Tag Archives: Education

Michelle Obama at DNC

Michelle Obama at the DNC. She knocks it out of the park, again.

A portion of the Transcript of Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC:

When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president.

He didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically – that’s not how he was raised – he cared that it was the right thing to do.

He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine…our kids should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick…and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or illness. Continue reading Michelle Obama at DNC

What is your dream?

Re-posted.

Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday.  Here is his I Have a Dream speech. (I went to the MLK prayer breakfast last year (this morning). Donna Brazile was the keynote speaker. Representative Heath Shuler was there. So was Senator Kay Hagan. Many city council members and the mayor Terry Bellamy were present. It was a great event.) Read more about Martin Luther King.

If you’re sitting in front of your computers at home, at work or anywhere in between, I would like to ask you a question — what is your dream? Do you dream of being able to send your kids to college? Do you dream that simple dream of being able to pay your bills and have some money left over at the end of the month? Do you dream of being able to go to your doctor without having to worry about how much the prescriptions, the diagnostic tests and other procedures may cost? Do you dream of getting paid a living wage? What is your dream?

When I close my eyes, I dream of a country where my grandson and your grandchild can go to a public or private school anywhere in the country and get a solid education. I dream of a country where we are not all slaves to big corporations. I dream of a country where we all have equal access to affordable, efficient and cost-effective healthcare. Finally, I dream of a country that has figured out that we are great because of our compassion and love for humanity and not because of our military might. These are my dreams as a progressive. What are yours?

9/11 – My Beginning

I’ve spent most of today reading and reflecting on my education over the last decade. I don’t remember the first time I heard the word Al Qaeda. I don’t remember the first time I ever heard the name Osama bin Laden. I do remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I had been up most of the night taking care of trauma patients and I was sleeping in the morning. The phone rang and it was my mother-in-law. She is and was the Sentinel. She was always scanning the news. She called to tell us to turn on the TV. She said something terrible happened in New York. I thought she was crazy and misunderstood what she had seen. I handed the phone to my wife as I grabbed the remote control and turned on the television.

I’m sure over the next several days that there’s going to be lots of blogs and television shows which are going to reflect on what has happened in the last 10 years. The New York Times is already started the series on 9/11. I just want to revisit some of the information and data that we’ve learned over the last 10 years. I’m not going to spend much time talking about the Patriot Act and how it has been abused over the last decade. I’m not going to talk about civil liberties and how Republicans have taken advantage of 9/11. I’m sure that these topics will be adequately covered by many others in the blogosphere.

In my opinion, the key to understanding the failure of 9/11 lies in the arrest and interrogation of Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi Yousef was the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Once he was captured, authorities began to see into the mind of a Muslim extremist. Ramzi Yousef was associated with Osama bin Laden. The uncle of Ramzi Yousef was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. After escaping the country in 1993, Ramzi Yousef attempted an assassination of Benazir Bhutto in the summer of 1993. He then attempted to bomb an Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. These attempts failed. Yousef, a Sunni Muslim, bombed a Shiite holy site in Iran in June of 1994. He then made his way to Malaysia, where he began to plot the Bojinka plan (also known as the Manila plot). He and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed planned to blow up 12 US airliners as they flew over the Pacific Ocean. As they were preparing their 12 bombs, a fire broke out in Yousef’s apartment. One thing led to another and authorities got a treasure’s trove of information from his apartment.

At the very least, authorities have an opportunity to see what one man was capable of doing around the world. The mistake that was made was that everyone assumed that this was just one man and not a movement. Only a few in the intelligence community understood that he was one of many. It wasn’t until 1998, the embassy bombings, that many in the United States began to take notice that this was a serious threat. For some, it took until 2000, the USS Cole bombing before they believed that Al Qaeda would stop at nothing.

Ramzi Yoursef is currently in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

How did you first become aware of Al Qaeda or Bin Laden or the fact that we were a serious target? Where were you 10 years ago?

More tomorrow on 9/11 and Al Qaeda.