September 17, 2009

Pres. Carter Video on Racism in the USA

Posted in USA politics tagged , , , , at 5:21 am by randallbutisingh

President Carter Video on Racism in the USA

Comment:

This video is an excerpt from an upcoming detailed TV interview with former President  Carter who would soon be celebrating his 85th birthday.

In this video he says that the vitriolic outbursts and heated debate that surrounds the Obama presidency is based on racism, especially from the “Southern States”. He should know what he is talking about as he is from Georgia, a southern state.

The tough economic times in the USA is not the making of the Obama administration. President Obama’s efforts to get a sustainable and efficient health care system in place has been opposed by the lobbyists  who try to control the Congressional members with their financial and other support. President Obama’s recent speech to Congress on Health Care clearly stated the various options and points of view, and these were not radical proposals. However, there are those who are committed to oppose the changes he has in store for the USA, beginning with health care, which he believes must be fixed for America to progress as a modern nation.

It would be quite interesting to see if the USA will change or at least control its underlying racist behavior and address its problems realistically in this amazing than the technology, worldwide communications and science than we have already witnessed in the last 20  years. An unhealthy and relatively expensive USA, with high health care costs that could financially cripple individuals and families, physically and economically, does not prepare the USA for this new global reality.

Racism has to be discarded  – knowledge and efficiency and commitment has to be promoted for that country to compete, so the USA has to make a choice. They did so by electing President Obama, but there are those bent on seeing him fail without realizing that their actions may make the  USA less powerful nation in the future as this 21st century unfolds.

– Cyril Bryan

– Post submitted by Cyril BryanGuest Contributor

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September 15, 2009

Letter to Congressman Joe Wilson

Posted in Politics, USA politics tagged , at 5:36 am by randallbutisingh

Letter to Congressman Joe Wilson – by Helen Burleson

This letter from an 80 year old woman, and likely it will mean little to Mr. Wilson, but she expresses her outrage at his behavior in the USA Congress during President’s Obama’s speech so aptly. Please take the time to read this thoughtful letter written by Helen Burleson an 80 year old woman to Congressman Joe Wilson.  It says it all: 


                                                              56 Graymoor Lane
                                                        Olympia Fields, IL 60461
                                                            September 10, 2009

Joe Wilson, Member
United States Congress
212 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D. C 20515-4002 

903 Port Republic Street
Beaufort, South Carolina 29902

 Mr. Wilson:

I am an 80 year old mother and my older child is 51 years old; but, if ever I were to hear him call anyone a liar or rudely and obstreperously tell someone they were telling a lie, I would slap his face.  My two children, 41 and 51 respectively, are very well reared as was I.  I can remember as a little innocent child calling someone a liar.  I only did it one time because the lecture in the form of a lesson in proper decorum sank in, and to this day, I have never called anyone a liar.  My mother considered this the ultimate in rudeness and disrespect, not only for the person I called a liar, but for me, myself.

Having learned that lesson at such an early age, it made me cringe when you, at age 62, and a former military man, yelled to the President of the United States of America, “You lie.” As a military man, you know the chain of command; and, you were addressing the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.  Of course, President Obama who is a very refined gentleman did not respond and he kept right on target delivering the most brilliant speech I have ever heard.  I can say this with a degree of authority because I have been witness to every presidency since Herbert Hoover.  Never in the hallowed halls of Congress have I witnessed such coarse, gross, despicable behavior.

I don’t know if your mother is alive or not, but if she is, I’m certain that she hung her head in shame knowing that all over the world you have disgraced her, yourself, your wife, your four sons, your office, your constituency and your country.  Children of good breeding, who are properly reared, carry the teachings of their parents throughout their lives.  At 80 everything I do is tested against, “what would my mother think of that?”  I would never defame her precious memory by demonstrating lack of self control and knowledge of the social graces that separate women from ladies and men from gentlemen.

 My mother was a proper Southern genteel lady who commanded respect because of the way she carried herself.  I would think that your being from the South, you would have gotten some of that good ole Southern hospitality and gentility that seems to be characteristic of intelligent people of the South.

 I do so hope you will listen to the foreign media as I did late last night.  You are an international disgrace because from Ireland to China and England, your crudity was the main topic of conversation.

 I note that you have a law degree.  I wonder how proud your alma mater, University of South Carolina Law School, was of you tonight as you showed to the world that education without character is vacuous and meaningless.  There is a popular expression of people with degrees who lack common sense; they are referred to as “educated fools.”

If you were playing to the media and to the camera for attention, you succeeded because your worldwide legacy will be that you were the ill-suited and ill-placed person who demeaned himself in the halls of Congress for the first time in U.S. history.

 Written with embarrassment for my country,

 — Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration

September 11, 2009

Speech by the president.

Posted in USA politics tagged , at 2:11 am by randallbutisingh

Last night, I heard one of the greatest speeches ever.  It was from the incumbent President of the United Stares of America, Barack Obama.  He looked every inch a president – robust health, boundless energy, persevering, courageous and compassionate.  It was a speech in favour of Health Care for the nation.  I had the opportunity of listening  and was touched by it.  Whatever the outcome of the bill that will be presented, this is certain – the cause was noble and may Justice prevail.

O man, how has it taken you so long to learn that you are your brother’s keeper; that without him, you cannot, and with him you can.  When are you going to realise that the best way to go  is the way of acceptance and not rejection.  That making friends is nobler than destroying enemies.  Until you realise that your neighbour is your own dear self, and you must love him as yourself, till then you are living a life of fruitlessness accountable to God who created  all in His own Image and likeness.

July 27, 2009

QUO VADIS DOMINE?

Posted in History, Lusignan, Philosophy, Politics, USA politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:07 am by randallbutisingh

QUO VADIS DOMINE by Patanjali Ramlall.

I have contributed to this Blog in the past. Mr. Randall Butisingh, my teacher in the 1950’s at Lusignan School, East Coast Demerara, British Guiana (now Guyana), has asked me to continue my writings and submit them to his Blog for inclusion. I thank him for this wonderful opportunity. Here is my latest contribution.

QUO VADIS DOMINE?

Reflecting on the 40th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon I am still perplexed as t o why we cannot close the human divide and reach in to ourselves to stop human conflicts and share the earth without greed and wars.

I read the book QUO VADIS at age fourteen in Middle Road La Penitence, Georgetown, British Guiana, now Guyana, in 1963. And I was never able to resolve its climax; the conflict within myself about the path of mankind’s quest for ruling over and conquering that which cannot be explained in simple terms and yet not pursuing or getting in touch with that which is within himself, his spirituality. To the point – I find it interesting that on 20th July, we touched the moon forty years ago and still need to reach in and touch ourselves.

The flag planted by Americans on the moon’s surface on 20th July, 1969 in part says, “….. we come in peace.” I was amazed at those words when I saw them for the first time on Monday 20th, 2009. From the mid-1960’s to the early 1970’s the United States was waging a conflict in Vietnam for land and control of a large part of Indo-China, maiming, burning villages and crops, causing hunger, despair, creating widows and orphans, displacing and slaughtering millions, and we had the
audacity to say on the flag “we come in peace” while annihilating thousands.

On 16th March 1968, a company of US infantry entered and massacred about 500 Vietnamese peasants, mostly women and children without any threat – from the village of My Lai. On 9th March, 1969, the U.S military began secret bombing operations in Cambodia, code-named Operation Menu, without the consent of the United States Congress.These secret bombings in turn gave rise to the hideous Pol Pot regime that murdered between 1 to 3 million people.
And yet  “…..we come in peace.”

What beautiful double talk, it smells.

Forty years after the moon’s landing we still wage wars – in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. We sit with our arms folded and allow a murderous military machine and inhumane regime to keep in continued detention for 19 years, the legally and democratically elected president, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi, of Burma, now Myanmar. We close our eyes to the plight of Tibetans and the ethnic minorities of China, Russia, Darfur, and other parts of the African continent. And we boast of conquering the moon.

I saw the film QUO VADIS for the first time two weeks ago and realized that what I had read of Rome and the madman Nero who lived two thousand years ago is still pervasive in this so-called modern world.
Nothing has changed except our weapons and the technology for spying – we call it “intelligence-gathering”. The fantasy world that we live in is getting us no place fast, and against the birth right of our spiritual nature. The science involved in man’s missions to the moon has enriched our material world, e.g, clothes, space food, etc., but
not one iota of how to get in touch with, and conquer our own fears and insanity arising from it.

We can make a thousand  missions to the moon, Mars, Jupiter or wherever, but unless we make that inner one and first save ourselves we will be navigating a universe without direction. “We come in peace” should be our earthly resolve and spread among all nations before taking it to the stars. Man cannot give to the stars what he does not have for himself. It still smells.

Whither goest thou?

Or should I say to world leaders – QUO VADIS DOMINE?

Interestingly enough how about this on PEACE?  – Henry Kissinger Secretary of State under Nixon and Ford, and one of the intellectual players of OPERATION CONDOR, a covert operation that kidnapped and killed thousands in South America, won the Nobel Prize for Peace, and Mahatma Gandhi, that apostle of Peace and non violence was denied it by the British for his insistence on Indian independence.  As a matter of fact the Brits made an empty apology about holding back on the Mahatma a few years ago.  Check on Henry Kissenger on the Internet for more details on “Operation Condor”.

— Patanjali Ramlall

July 8, 2009

Rev Al Sharpton Speech at Michael Jackson Funeral – Video

Posted in Friendship, Messages, Philosophy, Religion, USA politics tagged , , , at 8:10 pm by randallbutisingh

Rev Al Sharpton Speech at Michael Jackson Funeral

Rev Al Sharpton Speech at Michael Jackson Funeral – Video

Michael Jackson, the pop singer and entertainer was buried on June 8, 2009.

A Memorial Service and funeral, lasting some three hours, was held for him at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California, USA. It featured family members, celebrities with entertainment and speeches.

One of the speakers, the Rev Al Sharpton made a speech that had the greatest impact on the crowd, as it identified the salient points of the Michael Jackson phenomena… The Michael Jackson Journey and his ability to connect with peoples around the world through music. Sharpton’s also highlighted the fact the Michael Jackson’s long career starting at 10years old, and spanning some 40 years, was the time also of racial reconciliation and the breaking down of racial barriers… culminating in the election of President Barack Obama as President of the United States.

One may not agree with the politics of the Rev. Al Sharpton, but this speech was truly a great one worthy of a first look, if you did not see the Jackson Memorial Service, or a second look if you missed the points he made. According to Larry King of “Larry King Live”, it was the best speech he has ever heard in an arena setting like that at the Memorial Service.

– Cyril Bryan – Guest Contributor

June 18, 2009

An Open Letter to Arne Duncan

Posted in Economics, Education, History, Politics, Psychology, Science & Technology, USA politics tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by randallbutisingh

An Open Letter to Arne Duncan

Summer 2009

From Herbert Kohl

<<It is hard for me to understand how educators can claim that they are creating high standards when the substance and content of learning is reduced to the mechanical task of getting a correct answer on a manufactured test. In the panic over teaching students to perform well on reading tests, educators seem to have lost sight of the fact that reading is a tool, an instrument that is used for pleasure and for the acquisition of knowledge and information about the way the world works. The mastery of complex reading skills develops as students grapple with ideas, learn to understand plot and character, and develop and articulate opinions on literature. They also develop through learning history, science, and technology.>>

Dear Arne Duncan,

In a recent interview with NEA Today you said of my book 36 Children, “I read [it] in high school … [and] … wrote about his book in one of my college essays, and I talked about the tremendous hope that I feel [and] the challenges that teachers in tough communities face. The book had a big impact on me.”

When I wrote 36 Children in 1965 it was commonly believed that African American students, with a few exceptions, simply could not function on a high academic level. The book was motivated by my desire to provide a counter-example, one I had created in my classroom, to this cynical and racist view, and to let the students’ creativity and intelligence speak for itself. It was also intended to show how important it was to provide interesting and complex curriculum that integrated the arts and sciences, and utilized the students’ own culture and experiences to inspire learning. I discovered then, in my early teaching career, that learning is best driven by ideas, challenges, experiences, and activities that engage students. My experience over the past 45 years has confirmed this.

We have come far from that time in the ’60s. Now the mantra is high expectations and high standards. Yet, with all that zeal to produce measurable learning outcomes we have lost sight of the essential motivations to learn that moved my students. Recently I asked a number of elementary school students what they were learning about and the reactions were consistently, “We are learning how to do good on the tests.” They did not say they were learning to read.

It is hard for me to understand how educators can claim that they are creating high standards when the substance and content of learning is reduced to the mechanical task of getting a correct answer on a manufactured test. In the panic over teaching students to perform well on reading tests, educators seem to have lost sight of the fact that reading is a tool, an instrument that is used for pleasure and for the acquisition of knowledge and information about the way the world works. The mastery of complex reading skills develops as students grapple with ideas, learn to understand plot and character, and develop and articulate opinions on literature. They also develop through learning history, science, and technology.

Reading is not a series of isolated skills acquired in a sanitized rote-learning environment utilizing “teacher-proof” materials. It develops through interaction with a knowledgeable, active teacher—through dialogue, and critical analysis. It also develops through imaginative writing and research.

It is no wonder that the struggle to coerce all students into mastering high-stakes testing is hardest at the upper grades. The impoverishment of learning taking place in the early grades naturally leads to boredom and alienation from school-based learning. This disengagement is often stigmatized as “attention deficit disorder.” The very capacities that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is trying to achieve are undermined by the way in which the law is implemented.

This impoverishment of learning is reinforced by cutting programs in the arts. The free play of the imagination, which is so crucial for problem-solving and even for entrepreneurship, is discouraged in a basics curriculum lacking in substantial artistic and human content.

Add to this the elimination of physical education in order to clear more time to torture students with mechanical drilling and shallow questioning and it is no wonder that many American students are lethargic when it comes to ideas and actions. I’m sure that NCLB has, in many cases, a direct hand in the development of childhood obesity.

It is possible to maintain high standards for all children, to help students learn how to speak thoughtfully, think through problems, and create imaginative representations of the world as it is and as it could be, without forcing them through a regime of high-stakes testing. Attention has to be paid to the richness of the curriculum itself and time has to be allocated to thoughtful exploration and experimentation. It is easy to ignore content when the sole focus is on test scores.

Your administration has the opportunity, when NCLB comes up for re-authorization, to set the tone, aspirations, and philosophical and moral grounds for reform that develops the intelligence, creativity, and social and personal sensitivity of students. I still hold to the hope you mentioned you took away from 36 Children but I sometimes despair about how we are wasting the current opportunity to create truly effective schools where students welcome the wonderful learning that we as adults should feel privileged to provide them.

I would welcome any opportunity to discuss these and other educational issues with you.

Sincerely, Herbert Kohl

…………………………………………………………………………….

COMMENT by Cyril Bryan, Guest Contributor.

Readers would note that some of the most popular items on this Web log relate to education. This is mainly due to the fact that Randall Butisingh has written his thoughts, and novel ideas relating to education which he practiced as a teacher for over 40 years.

I have selected this article “An Open Letter to Arne Duncan”, written by Herbert Kohl for inclusion on this Blog as the ideas of Mr. Kohl , I think, mirrors those that have been advanced by Mr. Butisingh in his writings. Mr. Arne Duncan, to whom this letter is addressed is the Education Secretary in the USA Obama government. Since the elections, there has been intensive politicking in regard to education in the USA as there are vested interests, like they are in Health Care, against change…. and Change is sorely needed in both of these critical areas, where most of the country’s budgets are spent.

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education strategies have failed, and what will replace them is the center of intense debate. Many of the issues that have been raised in relation to modern education, are the same in most countries of the world, so many countries could learn from the American experience.  The stress on passing exams through rote learning and the limited curriculum that excludes the arts and other creative subjects has created students who are unfit for this modern world that rewards creativity and adaptability. Education that stifles creativity also stifles the culture, economy and progress of a country, especially in these times of rapid technological change.

We do hope that the USA Education Secretary Arnie Duncan does read this letter and take note of its valuable insights. He said in the NEA Today Interview that he did read Mr Kohl’s book “36 Children””, and wrote on it in one of his College essays, and that the book did have an impact on him….. so he should understand what Mr. Kohl is talking about. Let us all hope that he does, and is capable of implementing at least some of them, for the sake of the USA and the World.

– Cyril Bryan

May 24, 2009

Working together for progress

Posted in Friendship, Philosophy, Thoughts, USA politics tagged , , , , , at 4:26 am by randallbutisingh

It is time for the leaders of the world to realise that to survive this crisis which has affected every nation. that working together is the way to go.  Now is not the time for nations to work in isolation and compete against one another.  It needs concerted effort to get us out of this deep chasm that American leaders who lacked  vision and discrimination brought us into.  In this engagement, America, with her new world acclaimed leader, must try to set the standard of inclusion of all.  At the same time she must make effort to bring justice to all peoples.  Otherwise every one will continue to live in fear, for those who think they are wronged will quite rightly fight for their rights.  Now is an opportunity to put less trust in fighting and more in  trying to build friendships.

All men are brothers whether we accept it or not.  Those who spurn true religion must know that all mankind came from the same source and are alike as the waves are to the ocean though they have differing degrees of dimension and intensity.  Disregarding this fact of our inter relation has been the cause of conflicts from time immemorial.

Randall Butisingh

March 18, 2009

The millenium

Posted in Economics, Friendship, Philosophy, Politics, USA politics tagged , , at 1:32 pm by randallbutisingh

If anyone thinks that the New Administration, headed by President Barack Obama will bring Utopia, let him think again.  We are in a time when there is need,  not so much for the material things of life – some  have had it to overflow – while others have been starving;  but there will be  need  for a Spiritual Awakening which  will lead us into the millenium.  The standard of living will take a downward trend, and make no bones about it;  the economy as it was, will never recover to benefit a few.   What is needed  at this time is not  high living and low thinking but simple living and elevated thinking.

We are moving into a time when men and nations will see that the vanity of National Pride and Loyalty to one country and  of ethnic and colour prejudices.  They will see themselves, each of whatever size, colour or shape as an integral part in the Mosaic which is Indivisible Humanity.  They will see how wasteful it is to use the resources of Mother Earth,  put there for all her children,  and their God given talents,  for making weapons to destroy their brother man, but in reality they are destroying Mankind in which they are involved.

The current crisis which perhaps is the greatest to ever befall, not only a nation, but the whole world is a wake up call to bring the nations of the earth to their senses;  to see their interrelation and their interdependence;  to see that what affects one segment of mankind affects the whole;  and to put away the notion that the unchanging God of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son favours one nation above all others.

Who knows, this may be the last administrationn before the predicted Armageddon. Everything is pointing towards it  – nations will rise up against nations, the frequency of earthquakes and other natural disasters, the diminishing environment  intensified by man’s greed and lust for power.   Predictions had been made before,  but today the signs are clear everywhere.    Those who have eyes to see, let them see.    The time is near when  nations will  see the wisdom of beating  their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks and there will be no more wars.   Be prepared !

Randall Butisingh

February 27, 2009

Leadership

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, USA politics tagged , , , , at 9:03 pm by randallbutisingh

Taken from PROMISES  FOR  EVERYDAY,  a Daily Devotional.

By John C. Maxwell

YOUR  ADVISORS  WILL MAKE  OR  BREAK  YOU

When there is no counsel the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.        Proverbs 11 :  14

Every leader has to build an inner circle that will add value to him or her and to the leadership of the organisation.  But choose well, for the members of this ‘inner circle’ will become your closest confidantes; your inner circle will make you or break you.

So who belongs to the ‘council’ in this inner circle ?

Creative people

Loyal people

People who share your vision

Wise and intelligent people

People with complememtary gifts

People with influence

People of faith

People of integrity

So how about it?  Do those close to you exemplify it?

Comment:

I trust our new President has found this kind of “inner circle”, for if there is even one who does not share his vision, there will be trouble of no small magnitude.  To err is human.  Even our Lord who was all wise had a traitor in his inner circle.  We, the people, can only wish our president well and  go with him all the way.  If traitors try to frustrate him and cause him to fail in his mission, we will still be loyal to him.

– Randall Butisingh

February 25, 2009

Where there is no vision, the people perish

Posted in USA politics tagged , , , , , , , at 1:08 am by randallbutisingh

Now is the time for all Americans to rally and support a leader who Providence has bestowed in this generation to bring about the change, which is not acceptable to some, but was inevitable.  They will realise that the time has come when lifestyles have to be changed if they need to survive.  Belts will have to be tightened;  the virtues of Thrift, Temperance and Sacrifice will have to be practised, and Cooperation will have to be the slogan for a better existence when mankind begin to realise that they are one, and need one another, and join hands together in a chain of friendship so as to achieve a world of peace and harmony.

Those of vision will see that the days of blood sucking CEO’S are over; the wealth that they stash away and waste in luxury, or pile up as unused compost while the fields are growing weeds,  could have helped those who really toiled to feed their avarice.  It could have provided them with a living wage, and  bonuses, so that they could provide for their families and enjoy a little vacation, instead of looking for two or three jobs to make ends meet.  Thanks to those philanthropists who who are sharing their bounty with their brothers.  But with all the wealth there is, much more could be done.

The bug of materialism has also bitten the preachers (not all of them) of the gospel of Jesus whose injunction is to “not lay up treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt but to lay up treasures in heaven”.  But these preachers delve into the Old testament, the Hebrew scripture instead, and quote from the orders of a changing, jealous, vindictive and partial Lord  to vindicate their cupidity.  But hold!  the handwriting is on the wall.

Those who think that war can provide for the stability that is needed are sadly mistaken.  War can only destroy relationships and engender hatred which is a canker that eats into the moral fibre of men and nations.  We have to remember at all times that all men are brothers, and we are our brother’s keeper; and the injustice done to any section of humanity will affect humanity as a whole.

– Randall Butisingh

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