ins and filing civil rights lawsuits when Martin Luther King was in junior high school.

Mrs. Walker and her late husband, James, arrived in the Navy Yard city of Bremerton in 1941 together with thousands of other AfricanAmerican wartime workers who thought they had left racism behind in the South and industrialized cities of Midwest and East. But many Kitsap County businesses, including cafes, taverns, drug stores and barber shops, displayed signs saying, “We Cater to White Trade Only.” In a landmark case, the Walkers took a soda fountain owner to court and won.

Mrs. Walker is a charter member of the YWCA of Kitsap County, former chairman of the Kitsap County Regional Library Board, a 69-year member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a founder and former president of Church Women United in Bremerton.

To learn more about The Legacy Project, go to its web site at http://www.sos.wa.gov/heritage/LegacyProject/default.aspx.