Monday, December 29, 2008

View from Crooked Tree Village, Belize



Harvesting Coconut in Crooked Tree Village (Dec. 29, 2008)

View from Crooked Tree Village, Belize



Sunset in the Pine Ridge Area of Crooked Tree Village, Belize (Dec. 29, 2008)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Weekend Break-Vintage Americana




New York City in the 1950's. What better way to rediscover New York, see the monuments, things to see and facts you might remember about the Big Apple.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

HAPPY CHRISTMAS


Something funny for the holidays. Dat was funny!  
God bless and Happy Holidays

Independent Water System Coming to Crooked Tree Village


Photo by Jane Crawford, DVM

After years of waiting, the Social Investment Fund, a statutory body of the Ministry of Economic Development, has finally secured and approved funding for an adequate water system for Crooked Tree Village.


Funding for this project will cost approximately BZ$1,449,545.00. Of this sum, $903,000.00 came in the form of a grant to the Government of Belize (GOB) from the European Union. $397,241.00 represents GOB counterpart funding and BZ$149,304.00 by the Crooked Tree Community and the Crooked Tree Village Council in the form of trenching for pipe installations.


The scope of the work includes: construction of a 20,000 gallon elevated concrete tank with a 10 feet by 10 feet pump house complete with fencing, installation of 66,000 feet of transmission and distribution lines, 7,350 feet of piping for house to house service connections, installation of a submersible pump with chlorinator unit, training in management of the system, and administrative expenses incurred by Social Investment Fund staff and equipment during project implementation.


A launch ceremony was held at the project site on October 8, 2008 at 10: a.m. Guest speakers at the event were the Honorable Erwin Contreras (Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection); Honorable Edmond Castro (Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Belize Rural North Area Representative); Dr. Marcelino Avila (Project Director of the Belize Rural Development Program); Ms. Yvonne Hyde (Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection and National Authorizing Officer to the European Union); and Mr. Ian McMillan (Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund). The project was scheduled to be completed by April of 2009. However, the date has been pushed back due to the October flooding. As of now, work will begin only in January of 2009.


Crooked Tree Village, in the Belize District, consists of approximately 800 residents in 245 households that will benefit from the water project. In the village's period of drought, often occurring seasonally, many of the wells in the Village dry up and residents suffer greatly from a lack of water. It's not unusual to see water trucks bringing water to the residents daily.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Man of The Year


This will be a speech to remember long after the Obama presidency. Here you see Obama grappling with the Rev. Wright issue. Much of what Rev. Wright said is repulsive and repugnant, but if you listen closely, some of it is inspiring. Rev. Wright rage against a majority that has, in the not so distant past, given Black America every reason to be angry.

Obama spoke movingly about the need for racially equality and understanding. I admired Barack Obama for his refusal to disowned the Rev. Wright, but also refusing to endorsed some of his messages.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

School Bells Inc Back from Belize

Members of School Bell Inc in Crooked Tree Village:center Former Chairman of Crooked Tree Village, Mr. Rudy Crawford

School Bells Incorporated is back in Tennessee after another successful fifth year of servicing the rural areas of Belize. School Bells' mission is to provide medical services to rural Villages like Crooked Tree, Maskall and Burrell Boom.


For over 5 days, the group of medical professionals-- which included Dentists, Pediatricians, General Practitioners, Pharmacists and Nurses-- traveled to Crooked Tree, Maskall and Burrell Boom Villages and provided much needed medical services. A total of one thousand patients, both adults and children, benefited from their services.


Mrs. Yvonne Bridges, the Director of School Bells Inc had this to say about the organization's impact on Crooked Tree Village:


"Most of the children in Crooked Tree suffered from skin and ear infections. The whole mission is to help Belizeans in the rural areas but we also helped school children in Belize City that we believed could use our support. The medical team travel with us back and forth every year. We also helped the children in the Toledo District schools in 2000 with our medical team. The schools and health centers send us the information of what is needed in the way of medical supplies and we provide the support".

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hatred for Bush



An Iraqi journalist expressing his feelings that many Iraqis have.

Iraqi journalist Muntadhir-al Zaidi with Baghdadiya TV based In Cairo, Egypt launched his size 10 shoes at President Bush this evening. Bush was making his farewell visit to Baghdad in the heavily fortified Green Zone. The shoes, launched one at at time, sailed passed the president's head. Zaidi was heard yelling in Arabic. "This is a farewell, you dog". In the Muslim culture, throwing a shoe at someone or sitting so that the bottom of your shoes faces someone is an insult.

Zaidi was quickly apprehended and dragged away still yelling "Dog,dog!"

Later, President Bush joked and said "that was a size 10, it's one way of getting attention".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Belize and Guatemala signed Historic Agreement


Wilfred P. Elrington, Attorney General & Minister of Foreign Affairs

For more than 50 years Belize has been negotiating with Guatemala for them to drop their claim on Belize’s territorial integrity. Belize became self-governing in 1964, and from 1975 successive UN resolutions endorsed Belize’s right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity. In 1981 Belize became an independent state recognized by all the UN member states except Guatemala. Over many years all efforts have failed and so the only choice is to settle the matter in the International Court of Justice.

An agreement was signed on December 08, 2008 between Belize and Guatemala at the Organization of American States (OAS) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The OAS has played a major role in facilitating this agreement and will create and administer a fund to contribute to the legal costs both countries will incur to prepare for this case.
Bringing this matter to the ICJ will cost the Government of Belize BZ$20 million. The government is depending on various sources including the OAS. The UK Foreign Minister, Gillian Merron announced that the United Kingdom will contribute 200,000 pounds towards this fund.

This agreement is the necessary first step for both countries to agree to take the Guatemalan claims on Belize’s territory to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands if the people in both countries agree by the way of a referendum. The referendum will be held in Belize and Guatemala simultaneously and will ask the people if they agree that any legal claim to Guatemala against Belize relating to land and territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. The ICJ (World Court) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. The main function of the ICJ is to settle legal disputes submitted to it by member states.

Present at the signing were the Foreign Ministers from both countries and addresses were delivered in the presence of the president of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza and other delegates.
The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Belize’s Foreign Minister signed the agreement on behalf of Belize.

Elrington said after the signing, “The signing of this special agreement is a manifestation of the deep commitment on the part of the Government of Belize to put this claim behind us. While we in Government have agreed that the matter should go to the ICJ, our Governments, the Government of Belize and Guatemala have determined and agreed that it is the right of our people to make the final decision on this matter. Therefore it is our responsibility to put the question to them by way of referendum, to set the date for that to be held and for us to provide them with as much information as possible, so that they can make an intelligent decision when the time comes for them to do the signing. This is the process which we are now contemplating and embarking upon immediately after the signing of these two historic documents”.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Minister Castro Threatened with Shotgun

Minister Edmond Castro


Chairman of Lucky Strike Village, Belize, Oscar Pollard was today charged with two counts of aggravated assault and use of threatening words after he pulled a shotgun on Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro and his driver.

Mr. Castro told Village View Post that he had gone to the Lucky Strike Community Center to inspect some piping and was denied access to the building by Pollard. Pollard then pulled out a shotgun and threatened to kill Castro and his driver.

This is not the first time that Pollard threatened Minister Castro, earlier this year he reportedly threatened Castro after he criticized some work Pollard did on the Maskall Health Center in Maskall Village.

Mr. Castro told Village View Post that Pollard threatened to kill him before Christmas Eve. Mr. Castro also said that he has everything documented for the courts. Pollard will appear in Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Dec. 11th, 2008 to answer to the charges.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Natural Born Citizen


It seems that there are people in the United States that will do anything in their power not to accept the elector’s choice, Barack Obama, president elect of the United States.


The Supreme Court today has rejected the appeal of a New Jersey lawyer, Leo Donofrio who questioned whether Barack Obama can become president of the United States.
Mr. Donofrio claims that Barack’s father, born in Kenya was a British subject and that makes President Elect Barack Obama not a natural born citizen of the United States.


The Constitution of the United States requires that the president be a natural born citizen. President Elect Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. His mother was a natural born citizen. The law in the United States is, if you are born here, you are a natural born citizen.


Mr. Leo Donofrio, why don’t you use your time and energy to make a positive change in society? Enough with these conspiracy theories! He is a natural born citizen of the United States and is going to make an amazing president.


CASE CLOSED!

Planned Attack on Iran



The Jerusalem Post reported on Dec. 5th, 2008 exclusively that the Israeli military is drawing up plans for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear plant without coordination with the United States. The report was based on comments by an unnamed Defense Ministry Official. Previous plans have included American help to fly through Iraqi airspace that is under U.S. control.
United States President, George W. Bush reportedly has refused to give the go-ahead for an Israeli strike on Iran, although outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has denied that Israel is depending on American advice.

How to Be Safe From Terror in A Hotel


Cheverny Hotel Paris- 7 Villa Berthier Paris, France (small and cozy)


With an increasingly unsafe world, it seems as if though people are getting weary about travel and staying in large hotels.

According to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, there are a number of precautions you can take when travelling and staying in a hotel to stay alive. Here are six ways to minimize your chances of dying in a hotel besieged by terrorists.

1. Avoid big hotels- Terrorists tend not to waste time on small targets.

2. Order room service whenever possible- The lobby is the most dangerous place in a hotel because they are entirely unsecure.

3. Reserve a room on the first to the fifth floor- Try to be high enough to escape whatever chaos might occur on the ground floor. It’s not a bad idea to stay on a floor close enough to the ground that a jump will leave you with just a broken leg.

4. Make two plans the moment you arrive in your room- Figure out how you will escape and how you are going to survive a siege. If escape isn’t an option, figure out how to fortify your room. Fill your bathtub with water (if there’s one) with water; it may come in handy if there’s a fire outside your door. Always travel with a small flashlight, small utility knife (if you can sneak pass TSA) matches and a few energy bars. Know where your shoes, passport and money are at all times.

5. Set up signs- Before you leave your room for the day, place certain items discreetly so you can know if someone has tampered with them.

6. If you have to stay in a large hotel, stay in one that has already been bombed or attacked by terrorists, they are more security conscious.

We cannot let humanity be defeated by terror, but if you are nervous about vacationing in Europe, Asia or the Middle East, you can always spend your vacation in Belize.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

View From Crooked Tree Village

Photo by Jane Crawford, DVM


Bridge out of troubled waters; across causeway: Dec. 7th, 2008

Scuba Diver Found Dead in Belize’s Blue Hole

Photograph by David Doubilet

Divers working on a Polish Television Documentary in the Blue Hole found the remains of a scuba diver that was missing since 2001.

San Pedro Police said the remains are believed to be of a missing American doctor from Miami who came to Belize to dive in 2001. The body was identified from a camera retrieved from the remains that was rented from a local dive shop.

The divers who found the body at a depth of three hundred and fifty five feet said the head and parts of one arm and leg are missing. The dive team said that they could not retrieve the body because they were not properly equipped to remove a body.

The San Pedro Police also said that the case is being turned over to the Superintendent of Police, David Henderson at the Eastern Division.

Officials said the body will be difficult to recover due to the depth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Break

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Roller Blades and bottles tuned to Mozart's Symphony No.40 in G minor

Justice at Last



Today, a Las Vegas judge sentenced the “Juice” O.J. Simpson to 15 years in prison for being the leader of an armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino involving sports memorabilia and personal family items.


Simpson could become eligible for parole in nine years. He was led from the courtroom in shackles.


Judge Jackie Glass told Simpson he was arrogant and ignorant. She stressed that his sentencing was not payback for his acquittal 13 years ago in the murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.


Simpson, looking emotional and with a shaking voice, stood up to apologized in court to the people of Nevada. He insisted he was just trying to recover property that was stolen from him, adding that some of the items he tried to recover were a wedding ring for his daughter and family photos for his son. “I just wanted my personal things” “I was stupid”. “I am sorry”


The Brown family expressed sadness over how Simpson’s imprisonment will leave his children Justin and Sydney Simpson of yet another parent absent in their lives.


Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman, told reporters after the hearing; “This monster is where he belongs—behind bars”.


Information via CNN live

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Former Prime Minister of Belize Arrested for Theft

The former Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa was arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today, Dec. 4th, 2008 on a charge of theft US$20 million of public funds. This money was a grant to the people of Belize by the Venezuelan Government for low income housing.

Mr. Musa appeared in court at 9:00 a.m. with his Senior Counsel, Edwin Flowers and six other members of his legal team. Bail was set at Bz$100 thousand dollars and a surety of the same amount. He is scheduled to re-appear in court on Jan. 9th, 2009.

The Director of Public Prosecution’s office said additional charges will be leveled against Mr. Musa later this month for dereliction of duty.

Mr. Musa said he is innocent of these charges or any other charges they threatened to bring against him. His Budget Minister, Ralph Fonseca is scheduled to appear in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court tomorrow in connection with the same incident.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Funeral in Israel

Image credit- Menham Kahana/AFP/Getty

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men attend the funeral on December 2, 2008 of Arieh Levish Teitelbaum, of one of the six Israeli victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. The funeral was held in Jerusalem’s religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Wailing and chanting psalms, thousands of people bid a final farewell today to the Jews killed in last week's bloody Mumbai attacks. Their bodies, along with the survivors,the Indian babysitter and 2 year old Moshe, the son of the Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, killed in the attacks, were flown to Israel on an Israeli Air Force plane for burial. Doctors from the hospital in India said the victims from the Chabad House were brutally and unspeakably tortured.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Terror in Mumbai


Photo: David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

Nov. 29, 2008

The world watched in horror as Islamist terrorists attacked the Indian city of Mumbai. The 3 days of rampage in the financial hub, killed almost 200 hundred people and injured more than 300. The dead included 22 foreign nationals.

The terrorists, who are said to have arrived on boats and dinghies, attacked the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Trident Oberoi Hotel, the Nariman Chabad House, a train station, and other targets, killing people indiscriminately. Police shot dead nine of the terrorists and arrested one.

The Mumbai police chief, Hassan Gafoor told reporters that the 10 heavily armed young men were all trained by former army officers in Pakistan. The one surviving terrorist told authorities he was from Pakistan, and they had traveled by sea on a three-day journey from Karachi.

As the investigation moved forward, there were questions as to whether authorities could have anticipated the attacks, especially after reports surfaced that Indian was warned just 8 days before of an impending attack from the sea.
The terrorists never issued any demands, and it seemed clear, from dozens of reports on CNN-IBN, that they intended to fight to the last.

America’s Car Industry

Ford Motor Co.CEO Alan Mulally


The bailout of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler looks like they will have to give Congress a plan today to re-invent the auto industry.
The US produce thousands of cars, trucks, and SUV’s per year, employing over 400,000 Americans with an average yearly salary of $64,000 on the vehicle assembly line and about 1.5 million more workers down the supply chain.

It also produces some of the best vehicles in the world; Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.
President elect Barack Obama says saving Detroit is necessary to protect the US manufacturing base. Should the taxpayers prop up an inefficient, failing auto industry? What is happening in Detroit?

Let me hear from you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

WEIRD



First it was the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu designing his Web-site for re-election, in the same format as Barack Obama's campaign Web-site, now you have the French President Nicolas Sarkozy using the same slogan, "Yes we can" How weird!!

NBC “TODAY” live in Belize



Nov. 21, 2008

NBC “Today” morning magazine show, seen by millions of people in the US and around the world is in Belize for two days this week, Nov. 17th and 18th. They are in Belize as a part of their “Ends of the Earth” series to highlight the effects of pollution, overcrowding and Global Warming on sensitive eco-systems from four corners of our planet. Four reporters broadcast live from these ecologically sensitive areas to show us the war being fought by researchers and governments against global warming.

NBC dispatched Matt Lauer to The Blue Hole and the barrier reef in Belize, Ann Curry to the melting snows of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in Africa, Al Roker to Iceland, and Meredith Viera to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Global warming has been attributed to greenhouse gases being released into the Earth’s atmosphere. Researchers in these sensitive areas hope their work will educate the public to change their lifestyle by protecting the reefs and rainforest around the world.

Belize’s Barrier Reef, the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, is vital to Belize in protecting the costal and low-lying areas from hurricanes, as well as bringing in much needed tourism dollars. The reef is also home to millions of marine life and is in danger of being damaged by the warming of the Ocean’s temperature. Mr. Lauer also broadcasted live form the Blue Hole, an atoll in Lighthouse Reef. The Blue Hole is a circular limestone sinkhole with a system of unique underwater caves plummeting over four hundred feet, with stalactites and rock formation that is usually seen only on dry land. In the late 1960’s the great oceanographer, ecologist and explorer, Jacques Cousteau, explored the caves with his mini-sub and was the subject of a television documentary. Mr. Cousteau called the Blue Hole “one of the four “MUST-DIVES” on our planet.

This is a positive look at Belize that the government hopes will help show the country in a different light, instead of the gang infested place portrayed by British documentary film maker Ross Kemp.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State

Nov. 15, 2008

What do you think? I think this is a classic Obama move. She requested time to consider the offer. I don't think Clinton as secretary of state would be just symbolism. It's a brilliant move and it does not demean her at all. This is smart politics, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. She did her duty in the campaign; she is the kind of toughie who could be a real Iron Lady against the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelans and all of the other upstart dictators around the world. Senator Clinton is demonstrably able and brilliant; she has a global presence and is very well respected.

I don't think she will turn Obama down, she may say "Yes we can!!"

Kenya's Obama Fantasy


President of Kenya, Kwai Kibaki

Nov. 13th, 2008

The City of Kisumu in Western Kenya is the ancestral home of President Elect Barack Obama, but one would think that Obama is running for office there and not in the United States. There is undeniable embrace of Obama. The day after the US elections, Nov. 5, 2008 was declared a national holiday to celebrate his victory over Sen. John McCain. According to several news reports, mock elections were held all over Kenya. There is a theater staging a musical called "Obama" celebrating his life. The government is even making plans to host President Elect Barack Obama, even though he has not given any indication if or when he will go to Kenya.

This celebration has been going on for years now. Ever since Mr. Obama's election to the US Senate and his memorable trip to his father's birthplace in 2006, there have been schools named in his honor and his portrait has been on display all over Nairobi and other Kenyan cities.

Why are these people so fixated on Mr. Obama? Could it be that they are trying to escape the political and ethnic clashes between the Luo and Kikyu that happened in Kenya in January of this year? Kenya has seen some of the worst violence since their independence from Great Britain some 45 years ago.

Could the president elect’s victory offer them any lessons about diversity? Why can't Kenya embrace its own ethnic diversity? Why is it that an all black population is fighting each other so viciously?

Kenya, home to the largest United States Embassy in Africa, borders Somalia, (a staging ground for Islamic terrorist activity and pirates kidnapping of ships off their coast). The political factions and resulting violent strikes have been unbearable; perhaps the new Obama administration can push the Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki for change. But maybe the biggest change that Mr. Obama could inspire is to be a model for change to Kenya's political reality.

Whatever the case, President Elect Obama's victory can boost this battered nation's pride. Kenyans could do well if they follow his advice on his trip there in 2006: "I can say that from the perspective of the US, they look at Kenya and all they see is Kenya. They don't pay attention to Luo and Kamba and Kikuyu and Maasai and so on. If people start taking a global perspective, they will begin to realize that Kenya can't afford to be divided like this" This is what Obama told The Nairobi Media Group in 2006.

Can Kenya's Obama fantasy come through?

Linda Crawford

It's Safe, Obama won't abandon Israel

Nov 9, 2008

For the first time in its history, the United States chose a black president.

It's been 13 years since the murder of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin by an extremist Jewish citizen.

When the celebrations over Obama's victory die down, Barack Obama's welfare should be particularly important. America too has extremists who refused to accept the fate of the elector's choice.

If we go by the rule that a president's choice of advisers define his policies, then it's safe to say that President Elect Obama will not abandon Israel. His choice of Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, senior advisor, Daniel Kurtzer and strategic advisor, Dan Shapiro are all strong Jewish supporters of Israel, promoters of peace with the Palestinians, and believes that the future of Israel as a homeland of the Jewish people depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

At the White House, there is already a path to follow for President elect Obama in the Oval office. A two state solution, the road map to peace, and a commitment to freeze settlements in the West Bank. These are plans that outgoing President George Bush and former President Bill Clinton were all a part of.

I think it is safe to say, there is no reason for Israel to fear President Elect Barack Obama. I feel that President Elect Obama is good for Israel, that he will support Israel's right to exist within secure and recognized boundaries.

The United States friendship with Israel is longstanding and enduring.

The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States is the right message, at the right time, and can start a movement to change the world.

Linda Crawford

A Perfect Storm

Nov. 5th, 2008

Nothing in my life actually changed since it was announced that Sen. Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. I got up this morning, the water in the shower is still not hot enough, the pool pump is still broken, (unable to find a reasonable handyman) and I'm still worried about how I will pay for my son's college education. Everything around me is exactly the same but yet I feel as if though everything is different.

I feel so much hope and pride. I feel as if my three days of volunteering for Sen. Obama's campaign is a single drop of water in a sea of change. I feel like one of the millions of voices across the world, screaming for change. I feel the world will look at America with wonder again.

Last night has been truly wondrous. There is nothing that could replace last night. We have witnessed history, the return of civility to the US and the restoration of the relationship of United State's with the rest of the world. Sen. Obama is now the leader of the free world.

People across the globe wanted Sen. Obama to win this election to repudiate the Bush/Cheney administration and its policies. Country after country showed massive support for Sen. Obama. Only a handful of countries favor Sen. McCain. The Israelis fear that he will talk to Iran, rather than stopping it from developing nuclear weapons. As a strong supporter of Israel, I feel no doubt that the relationship between the US and Israel will remain the same.

President elect, Barack Obama represents a personal connection for people across the world because of his immigrant and minority make-up. Barack Obama's background and upbringing made him suited to understand the problems of the world.
We have so much "hope' and "wishes" that he will never be able to fulfill. I have no doubt that President elect Barack Obama, with his intellect, his temperament and pre-disposition will protect the environment, reduce the use of force, cut taxes for the middle class,and give us affordable health care. I have no idea of his top five priorities, but I'm sure the economy will be his number one proirity and he will not be able to fix it overnight. He will make moral decisions and will unite, instead of divide. Peace and love are not going to suddenly happen!

I am proud of what the people of United States have overcome. Sen. Obama, you have managed to pull off a perfect storm!!

Linda Crawford

Tears for Grandma Toot




President Barack Obama:

Nov. 4th, 2008

It is essential that Americans go to the ballot box and elect Sen. Barack Obama as president today.
There are many reasons why I believe electing Sen. Obama will end a dark period in American history. Obama's ability to get us past the culture war has been proven again and again in his campaign for presidency. I believe the generation now coming of age will come out in staggering numbers today to elect him. Sen. Obama, if elected, will restore unity and confidence in the American people, and will again lead the US on a path that the world will respect again.

Look at the damage that Bush/Cheney created. It is indisputable that the Bush/Cheney administration engaged in an illegal war after 9/11, declaring themselves above the law in their mission to rid the world of evil. They claim the right to seize anyone, citizen or not, they judge an "enemy combatant" to hold them indefinitely without trial and to torture them until they become broken humans, if they survive. They did this to the guilty and the innocent. They seized countless individuals without trials or hearings. Dozens are believed to be tortured to death and many more subjected to the worst torture techniques. Some of these techniques were used by totalitarian regimes and even the Gestapo. They did things no American president was ever suspected of doing. They withdrew the US, (secretly) from the Geneva Conventions, tapped America's phones (soldiers in Iraq, journalists) without warrants, and set up secret prisons in former Soviet bloc countries and randomly grabbed their victims.

Bush/Cheney single-handedly damaged America's reputation in the minds of the vast majority of people in the Western world, the developing world, and millions of Muslims across the Middle East and Africa, who now believes that America is not any better that their totalitarian regimes. They severely damaged America's intelligence services, creating phony intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. (Remember Sec. Powell's elaborate demonstration at the UN?) A country they knew had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. There have been only one successful prosecution in Guantanamo and the many guilty ones will escape justice because torture has tainted the process beyond repair.
Sen. Barack Obama will have a humongous task (if he wins, and I'm cautiously optimistic) to restore the US standings in the world. Unlike McCain, Obama never wavered on torture. I believe his deep understanding of the constitution surpasses McCain's. He will restore confidence and trust in the American constitution. He will force the Democratic Party to take responsibility for a war that never should have happened. I don't even know or understand how he will be able to get out of Iraq in his first term (if he is elected). I do not trust Bush/Cheney; I believe they have some secret plans to make withdrawal from Iraq difficult, if not impossible.

The truth is, if and when, Sen. Obama enters the Oval Office, there will be a dirty bag of laundry waiting to greet him at the door. Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey (their problem with Iraq), Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Zimbabwe, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and all of Latin America. We are really in a war for the future of humanity. How can America preach the values of democracy, when we trash our own values? Can America be a beacon to the world again?

So many questions for the man that will take over the reins. We need a new start; a new direction for America that the world once knew and loved. It will not be easy for the fellow with the big ears and strange name. He will restore hope for the new generation; will bring out the best, brightest and sanest.
Remember this; He is human. He is flawed. He will make mistakes. There is something supreme about Barack Obama. The world needs a "Barack Obama"! Believe in hope! Get ready! Today will be a day to remember!

YES WE CAN!

Linda Crawford

Weekend Break

Nov. 5th, 2008

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

NOV 1, 2008

I am a Belizean who converted to Judaism 25 years ago. My in-laws were survivors of the Nazi in the Ukraine, and I am both a proud supporter of Israel and Barack Obama. I have been following the "controversy" over Rashid Khalidi. I know nothing about Khalidi other than an article in the New York Times, a few blogs, news reports, and some biographical information on Wikipedia. I must say, based on what I read, he seems to have a very reasonable and thoughtful approach on the "situation" in Israel and Palestine.

There are obviously lots of emotions on both the Israeli/Jewish and Palestinian side, but it is the extremists on both sides of the fence that are keeping the pots simmering at all times. When I think about the issue from the Palestinian perspective (and wish some of my fellow supporters of Israel would do so from time to time) I am hard pressed to come up with a more reasonable take on the situation than the one presented by Rashid Khalidi.

I love and support Israel, and I view her as the ultimate protection for Jews from another Holocaust, but that does not require me to disregard the suffering of the Palestinian people, most of whom committed no sin other than to be born in a land claimed by another people. It's painful sometimes that the experience of the Jewish people is used to justify keeping another people down.

I also love the Palestinian people and have called some of them my friends. Sympathizing with the Palestinian situation does not mean excusing them for their willingness to miss an opportunity in bringing about the changes necessary to end this terrible situation.
There is enough blame to go around and the world would (at least in the Middle East) be a much better place if everyone could view the situation from both sides of the fence.

Linda Crawford

A Big Stick

October 29th, 2008

Today I heard Sen. Obama talking tough on Iran. If Sen. Obama wins this election, he is going to get a chance to negotiate with Iran- With a Big Stick in his hand.
Have you heard the news that Iran's President, Ahmadinejad is suffering from exhaustion? Do you know why? It's because he is not sleeping at night due to the falling oil prices.
Oil prices fell from $147. a barrel to $57. This is the kind of thing that will keep any autocrat (Chavez, Ahmadinejad) from sleeping.

I hope that next week when Sen. Obama is elected, the Iranian people will see the country that their leaders called "The Great Satan" has just elected a man whose middle name is central to Shiite Islam "Hussein" and whose last name "Obama" (according to my Iranian friend in San Francisco) when transliterated in Farsi, means "He is with us”
Iran's power was inflated by the price of oil and is now ripe for deflating!

Make sure you all watch Obama’s half hour infomercial!

Linda Crawford

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Face from Congo


October 22, 2008

A young girl playing near her temporary shelter in the camps for refugees in Kibati, north of the provincial capital of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of people are living in these camps, displaced from their homes due to the fighting between the Congolese rebels, led by Laurent Nkunda and The Democratic Republic of Congo government troops. The conflict-ridden eastern region of The Congo has seen over 800,000 people flee their homes in the past year.
(Image credit: Getty)

His Country Too

October 19, 2008

Today on Meet the Press, a major Republican figure, former Secretary of State, Colin Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president. Colin Powell had a lot of positive things to say about Senator McCain, but despite the positivity, he decided instead to break with party lines and endorse Senator Obama for the presidency of the United States. I have never heard a major American figure describe Senator Obama as eloquently as Mr. Powell. It was breathtakingly broad, and this endorsement sends a message of solidarity, and is a major political statement.

The selection of Sarah Palin as Senator McCain’s running mate had a lot to do with his decision. It shows McCain’s lack of judgment in choosing someone with so little political experience on the national level, and frankly, not ready to be the president of the United States of America.
Senator McCain’s endorsements by four former Secretaries of State and 200 hundred generals are grand, but Powell’s surprising endorsement of Obama is a major blow for McCain.
I really think that he is standing up to the disgusting rhetoric and tactics of the McCain-Palin campaign.

What troubled Mr. Powell most is what members of his party are saying, and are permitted to say. “Do you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim? So what if he’s a Muslim, is something wrong with that?” Mr. Powell said that this is not the way we should be thinking in this country. His decision is also based on Obama’s ability to inspire, the inclusive nature of his campaign, his intellectual vigor, and his beliefs that all Americans have value.


This is a photo of Kareem Rasdad Sultan Khan's mother weeping at his son’s grave side in Arlington National Cemetery that so moved Colin Powell.
Kareem is a Muslim and was just 14 years old at the time of the 9/11 attacks on America. He died for this country fighting in Iraq at only twenty years old. He wanted to serve his country and ending up giving his life for it. He is an American. This is his country too!

Linda Crawford

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saving the Best for Last

Oct. 16th, 2008

Sen. McCain came out swinging and looked a lot like a boxer, swinging wildly in every direction, hoping to score some punches. Sen. Obama, as usual looked very confident, on the defensive, and advancing his plans.

Sen. McCain accused Sen.Obama of loving taxes, befriending terrorists, opposing free trade, being an ignoramus regarding South America, and even being just too darn mean and nasty in the campaign.

At times, it looked desperate, eyes rolling and lips puckering. But hey, that pretty much summed up McCain's campaign heading into this debate. He's been down in the polls, by double digits in some states, and he needed desperately to make something happen. One thing he did accomplish is keeping Obama on the defensive.

That said, I think Sen.Obama handled everything with ease, rarely looking upset or flustered, continuing to reach out to the voters, especially the undecided that are worried about everything from the economy to Health Care. Sen. Obama's performance spoke to those undecided voters looking for a steady hand to navigate through our sea of troubles.

This was McCain's best debate, but he started to fade when he began complaining about being unfairly attacked, and asking for an apology from the guy sitting next to him, who has been called a terrorist and a Muslim. He even told us a story about a guy that would have his money taken away, only to have Sen. Obama distribute it to other people. "Joe the Plumber". Rotten, dirty Obama, what on earth did Plumber Joe ever do to you? At least, that was how Sen. McCain wanted the viewers to think.

Sen. Obama kept his cool, (those brilliant smiles), reiterating that his plan would cut taxes for 95% of working families. He even went a step further, saying that independent groups have decided that his plan will provide triple the tax relief that McCain's would for the middle class. McCain again never mentioned the middle class, not once!

On the question of the budget deficit, Sen. Obama said he would take a line-by-line approach, and I like the way he stressed that the record deficit was racked up by President Bush, a Republican Congress, and three out of four approval votes by from Sen.McCain. McCain responded that if Obama wanted to run against Pres. Bush he should have run in 2004 (his best line of the night). McCain vowed to use a "a hatchet" on deficit and spending.

Well, he finally did it, he dropped the Ayers bomb, (that WARSHED-up terrorist) and even tried to quote Hillary Clinton. Sen.Obama did a thorough job repudiating Ayers radical background, and rattled off a list of Republicans who were also on the non-profit board in Chicago with Ayers. I think if a mass of voters could be swayed by guilt-by-association, they would have already done so after the Rev. Wright rage. I think that the majority of Americans don't give a darn about old connections. The number one issue is the economy!
Is it just me, or did you notice how McCain has scaled back his use of "my friends" ? Sen.McCain saved his best for last but in my opinion, it's too late.

Linda Crawford

Friday, November 21, 2008

Real Accountability

October 4th, 2008

Watch this leader and see what real accountability looks like. This really demonstrates the lack of judgment by John McCain in choosing Gov. Palin as his running mate. Gov. Palin would never be able to be subjected to impromptu questions and quite frankly, I think it's a scandal that she is being sequestered from the mainstream media.
It's a sad time in America to see the deep decline in political equality that Gov. Palin represents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O184yGKknSQ


Linda Crawford

Review of the Polls

October 4th, 2008

This is the exact quote from Rich Lowry, the editor of "National Review." He is more or less stating how Palin gave him an "Erection" by winking at us!

"I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile; by the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it".
Well, the Republicans and FOX News can skew the coverage all they want but they cannot change the real data.

Here is some of the polls report after the debate:

CNN Biden 51 Palin 36
CBS Biden 46 Palin 21
Fox Biden 61 Palin 39

It is clear that the voters did not rate Gov. Palin on her charm or her ability to deliver prepared answers, even though sometimes they do not correspond to the question at hand. The majority of Americans now know that Gov. Palin is not ready for the presidency. The real issue is McCain's judgment in selecting someone with so little qualifications for national office.

The writing is on the wall, President Barack Obama!!

Linda Crawford

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Palin the Fraud

October 5th, 2008

Why is this fraud from Alaska calling Sen. Obama a terrorist who hates America?

"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America; it seems, as being so
imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's pal-ing around with terrorists
who would target their own country,"

This is the line that she echoed at campaign stops on in Los Angeles,
Englewood, Colorado, and beyond. This is a deliberate attempt to smear
Sen. Obama and with that attempt goes the remnants of what's left of
McCain's integrity

I think women of any intelligence across America recognize Gov. Palin
as an ambitious woman, who has no trouble stabbing anyone in the back
to get what she wants. She is cocky, self-satisfied and believes she
has fooled the world. This is good news though; she will soon be
toppled from her throne.

If Rich Lowry, (who got an erection by Palin's wink) editor of the
"National Review", has a girlfriend with a brain, I bet she would like
to strangle him.

We have 30 more days before we can take a mental health break!!

Linda Crawford

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is Frightening About Sarah Palin

September 22, 2008

I understand that millions of Americans are crying for someone to stand up and say some of the things that Sarah Palin has been telling us.

I know that millions of Americans are fed up with big govt, dependence on foreign oil, a worsening economic crisis, political correctness and a host of other wrongs.

The problem is that Sarah Palin is asking millions of Americans to put her first in line for the most important position in humankind. I understand that many Americans are stimulated by a vibrant, independent woman addressing the nation on the condemnation of gun control and abortion. It is true that many have been waiting years for someone to take on the waste in Washington DC.

After listening to the ABC interview in which she was asked about the Bush Doctrine, the problem is that she was clearly not acquainted with the doctrine. Millions of Americans are not acquainted with the "BD". The Doctrine, along with the other National Security information that it contains, is clearly not a one sentence, easy to digest formula. Unfortunately, the best Sarah Palin could muster up was only one sentence.

This is the doctrine that has had Americans fighting and dying in Iraq for more than 5 years now and the same doctrine that will serve as a guide if there is to be a war in Iran.

The problem is that John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have spent years studying the doctrine. Sarah Palin has not, yet she was quick to accept the offer of being placed on the national ticket without the "blinking of an eye". In her own words: " I didn't even blink when asked to run as John McCain's running mate"

I personally did not think that the question posed to her about the doctrine was a trick designed to make her look bad. It is a summary that has guided American foreign and military policy since September 11, 2001. It is an explanation for sending Americans into harms way.

Even I, a non American citizen, knew more that one sentence about the Bush Doctrine, in contrast to Sarah Palin. To me this is a serious cause for concern.

I have lived and traveled abroad for many years and I don't think this selection of Sarah Palin, whose credentials on foreign policy and the military are lacking, would have happened in Europe or any other developed world power.

Voters in America should make it their business to know the ins and outs of the major issues in this presidential campaign and not to treat it as a game or a big spectacular reality show. It should be treated as a matter of life and death!

My friends, you have little time to make a decision. It seems as if we have been hearing about the agendas of both Barack Obama and John McCain for what seems like forever. Joe Biden has been a national figure for decades. But, you now have less than 45 days to learn about Sarah Palin.

George Bush was given more than 7 years to prove himself a leader. We all know that he has failed miserably.

Here is what I think that is truly the most frightening issue at stake in this election-- The United States is in danger of electing yet another president that could lead this nation from the first world to the third if you do not go out and vote for Obama-Biden.

Linda Crawford