Golden Press

Some Arab Spring Countries Transistion with New Governments

November 29, 2011

By Jarondakie Patrick

Arab Spring: Egypt’s Elections

Egyptians formed lines as early as 9 a.m. on Monday to participate in its first parliamentary elections. It had been over 10 months since riots broke out and former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

November 23 thru 27, embassies reported about 70% of Egyptians abroad voted. In the meantime, Cairo’s Tahrir Square remained occupied by protesters who believed the polls should have been postponed.

The military says Egypt’s economy is at stake and holding elections will help the populous country – in Africa and the Middle East with over 81 million citizens – rise.

Egypt joins Libya, which worn in a new government on November 24, 2011.

Libya’s Government Recovery

Just weeks after the death of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya put into place a new government last week. Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abedel Rahim al-Kib and National Transitional Council chairman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, were joined with a new cabinet in Tripoli last week.

Abdel Hakim Belhadj, commander of Libya’s most powerful militias, said on Monday he will back the interim national government. Hundreds of Berbers have warned against the new government saying their community was excluded from the cabinet.

The ministers have vowed to remain faithful to the objectives of the Feb. 17, 2011 revolution, preserve independence along with the country’s security and unity.

The interim government will meet the challenge of establishing elections for June 2012. Voters will than select a legislation to write the new constitution.

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January 23, 2012 Posted by | International, Politics | Leave a comment

U.S. Policy Examines Somalia

WASHINGTON — Somalia is still in the pits.

At a congressional hearing experts, said 2.85 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian aid. This year’s drought in Somalia is the worst the Horn of Africa or East Africa has seen since the 1950s.

And things are not looking up said experts.

“Our experts at FEWSNET and FSNAU have studied the most recent data they have collected, and they expect the perilous situation in the Horn of Africa to worsen through the end of the year,” Nancy E. Lindborg, assistant administrator for Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian said.

The data examines the limited labor opportunities, the dwindling food stocks, and sky-high cereal prices, which is causing households to go hungry.

Many Somalis have left their country in hope of better assistance and food in refugee camps spread throughout East Africa: Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

These camps have been experiencing their own wave from the drought. Malnutrition is at an all time high in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and Boqolmayo refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“One out of every two Somalis now arriving in Ethiopia is acutely malnourished, and one out of three arriving in Kenya is acutely malnourished,” Lindborg said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Brigety, II of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration said the camps are so over filled with refugees from Somalia that Ethiopia opened a 6th camp and has announced an opening of a 7th camp along with Djibouti.

Is it because there hasn’t been an existing government since the 1991 or terrorists groups funded by al-Qaida?

Experts debate that both have been the reason for the flux in the country.

“The increasing piracy problem off the coast of Somalia stems from years of instability, lack of governance, and economic fragility on land,” Yamamoto said. He added, the U.S.plans to work closely with the Transitional Federal Government Parliament Prime Minister Abdiweli M. Ali for the next 12 months.

For the 2011 Fiscal Year, the proposed level is about $21 million to support the Dual Track Policy.

The Dual Track Policy developed by the State Department has two paths. One path is to continue support of the Djibouti Peace Process, the Transitional Federal Government, its National Security Forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. Path two is outreach. Don Yamamoto, assistant secretary bureau of African Affairs, said this path broadens the U.S. engagement to include communication with Somaliland, Puntland, and regional and local anti-al-Shabaab groups throughout central Somalia.

With this Dual Track Policy set in place additional funds will also be given to Somalia this year and Somalia refugees.

“The U.S. Government is also providing $48 million in humanitarian assistance to help those in Somalia, as well as over $76 million in humanitarian assistance for those who have fled Somalia,” Yamamoto said.

This will be the first time in two years the UN has delivered aid to south central Somalia, an area controlled by the group al-Shabab.

To Learn More About the issues discussed in this article refer to links below:

Huff Post World – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-a-ridout/somalia-is-not-a-state_b_894734.html

BBC News Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14144893

Sunatimes.com – http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1178

*I also encourage you to do your own research on current events happening in Africa as well as past events.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | AFRICA and its countries, Health, International, Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fight for Medicaid

American citizens convene on the Hill in a forum for Medicaid.

July 12, 2011

By Jarondakie Patrick

American citizens and organizations gathered to send a message to congress that Medicaid is a need resource for those who work, have disabilities, sick love ones, and health administrators.

Washington — Over 200 Americans citizens and members of organizations as ADAPT, Caring Across Generations, National Domestic Work Alliance, Planned Parent Hood, and others joined forces in a forum on Medicaid to send a message to congress that ‘Medicaid Saves Lives’.

Six tax-paying citizens shared stories and personal experiences of how Medicaid helps and gives those with disabilities freedom.

Sarah Watkins, 26-year-old Austin, TX native and member of ADAPT, shared her daily routine with the audience. She receives home community-based services funded by Medicaid. Watkins is just one of many citizens with a disability and depends on Medicaid assistance.

Without these services, which allows someone to come into her home daily for six hours to help her dress and prepare for work she said, “I’ll be in a nursing home.” It would require additional funds, she added. But Watkins is not in a nursing home. She lives in her own house, volunteers in her community, works a full-time job, and is a tax-paying citizen.

Sarah Watkins, 26 of Austin Texas, pictured in the wheel chair testifies that Medicaid assistance has allowed her to have freedom. She has been a member of ADAPT since 2005.ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage.

With the help of Caring Across Generations’ campaign these citizens and members hold signs reading “Medicaid Matters for: seniors, parents, kids, and for America.” The signs are raised high in their hands every time something is said that encompasses the message “Medicaid Saves Lives.”

Volunteers stand behind the podium holding the signs that read Medicaid Matters. The same signs can be found in the audience.

Also in attendance were senators Claire McCaskill D-Missouri, Al Franken D-Minnesota, and Sheldon Whitehouse D-Rhode Island.

Mamie Grimes, 88, is a senior citizen living with her daughter and son-in-law in Richmond, VA. She joined the Virginia Organizing organization because she was interested in attending the forum. Grimes recently lived in Harlem, NY.

Sen. McCaskill said the question is not how do we stop taking care of Americans because as Americans we care for our sick, but how can we use less money in certain places?

To those lawmakers thinking cutting Medicaid is going to make it less expensive Sen. McCaskill said no it’ll eventually make expenses higher, increase the loss of lives, and make quality of life higher.
Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO Executive VP, said quality jobs and quality care go hand in hand.
“We hope by telling the stories to the elected officials, that they will understand how critical this is,” Baker said. “This is not a time that we should be taking away from the most vulnerable among us.”

The deficit is a problem, but a short-term problem, Baker added.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American’s Proud to Reclaim Dr. Kings Dream

Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network and long-time civil rights leader, stood at the podium at Dunbar High School in Washington on Saturday, August 28, 2010. Dunbar High School is the first public high school in the U.S. that allowed African-Americans to attend doing integration.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C. "Reclaim the Dream" Rally

“When we announced this gathering, they said to me , why go to a school,” said Sharpton? ” We must close the education gap.”   

Dunbar High School students and Howard University students stood at the rally cheering on Sharpton and chanting for justice and peace. These students were thinking about past history and future history when they planned to attend the “Reclaim the Dream” march and rally.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Howard University

Corine Jackman, 19, sophomore of Howard University, thought participating in the march represented history and would leave an impact in Washington.   

 “I am proud I was able to wake up out of my bed today and take part in history,” Jackman said.   

Jackman says we have to look back to know how to move forward for the future.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Vince Gray at Dunbar High School for the "Reclaim the Dream" Rally

 The students of Washington were not alone.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Tom Joyner at Dunbar High School, Washington, DC for "Reclaim the Dream" Rally

 

Speakers like Tom Joyner, Mayor Fenty and running mate Vince Gray, and presidents of well-known organizations were some of the few that spoke to remind residents of the D.M.V., out-of-towners, and students why the march was important.   

Washington residents were just as proud to see so many people of different races come together to represent change and a dream spoken over 47 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr.

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: Washington, D.C.

 Chris Bennett, broadcast designer and resident of NW Washington, was one of the residents.   

“I am so excited,”  said Bennett. “I am happy to see so many people celebrating and remembering the dream.”    

The march ended at the location of where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mounment is being built.   

Photographer: Jarondakie Patrick Location: SW Washington, D.C.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Life In DC, Politics | Leave a comment

We fight racism everyday, Even within ourselves

Shirley Sherrod, a voice of reason and action, has not only stunned America, but may be the largest topic in black media since Barack Obama’s nomination for president. She has broken her silence and is telling the truth of the unedited version of the tape that led to her forced resigning.

During a NAACP Banquet Sherrod gave a speech that shared her experiences working with farmers and land. Sherrod also shared how she did not do everything possible to help a white farmer 24 years ago before working for the Georgia State Director of Rural Development.

A video of her speech was edited by blogger Andrew Breitbart and posted.  The edited version portrayed Sherrod as a racist and caused her to lose her job.

Two days later she received an apology from Tim Vilsack, secretary of agriculture, and the White House.  Sherrod could not look pass the mistreatment and decided to speak out.

Sherrod is a forceful woman who has been seen on CBS, the Today Show, written about on The Root.com, and made an appearance at the 35th National Association of Black Journalists Convention along with her many other media appearances.

Her media appearances brought focus back to another story concerning farmers around the United States. Since 1997 thousands of black farmers have continued to fight for a settlement owed to them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. No workers have been fired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning this case and hundreds of black farmers have lost their land, home, and are still without money.

The court battle better known as the Pigford case, has been an ongoing with protests and lobbyists on Capitol Hill. The Pigford case has fueled Native Americans and Hispanics to sue the government claiming discrimination.

Barbara Lee, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated over the past 20 years, the number of farms operated by black farmers has declined nearly 50 percent.

I am pleased that Sherrod has decided to step out and admit she has had to overcome her own racist beliefs to help a white farmer. Not too many people are willing to admit they have struggled with racism or that they are racists. I hope as media outlets we can come back to facts and use our ethical codes and moral values to report truth.

While America will be pushing issues under the big red, blue, and white carpet like most minority stories the Sherrod story will not fade. Her speaking out has shed light on another story that is untold in the media.  It is the story of the Black Farmers vs. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Politics | Leave a comment

Our Dear First Lady Taking On Obesity and the followers (DC News)

The fight for obesity has been a long one for many adults in society, but it seems America’s first lady Michelle Obama is taking on the fight for the youth.

While the report of childhood obesity was given by the White House Task Force Obama said, “We’re setting really clear goals and benchmarks and measurable outcomes that will help tackle this challenge one step, one family and one child at a time.” This is a part of the First Lady’s campaign “Let’s Move“.

This event occurred a few days before D.C. Council proposed additional taxes be added to soda beverages (soft drinks, pop, or cold drinks). It was proposed in hopes that it would decrease the childhood obesity rates. In just a few days it seems Michelle Obama has started a trend within politics and society.

A campaign to put an end to the proposal has begun with The Beverage Industries and organizations as The Campaign for Healthy Kids, Earth Day Network and the Capital Area Food Bank. Campaign for Healthy Kids released a poll on Wednesday showing broad support for the tax increase. If the taxes were to increase on soda beverages it would be $0.01 cent for every ounce of soda purchased. Now there is no tax charged to soda because it is considered a grocery item. But if the proposal is not approved council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) has proposed going through with charging $0.01 for soda beverages. For all the diet soda lovers; they do not have to worry because diet beverages are exempt.

I understand that D.C. Council has begun to take initiatives toward this growing problem within America’s society, but hold on Cheh. The last time I checked we were still in a recession and when did politicians reserve the right to tell all citizens that this drink that you have beloved since first created will be taxed extra. Do you not think the citizens of the District of Columbia should be receiving some kind of break? First it was $0.05 for bags, than an additional $0.10 for the metro. Now I guess the government is saying break their pockets and this will pour back into the economy.

The campaign Let’s Move hopes to decrease the 20% obesity rate to five percent by 2030.

If you would like to read more about these two important topics concerning health click on the two links provided in the underlined text that will open a new window for you to view the two separate articles by the Washington Post health section. Thank you for visiting my blog and please leave comments. I can handle criticism of all kinds!

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Health, Politics | Leave a comment