Tag Archives: United States

Nelson Mandela: In His Own Words


Nelson Mandela Photo

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, who will be laid to rest this Sunday, his own words serve as a powerful testimony to his life and legacy. Below are excerpts from some of his own writings and speeches:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Mandela’s statement to the Supreme Court of South Africa, facing charges of sabotage, April 1964

“My dearest Winnie, Your beautiful photo still stands about two feet above my left shoulder as I write this note. I dust it carefully every morning, for to do so gives me the pleasant feeling that I’m caressing you as in the old days. I even touch your nose with mine to recapture the electric current that used to flush through my blood whenever I did so. Nolitha stands on the table directly opposite me. How can my spirits ever be down when I enjoy the fond attentions of such wonderful ladies?” – Letter to his wife Winnie during his imprisonment, April 1976

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” – From Mandela’s address after his release from prison, delivered in Cape Town, South Africa on February 11, 1990

Watch Mandela’s mini biography:

www.biography.com

“Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.” – From Mandela’s statement to the President of the African National Congress at his Presidential Inauguration, May 1994

“Fellow citizens, I am greatly honoured to address you at the end of a remarkable year in the history of our nation and on the eve of a new year that is full of hope. 1994 will go down in history as an epoch-making year for the South African people, and indeed, for humanity as a whole. We are at the close of a year which saw the defeat of the apartheid system against which the entire world was united. Transparency and accountability have become norms in our new life. A national consensus has been forged on the policy to bring a better life for all South Africans.” – President Mandela’s New Year’s Day message to South Africans, December 30, 1994

EXPLORE NELSON MANDELA VIDEO LIBRARY

“Though the challenges of the present time for our country, our continent and the world, are greater than those we have already overcome, we face the future with confidence. We do so because, despite the difficulties and the tensions that confront us, there is in all of us the capacity to touch one another’s hearts across oceans and continents. The award with which you honour me today is an expression of the common humanity that binds us one person to another, nation to nation, and people of the North to people of the South. I receive it with pride, as a symbol of partnership for peace, prosperity and equity as we enter the new millennium.” – Address by President Mandela on receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in the United States, September 1998

Watch ‘Mandela: Working Towards Freedom’:

www.biography.com

“We are greatly honoured to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the President of the United States of America. We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America, but of the world… We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved. Your Presidency brings hope of new beginnings in the relations between nations, that the challenges we all face, be they economic, the environment, or in combating poverty or the search for peace, will be addressed with a new spirit of openness and accommodation.” – Mandela’s message at the Inauguration of President Obama, January 20, 2009

“I sincerely thank you for your support for Mandela Day. For all those who continue to give service in their own way, I thank you. We each, every one of us, can make an imprint.” – Mandela’s message in honor of the celebration of Mandela Day in the USA, July 2009

Film on Mandela’s life to premiere in S.Africa


A long-awaited movie on Nelson Mandela’s life, which will premiere in South Africa on Sunday, has been described as a “very emotional” and accurate portrayal by one of his daughters.

The movie “Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom”, largely based on his autobiography of the same name, traces the life of the anti-apartheid icon from his childhood in the rural Eastern Cape to his election as the country’s first black president in 1994.

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Science.Howstuffworks.com – reminder 2010


A repost – it’s interesting and informative
10 Sustainable Buildings

10 Sustainable Buildings

Green building is no longer a thing of the future. Find out how architects and builders use solar panels, plastic bottles and straw bale insulation for ten environmentally friendly structures.

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10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth

10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth

It’s a lot easier than you think to “go green” — many of these suggestions require little effort, yet can make a big difference for the environmental. Watch a video and read more about saving the earth.

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5 Amazing Green Cities

5 Amazing Green Cities

Sure, the Emerald City looked green, but you won’t need green-tinted glasses to see how environmentally friendly the cities on this list are. What makes a city amazingly green?

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5 Green Cities of the Future

5 Green Cities of the Future

Sustainable urbanism is no longer a futuristic dream. Welcome to five cities around the world that will be turning a radical shade of green in the coming decades.

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5 Myths About Renewable Energy

5 Myths About Renewable Energy

We’re currently suspended between two ages: a time dependent on fossil fuels and a future dominated by renewable energy sources. Yet not everyone is sold on this vision, so a number of myths about renewable energy persist.

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5 Wacky Forms of Alternative Energy

5 Wacky Forms of Alternative Energy

For those who reduce, reuse and recycle to the beat of their own drum, here are some of the wackier ways to help better the environment and lessen your carbon footprint.

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5 Walkable Cities

5 Walkable Cities

What makes a city walkable? It’s not just sidewalks. You have to be able to access jobs, stores and places of entertainment while feeling comfortable and safe. What are five cities in the United States that have risen to the challenge?

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Are climate skeptics right?

Are climate skeptics right?

It’s evident the debate over climate change is a heated one. Are skeptics clouding the public judgment for money? Are climate-change believers merely alarmists who risk the present for the future?

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Are my bath habits destroying marine ecology?

Are my bath habits destroying marine ecology?

After sloughing off your dead skin, what happens to those plastic microbeads that wash down the drain? Some make it all the way to the ocean and linger until they become a very unhealthy supper.

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Are personal watercraft destroying the planet?

Are personal watercraft destroying the planet?

They may seem like a fun water sport or a noisy nuisance, but whatever your stance on personal watercraft, there’s no denying they pollute. So how bad are they?

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Can air pollution affect heart health?

Can air pollution affect heart health?

Everyone knows air pollution isn’t good for your lungs, but it turns out that it’s not doing your heart any favors either. Why do the particulates in the air we breathe interfere with our heart’s basic job: to keep things ticking?

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Can baking soda save the environment?

Can baking soda save the environment?

One company’s SkyMine technology aims to capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into an endlessly useful product: Baking soda. But how do pollutants become a household staple?

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Can house music solve the energy crisis?

Can house music solve the energy crisis?

Electrifying dance moves might impress your friends, but they usually don’t help power the club you’re dancing in. What’s piezoelectricity, and how could it help twist the future of energy generation?

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Can humans start an earthquake?

Can humans start an earthquake?

Earthquakes are “natural” disasters, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean the shifting plates that cause them can’t be aggravated by human industry.

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Can I travel without expanding my carbon footprint?

Can I travel without expanding my carbon footprint?

You’ve booked a safari with the environment in mind. There’s just one problem: Trans-Atlantic flights aren’t very green. Can green tags make your gas-guzzling trip carbon neutral?

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Can my body generate power after I die?

Can my body generate power after I die?

Haunted by ideas of your body polluting the Earth after you’re gone? Microbial fuel cell technology could allow you to harness the energy of your own decomposition to power batteries.

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Can we bury our CO2 problem in the ocean?

Can we bury our CO2 problem in the ocean?

Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is a prime suspect in global warming. Could we mitigate the problem by burying the CO2 deep within the ocean?

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Can we harness energy from outer space?

Can we harness energy from outer space?

As alternative energy sources sputter to take off on Earth, scientists are turning an eye toward space. What are the most promising celestial options, and when could they be in use?

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Can we plug the hole in the ozone layer?

Can we plug the hole in the ozone layer?

The ozone layer prevents much of the sun’s ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth. But there’s a problem: a gaping hole the size of Antarctica. What can we do about it?

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do they look illegal … dreamers


doilookillegala repost from 11/2014 … when will Republicans learn?

In response to a post from Reform Immigration for America … relief for Dreamers

HIM:  Meanwhile some immigrant is stuck in his homeland because the “dreamer” and his parents violated our most basic rules. That law-abiding immigrant may never make it here because the “dreamer” cut in line. Why reward line cutters? I do not have the slightest sympathy for kids who get hurt because of the actions of their parents. It was the parents who knew the risk and hurt their kids, not me. Half of our prison system is full of legal citizens who are parents. You do not think their kids are suffering. Should we just refuse to apply our laws to citizens who have kids? Crazy…

ME:I appreciate most if not all responses, you actually took the time to visit my blog and read a post.  The post you are referring to was taken from the organization the Reform Immigration for America site and was not only interesting it was meant to open up a dialogue; more questions and hopefully more understanding of what Dreamers have to go through in order to become an American. Therefore, I did not write the post.  I do post things I may not completely agree with but in this case, I will tell you that since the word immigrant has existed so have adult folks bringing or having children while being undocumented and no, I do not believe it is the fault of the children. The fact is immigrants of all races have experienced this since that complicit yet unspoken deal made between the undocumented and companies needing workers not only reached out. They exploited people who had nowhere else to go because the fact is, there was no economic net or program way back before the numbers grew to 11 or 12 million undocumented. Those who do cheat the system, do so with malice or who have committed illegal acts while hiding is unacceptable but being a “child of”  is a person of circumstance.

I also believe that there are parts of our economy that would not be or would be lacking in consumer services and or food even if the eco-footprint is huge. We all have to admit these workers are quite often undocumented and while there are “Americans” who do stoop work, the numbers are small and then there are the cleaning, landscape and construction industries with some in control choosing to hire the cheaper no insurance card carrying undocumented.  I think the process needs an incredible amount of reforming and though I know some about the “line cutters”, I am not sure what the actual numbers are lest we talk about the number of people who are deported wrongfully as well. It is a messy process that no one wants to deal with honestly, because the sin and the sinner are far too close at hand.

As for those in our prisons, that is a whole other bag of nasty and I cannot begin to tell you how upsetting it is to know that our prisons are in my opinion, legally controlled housing for folks of colour. I am not going to say that people of colour do not commit crimes but clearly, there are plenty of cases with the same crime committed by whites but the punishment levied to defendants is not even close. These are two issues that definitely need reforming yet I cannot interchange them because the only crime every dreamer has committed, is being brought or born in America as a young child.  whereas at least some prison inmates have actually done so … thus, my hesitation to use the analogy. I would say that being a dreamer is not as easy as you seem to think because the application, the hoops seem as rigorous as trying to become a citizen and it should be. Again, I appreciate your right to the first amendment and opinion … mine is just different.  I also think it’s time for folks to come out of the shadows; such as the kids brought or born here =Dreamers …are, in my opinion, Americans; most have or want more educational/employment opportunities, know nothing different and consider themselves American, possibly have no connection to respective family homelands. I will say that it is time for employers to be held accountable and pledge to help reform the policies that offer a path to citizenship or a way that allows folks to cross over work and go home in a more human way

I hope you are not suggesting we round folks up and send them somewhere.

If you read this … What say you?

Packing & Cracking ~gerrymander~ a repost and reminder


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman
Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The information below is a history and time line regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking rules

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

For your information, wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirizes the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki