Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bringing Back Haiti

It's Saturday, and although we left Haiti on Tuesday and arrived back at Dulles Airport at almost midnight, we did not leave Haiti behind. In more ways than one, we brought the third world country back with us.

First, seventeen-year-old daughter brought back a complexity of infirmities that started when we left Haiti and drove in the back of our "ride" (a massive truck with 10 wheels) to Pedro Santana, Dominican Republic on Monday afternoon. Her infirmities first manifested as a sunburn, then morphed into pink eye, transitioned into nasal congestion, and topped off with a full-body rash. So, Haiti came home with us in a physical way.

Then, last night at about 10:30, an unexpected storm hit the Washington DC area, after a day that saw temperature records shattered with 105 degrees being notched on the mercury tube. The result was a power outage affecting over a million customers in the area. We lost power at 10:35, and when we left home this morning at 8:20 (to pick up 13-year-old daughter from her Southern Maryland summer camp) we were still without power.

There are scores of tree branches down in our backyard -- it's not gonna be a fun week of clean up. In essence, I am reminded of Haiti as a third world country. Without street lights, traffic is a zoo. People act like they do not know what to do when they approach a 4-way intersection where there is no light working. We have seen a dozen near misses, including our own near-miss a few blocks from our house. The oppressive heat is also reminiscent of the time we spent inland on the Caribbean island. It is often hard to breathe, and there is little reprieve when you go outside, Indeed, the mosquitoes here are worse than anything we encountered there. At least ours do not carry malaria (at least I hope not)!

After an intense week where we
  • left Haiti, 
  • came home to U.S. soil and were delayed for 30 minutes from leaving Miami because of Obama's plane leaving after a fundraiser there (with J Lo's ex, Marc Anthony), 
  • had to take 17-y.o. to doctor on Wednesday, 
  • and was sickened on Thursday by the complete trampling of freedom by SCOTUS, 
... I can only say that I will be glad when June is over... TOMORROW!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Au revoi!

Tomorrow will be an interesting day. As will the entire next week. I will be joining a group of 9 others -- 6 high school (rising) seniors and 3 other adults who will embark on a journey to Haiti. Just where is Haiti? you may ask. Here is a map to put it in perspective.

map of dominican republic

We will fly to Miami from Washington Dulles Airport tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. ET. From there we catch a flight to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. If you recall your geography from way back, Dominican Republic and Haiti share the island of Hispaniola. Haiti is the poorer, western 1/3 of the island. You will recall the earthquake that devastated the area around the capital of Port au Prince a few years ago. We will not be going anywhere near Port au Prince -- potentially too close to Sean Penn for my comfort! (Yes, I had to throw that jab in there.)

My seventeen-year-old stepdaughter is the one who got me into this adventure. She is a member of her school's Medical Missionary chapter, and this is their service project. A doctor from the Medical Missionaries will be leading us, and one of the guidance counselors from the school will go also. The other adult is the mother of a student. It just so happens she is also an attorney, so I will have a kindred legal spirit for company.

I just got my last two shots this morning -- sort of. The measles shot is a one-timer (I have had a German measles shot, but my blood work from three weeks ago showed no "regular" measles immunization.) I also had the first of the 3-part Hepatitis B shot series. I have to go back in a month for part 2, then 5 months later for the 3rd and final dosage. I don't recall all this fuss when I went to Honduras 14 years ago -- and they had just had a hurricane devastate the country 6 months earlier!

I am getting excited about the trip. I guess that is good since I will be arriving there at about this time in 24 hours. We have a 4-5 hour bus ride tomorrow afternoon from Santo Domingo to Banica. Then Wednesday morning we will ride in the back of a big truck across the Haiti border to Thomassique, where the Medical Missionaries staff a medical clinic that they built. Here are links to the Medical Missionaries website where you can read more about their work in Haiti and Dominican Republican and see some pics of the place where we are going. Naturally, we will take pictures while we are there, and I will share them upon our return next week.

We have reviewed a couple of language lessons trying to teach us some Creole phrases. I can't say I have learned anything at this point. Much of the language is a phonetic spelling and pronunciation of French. The word for thank you in French is "merci," and in Creole it is "mesi." Many of the words are like that -- spelled the way they sound when pronounced in French. So, with my minimal French, I hope to be able to get a few things across. Luckily, we have an 11th person joining us --- a native Haitian who lives in the U.S., so she will be there to translate for us. She is a nurse practitioner, so she will be invaluable to us.

So, I will be incommunicado for a week or so. My biggest regret is that the SCOTUS decision on the health care law will probably come out while I am gone, and I will not be here to enjoy the misery that Obama and his minions will face when it is struck down. On the good side, I will miss the "spin" that they will try to put on the decision as they try to make it Bush's fault!

Au revoi (Haitian goodbye)!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Woman Watching Women Are Watching

Do you ever get the feeling someone is watching you?

Over and over?

You know, like in the old song from nearly three decades ago (1984).

Well, today I learned that there is a bully organization out there that is watching certain political leaders and candidates. I have one word for this organization of psycho women: CREEPY! It should not surprise you to know that this creepy peeping organization is actually PLANNED PARENTHOOD. This is the organization that does not want anyone watching it or its clientele. But they are making sure that they bully others with their ogling tactics.

I am thinking of starting my own organization -- called Woman Is Watching Women Are Watching. My website would be I think I will let Project Veritas and Lila Rose continue with their exposes. I would not qualify as a nonprofit since I am a capitalist!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Say NO to YOLO! Say YES to YANS!

I heard this yesterday on Rush Limbaugh's program, so I was delighted today that it popped up on a website. It meant I did not have to go look for it! This video is worth the 12 minutes and 46 seconds to watch. It's a message that all young people need to hear today.

YOLO = You only live once
YANS = You are not special

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Mr. McCullough's commencement speech:

"We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point. And we're happy to compromise standards or ignore reality if we suspect that's the quickest way  or only way  to have something to put on the mantle piece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sweet Victory - Scott Free!!!

Last night brought such welcome news with the victory of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I had talked with some folks from Madison earlier in the day yesterday, and they were geared up for the recall to be implemented so their guy, Barrett, would be installed as the new governor. I could not tell them that I was cheering against that. But I was hopeful that the people of Wisconsin were smart enough to not be taken in by the union thuggery that has gripped that state for over a year now.

I was glued to both the television and the computer watching the precinct results begin to tally up beginning at 9:00 Eastern time. Fox News Channel made the call before 10:00, with about 25% of the precincts having reported. The "too-close-to-call" race was, in reality, a blow out!

It was so comforting and inspiring and satisfying to see the union-backed progressives crash and burn. The image that will stay with me is this one from CNN right after the race was called by that so-called news channel.

The White House has to be shaking in its boots!!! This is a harbinger of what is to come in November. Conservatives nationwide are fired up, and we are ready to take down the big kahuna. The Tea Party lives! The Romney victory in November will be as monumental as the toppling of another regime a few years ago.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Are You John Galt?

When I finished reading the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged last year, I was so excited. Even more, I was amazed that a woman could have written that story 55 years ago, and it is so applicable to what is going on in this country today.

I should not be amazed, I guess. Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and lived through the Bolshevik Revolution when the Communists took over the country in 1917. She saw first hand the destruction that unbridled socialism will do to a country's economy, its culture, and the spirit of a people. Through her extensive reading at a young age, Rand saw the United Sates as a harbinger of freedom. On the premise that she was merely coming to visit relatives, she defected to the United States in 1926, at the age of 21. Her subsequent struggle to make it as a screenwriter in Hollywood is itself a story that teaches of perseverance and determination.

Last night I was compelled to watch the movie version of her book Atlas Shrugged. The movie debuted on April 15 of last year (2011), but I did not go to the theater to see it. I bought it on DVD before Christmas, but for some reason, I had not sat down to watch it until tonight. I think I was afraid that it would affect me emotionally. I was right.

Why did I decide to watch the movie last night? It was a combination of things. Here is a partial list: (1) nothing on TV that I wanted to see; (2) I got vaccine shots today in preparation to go to Haiti in 20 days, and the subject of the dire needs in Haiti came up in conversations with various people whom I encountered at Bethesda Naval; (3) Mayor Bloomberg of New York announced yesterday that he is banning the sale of soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces; (4) the mainstream media has ignored several HUGE stories this week  -- the 43 Catholic organizations that sued the Obama administration over the mandate that violates religious liberty, the Planned Parenthood undercover videos that show workers approving gender-based abortions, and the House yesterday failing to pass legislation that would make it illegal to perform an abortion based on gender or race. The mainstream media has essentially ignored all of these.

So last night, wanting a dose of sanity, I pulled out Atlas Shrugged and watched it on my laptop computer. Once again I was drawn into the epic story of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden and their interconnected struggle to save two family businesses from a government intent on making all things equal for all people. This movie was only part one of the story and book. Now I am anxious to see the second part which is currently in production.

Oddly, one of the most moving things on the movie disk was a mini-movie in the "extra" section called "I am John Galt." During production, the producers had invited people to send in a video clip of themselves stating "I am John Galt." They took all the submissions and put them into a running video, with 3 or 4 on the screen at the same time. Some sent in clips of individuals and some were in groups, all making the same basic statement. The video runs for almost 35 minutes. I was entranced as images and vices of hundreds of people flashed across the screen stating "I am John Galt." It literally gave me chills.

If you have not read the book Atlas Shrugged or seen the movie (which I strongly encourage you to do), then you will not know precisely what that phrase means. But it is a phrase that is known to "Shruggers," and it gives me comfort -- knowing that there are other people who feel the same way as I do about this country and who know that we have to do all that we can to defeat the current administration in November. Otherwise, future generations (and not that far into the future) will find themselves facing what Dagny, Hank and all the others faced -- only this time it will be for REAL.

I have extra copies of the movie. If any of my family wants to borrow one, let me know!

I am John Galt!