This day, 35 years ago, marks the passing of English singer
and songwriter and former member of The Beatles, John Lennon.
(Born John Winston Lennon; Oct. 9, 1940 – 8 Dec.19, 80)
John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism.
He was shot by “a deranged American gunman” (I refuse to use his name) in the archway of the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City on 8 December 1980.
Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.
After sustaining four fatal gunshot wounds, Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital. He was 40 years old.
At the hospital, it was stated that nobody could have lived for more than a few minutes after sustaining such injuries. Shortly after local news stations reported Lennon’s death, crowds gathered at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota.
Lennon was cremated on 10 December 1980 at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. The ashes were given to Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him.
This graph, presents a poem, which been shared plenty of times in the blogosphere. Please, allow me the opportunity to present it again.
I want to apply it to our present time.
I’ve seen it many times.
Every time it makes me think.
More so now, in view of the ugly turn in the road where American politics seem to be headed.
To me, the bottom line is that if you don’t speak up for others who are somehow persecuted, eventually your turn will come and there will be no one to stand up for your when you are persecuted.
It’s time to stand up and hold your ground.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings.
Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans – in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches – had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.
First he came for the Mexicans, then he came for the war heroes, then he came for African Americans, then he came for the immigrants, then he came for the Jews, then he came for the “gays” …. now he’s coming for the Muslims. Maybe you can add someone else or he will continue adding groups.
“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
Warsan Shire (born 1988) is a Somali–British writer, poet, editor and teacher. Shire was born in 1988 in Kenya to Somali parents. She immigrated to the United Kingdom aged 1. Shire has a . As of 2015, she primarily resides in London.
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”
Donald Trump Slammed For Mocking Disabled New York Times Reporter Serge Kovaleski
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday night Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump seems to mock New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a chronic condition called arthrogryposis which affects the movement of his arms.
Trump imitates Kovaleski while defending comments he has made over the past few weeks, asserting that members of the Muslim communities in New Jersey celebrated following the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in 2001.
The New York Times has slammed Trump’s actions as ‘outrageous’.
(This is not direct discrimination, it’s lower than that).
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. In 1986, the National Council on Disability had recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988.
It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, amended and signed by President George W. Bush with changes effective January 1, 2009.
The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that is intended to protect against discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.
The information included below is something that I knew a bit about. Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the USA in 1952. I was two years old at the time.
As I grew up, all I knew was how benevolent the USA had been with my country. The presence of the US permeates Puerto Rican daily life, its culture, its way of all more than 100%.
I can understand how I thought so highly about the USA that one of my goals was to live here. I have attained that goal. I doubt that I will ever go back to live in the Puerto Rico of today … the Puerto Rico “molded” by the “mighty” USA.
For many reasons, Puerto Ricans have lost what really make us a country. The “benevolent benefactor” has a very dark side to it.
As I grew up, I remember the “rumblings” of the Nationalist and Independence Movements. They have all but totally been squashed by the mighty power of the “benefactor“. It has always, and still continues to this day, taken advantage of Puerto Rico.
Sadly, I don’t think this will ever change. If it does, it would be very damaging to Puerto Rico. The spirit of the “Boricuas” is there …. but I doubt that the the necessary tools and the will to start again and continue and uphill battle will be there.
And I’m supposed to say: “Thank you, USA“?
Makes me think about how many other countries feel the same.
The area that comes to mind because it’s so close to current times is the Middle East.
“La Operacion” is a documentary that highlights the female sterilization policy. This policy was implanted by the United States as part of FDR’s “Operation Bootstrap” in a move toward industrialization. By 1974 35% of the Puerto Rican women were sterile and this number reached 39% by 1981.
The problem with this sterilization policy is that most of the Puerto Rican women were misinformed about the sterilization process and most of the women didn’t know what the consequences would be.
Part 1 of 4
Uploaded on Apr 16, 2010
Vieques is an island municipality of Puerto Rico located in the northeastern Caribbean, it is also known as “La isla nena.” Vieques has a total area of 134.4sq miles and is inhabited by more than 9,000 viequenses. From 1941 to May 1, 2003 the United States Navy used Vieques for naval training and testing. From 1941 to 1942 the U.S. Navy expropriated 22,000 of Vieques 33,000 acres, by 1963 the Navy owned 22,600 acres of Vieques, almost 70% of the island.
In 1948 they commenced bombing exercise which continued for 55 years. Over the course of their stay, more than 22 million pounds of military and industrial waste was deposited on the island. The island was bombarded an average 180 days per year and in 1998 the Navy dropped 23,000 bombs on the island. Professor Jose Seguinot Barbosa, Director of the Geography Department in the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, states in his study “Vieques, the Ecology of an island under siege” that the eastern tip of the island constitutes an area with more craters per kilometer than the moon.
As a result of all this, the cancer rate in Vieques is 27% higher than in the mainland. Most of the elements and toxic compounds dumped in the island were arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, depleted uranium and napalm. Studies show that the ground water in Vieques is contaminated by nitrates and explosives. Testing done in the Icacos Bay showed concentrations of cadmium in crabs 1,000 times greater than the World Health Organizations tolerable ingestion maximum dosage.
Heavy metals have been found in other species of fish.
#6: Radiation Experiments
Dr. Pedro AlbizuCampos was a prominent leader in the independence movement of Puerto Rico. Albizu was imprisoned numerous times for seditious conspiracy against the United States. While in prison, Albizu said he was a subject of human experimentation without consent or warning. The U.S. Government’s response was that Albizu was insane.
The president of the Cuban Cancer Association, Dr. Orlando Damuy, traveled to Puerto Rico to examine Albizu. Dr.Damuy reported burns on Albizu’s body caused by intense radiation. It is said that they placed a metal clip and film on Albizu’s skin and the clip radiated into the film.
Albizu died in 1965 and more than 75,000 Puerto Ricans carried his remains to the Old San Juan Cemetery. In 1994, under the administration of ex-president Bill Clinton, the United States Department of Energy disclosed that human radiation experiments had been conducted without consent on prisoners in Puerto Rico during the 1950s and 1970s.
#5: Dr. Cornelius Rhoads
Dr. Cornelius Rhoads was an American doctor and pathologist that became infamous for performing several objectionable experiments with human beings. In 1931, sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute, Rhoads deliberately infected several Puerto Rican citizens with cancer cells. Supposedly, thirteen of the patients died.
Dr. Rhoads once said in a written document:
“The Porto Ricans [sic] are the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever to inhabit this sphere … I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more … All physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects.”
An investigation done in 2003 by bioethicist Dr. Jay Katz found that the accusations were well founded and documented.
#4: Ponce Massacre
The Ponce Massacre, which took place on March 21, 1937, was one of the most violent episodes in the history of the twentieth century in Puerto Rico. The activity was announced in El Mundo newspaper on March 19, indicating that the meeting of the Nationalists in Ponce and adjacent areas would be at 2pm in front of the Nationalist Party Headquarters in Ponce. That morning, Colonel Orbeta, the chief of police, traveled to Ponce with the intention of prohibiting the Nationalist activity. A week before, the Nationalists had requested authorization for the march from Mayor José Tormos Diego, who was away from Puerto Rico on vacation and had left Dr. William Gelpí as acting mayor. Gelpí authorized Casimiro Berenguer, the military instructor of the “Cadetes de la Republica” to disseminate information to the effect that permission had to be granted by Mayor Tormos Diego.
The Nationalists had filed the request despite the fact that the laws of Puerto Rico allowed parades or public acts to be held without the need to ask permission.
The police under the command of Guillermo Soldevila, the head of the force in Juana Díaz, and Felipe Blanco cordoned off the demonstrators, using expert marksmen mobilized from all the police stations in Puerto Rico. The police covered the corner where the Nationalist Council was located on Marina Street, between Aurora and Jobos Streets. Meanwhile, the Cadets of the Republic and the Nurses Corps organized in three columns. The cadets wore a uniform of white trousers, black shirts, black caps, and on the left sleeve, a Calatravian cross. Leading the column was cadet captain Tomás López de Victoria. The young women formed up as the nurses corps, wearing white uniforms and marching behind the young men. Bringing up the rear was the band, made up of five or six musicians.
Nearby, on Aurora and Marina Streets, almost in front of where the Council was located, the families of the cadets came together with other Nationalists who had come to see the parade. The band played “La Borinqueña,” and the captain of the Cadet Corps, Tomás López de Victoria, immediately gave the order to step off. At the precise moment when they were about to do so, Soldevila raised a whip, put it to the chest of López de Victoria, and told him that they could not march. Police officer Armando Martínez ran from the corner in front of the Nationalist Council toward Marina Street, firing once into the air, which unleashed volleys of shots from arms of different calibers.
Eight people died instantly and others died later, for a total of nineteen. Police officers Ceferino Loyola and Eusebio Sánchez died victims of the crossfire of their fellows. Georgina Maldonado, a 13 year old-girl, an employee of a nearby gas station, José Antonio Delgado, a member of the National Guard who was passing by, and fourteen Nationalists also died.
#3: The Pill
In the early 1950s the Puerto Rican women were used for experimentation in the making of the first birth control pill. The Pill was invented by Dr. Gregory Goodwin Pincus but strict laws in the U.S. didn’t permit full scale experimentation.
In 1955 Dr. Pincus and his colleague, Harvard obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. John Rock visited Puerto Rico and then decided it was a perfect place to test out their pill due to the lack of anti-birth control laws.
The trials began in Rio Piedras but quickly moved throughout the poor sectors in the island. The experiments was based on poor and working class women; these women were not told the pill was experimental and were not told the negative effects the pill could have on them. Three young women died during these experiments and no investigations were conducted to determine cause of death.
The effect of the colonization is very evident on the Puerto Rican people. “La ley de mordaza” was implanted by Governor Jesus T. Piñero on May 21, 1948 which did not permit any Puerto Rican to show any patriotism or even display the Puerto Rican Flag. Puerto Ricans were given citizenship in 1917 with the Jones Act, Puerto Ricans were considered alien in United States but once the Jones Act took effect more than 20,000 Puerto Ricans were drafted by the army.
With the United States came huge changes in the educational system making American values and principles the main teachings in schools and even forcing teachers to teach English. It wasn’t until 1998 that Puerto Ricans changed back to Spanish as their main language in schools.
The United States implanted an economy that depended on them; this destroyed the agriculture in Puerto Rico. In less than 20 years, 90 cents of each dollar that a Puerto Rican spent went to the United States. This made Puerto Rico one of the poorest countries in America. The Puerto Ricans still do not have a defined status; Puerto Rico has one of the worst economies in America and an unemployment rate of more than 16%. Puerto Ricans don’t have the same rights for their social security or even veterans’ benefits, even though they meet the same requirements than the people that live in the states.
#1: Puerto Rico’s Status
Puerto Rico has been a US territory for more than 100 years and has been defined as a commonwealth since 1952. Puerto Ricans cannot vote for the US President or Congress but they have to obey federal laws. A Resident Commissioner represents Puerto Ricans in Congress but he cannot vote on legislation. This affects Puerto Ricans every day. An example of this is the Cabotage laws implanted in 1920 by the Jones Act. This law says that Puerto Ricans must use the U.S. Merchant Marine for the oceanic transportation of any goods bought by Puerto Rico.
This is a problem because Puerto Rico, being an island, does not produce everything it consumes and is obliged in the use of the U.S. Merchant Marine. The U.S. Merchant Marine is one of the most expensive merchant marines in the world. It is estimated that if Puerto Ricans were not forced to use the U.S. Merchant Marine prices in all imported products would drop 40% and it would save Puerto Ricans $150 million in product export, this would lower the prices of the exported products and make Puerto Rico a more competitive country in the world market.
You could think that Puerto Rico has the Cabotage laws applied because it hasn’t defined their political status but this in not true because other US territories like the US Virgin Islands don’t have to comply with these laws.
Another fact is that the Puerto Rican trade produces 25% of The U.S. Merchant Marine’s income.
After reading all of this information in detail and remembering facts which were buried deep in my memories, added to the current state of affairs of the USA, there’s no way that I can, in my heart and soul, feel the same. Of course, one learns as one grows older. I can understand the resentment there is around the world against a mighty, powerful, oppressive country.