Sunday, January 31, 2010

I WISH (TIME)


From blowing dandelion seeds into the air
To throwing a penny into a fountain, 
I whisper my DEEPEST desire into the ears of the universe 
ONLY time can give me the sign that I’ve been heard. 

So I have to do away the mixed messages
And treat love as if straight out from the mouth of an ancient sage
And bring myself closer to escaping the cage
Would time forgive my rage?

I am rooted here on the ground.
But my spirit takes flight.
Whatever I dream,
If only in my mind…

To some LOVE is sublime
To others it's just fine
Others look for reasons to the rhyme
Me I think it’s all a matter of time…
I WISH

tgk ©

¿IS RELIGION A PONZI SCHEME?


As I religiously explore the inner recesses of my soul through this blog to gain a deeper understanding of religion; it AMAZES me how most of us pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency. We like to be responsible for taking care of ourselves and pulling our own weight in the world. This is why I find how most go on about religion SO confusing!

Most believe that he who has the most is THE most blessed…You hear it all the time…God bless me with this N’ that because of my dedication and so on. Pastor tells his church how he got where he is because of the goodness of God, but I can’t help but wonder if God has blessed him with certain things, why are SO many not as blessed as he is? I mean they all attend the same church, worship the same God yet…How could SO many NOT see that their various LOVE offerings are just their contributions to the PONZI SCHEME in disguise called religion?
 
Ain’t it funny how they have NO problem allowing themselves to be oppressed in this way? TALK ABOUT THE UN~VERIFIABILITY OF RELIGION…Is it any surprise that religious leaders anoint themselves in this way? How could they not when they have taught their followers from a young age to implicitly believe whatever they say? They believe that their religious leader is of superior virtue, with a hotline to God and his all-perfect morality. But what happens when the day comes for them to cash in?

OH I GET IT…HEAVEN IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL SO ALL MATERIAL THINGS DON’T/WON’T MATTER! So them giving their last dollar to pastor is a sign of humility…right? Most would say that humility is that rare individual who humbly bears life’s struggles while downplaying their own strengths and in stark contrast, pastor lives it up. In my opinion the notion of humility is NOT passivity. Rather, it is an utter lack of self-importance to the point where the individuals who embody the concept of humility appreciate that each human being on the planet occupies a unique place on an infinite spectrum of development. I often hear folks say when you are saved by God, he saves you from your sins and NOT your senses so…

Saturday, January 30, 2010

(SOMETHING INSIDE) SO STRONG




(Something Inside) So Strong is a song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter, Labi Siffre. It was released as a single in 1987 and was the song that brought him back to mainstream popularity in his home country.

The song was inspired by a TV documentary Siffre viewed in 1985 in which a white soldier was seen shooting at black children. Apalled, he penned the song as an anti-Apartheid anthem, which was a very serious issue at the time, advising Africans to stand tall in the face of adversity.

The song was the biggest success Siffre would ever have in his career, peaking at number four in the UK Singles Chart and bringing him out of self-imposed retirement and back into the public eye. 

A certain blogger has been having such a rough time lately that I wish that I could reach out and physically touch her but I can’t…I can only touch her spiritually. And my way of seeing her through the rough patches of life is to try to instill the words of this song in her. She has SO much going on and rather than taking on her burdens with no solution in sight, she can remember that she is made of STRONG stuff. She can know that as her pendulum swings back N’ forth, I will be there as she can remains still, go inward and find that something inside SO strong.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

¿HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE SEXUALITY QUESTION?


Sooner OR later I know that someone is going to question me about my sexuality because I am NOT your typical anything. I've been told in the past by folks that they can tell something is up with me, but they can't put their finger on what it is...I keep telling you guys that we GAY men and women are THE MOST popular persons on the planet! No matter how many times homosexual issues come up, folks still pretend like it is a shock to meet persons that are gay. So given the notion that straight folks are CONSTANTLY trying to get into our bedrooms, I been wondering, what clever response you give to persons that you DON'T want to know about your sexuality...You know that response that keeps your business private, but doesn't give anything away? YEP THAT! I normally would ask if the persons asking if they are interested OR know of someone who is so...¿HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE SEXUALITY QUESTION?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LOVE FROM AFAR...








All relationships hit bumps from time to time, and THE hallmark of maintaining any relationship means one has to find THE ability to ride out the turbulence and somehow…someway remain intact. We LOVE others through ALL of their transitions, yet more time than not, that sentiment isn’t extended to us. So I’ve learned over the years that one has to find a way to embrace and appreciate the differences that set us apart from each other while NOT actually being apart of each other’s lives on a daily. This way we all can allow each other to be EXACTLY who we are and NO one has to end up feeling hurt OR taken advantage of.

Loving others from afar means NO stress from family, work OR other people that you deal with on a daily. MANY of us are VERY sensitive and put on a STRONG front, NEVER breathing a word about how others make you feel…but how long that last? How long before you break? Sweeping yourself under the rug makes for a bumpy rug that NEVER gets straightened out; and putting others before you while you wear a mask, NO matter how noble the mask, leads one to identify with and think they are the mask! Which will ultimately lead to your breaking point…So you MUST find a way to RISE IN REAL LOVE and know that just might mean that you HAVE to love others from afar…

Short changing yourself to make sure others are okay is NOT what life is supposed to be about! So why spend life continuously dealing with folks that are SET in their ways AND situations that WON’T change? The time to OWN our emotions AND who we are, is NOW! We need to live a life that is as peaceful as we can get it. So moving past the apprehension that we allow to keep us trapped needs is the FIRST step, which would undoubtedly lead to a feeling of liberation and enlightenment. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give a voice to your feelings necessitates that you let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

¡LIFE IS NOT A FAIRYTALE!




What you send out - comes back.
What you sow - you reap.
What you give - you get.
What you see in others - exists in you.
Life is an Echo.
It always gets back to you.


SO REMEMBER…

If you limit the love you give to just one or two,
It will eventually go stale.
If you learn to create love inside your heart
And silently give it to everyone you meet,
Love will grace every corner of your life.

ALSO REMEMBER TO…

v     Quit arguing with people about the same old foolishness!
Ø      Respect their position and keep it moving!
v     Quit telling people your secrets when you know they are not going to keep them!
Ø      And if you keep telling them, then quit getting mad when they tell your secrets!
v     Quit trying to pull people on your journey who don't want to travel with you!
Ø      Either they believe in you and value you or they don't!
v     Quit complaining about things you can't and won't change!
Ø      I am not working on being a model...so instead of complaining about the weight charts, negotiated with your doctor for a "comfortable weight for me." Forget the charts! Create your own "healthy weight!"
v     Quit gossiping about other people!
Ø      Minding our own business should be a full time job!
v     Quit blaming each other for things that in the big picture aren't going to matter 3 weeks from now!
Ø      Talk solutions... and then implement them!
v     Quit eating things you know are not good for you!
Ø      If you can't quit...eat smaller portions! (I know it is VERY hard)
v     Quit buying things when we know we can't afford them!
Ø      If you don't have self control, then quit going to the stores!
v     Quit charging things, especially when you don't NEED them!
v     Quit staying in unhealthy relationships!
Ø      It is not okay for people to verbally or physically abuse you! So quit lying to yourself!
Ø      -It is not okay to stay in the marriage for the children or for the sake of saying you are married, it doesn't work! Ask them and they will tell you that they really would prefer to see you happy and that the misery you and your spouse/partner are living with is affecting them!
v     Quit letting people rope you into the drama!
Ø      Start telling them you don't want to hear it!
v     -Quit spreading the drama!
v     Quit calling other relatives and telling them about your cousin or aunt! Go back to #5 - minding your own business should be enough to keep you busy!
v     Quit trying to change people! IT DOESN’T WORK!
v     Quit cussing people out when you know that they are just being the miserable and jealous people that they are!
v     Quit the job you hate!
v     -Start pursuing your passion
Ø      HINT: find the job that fuels your passion before you quit!
v     Quit volunteering for things that you aren't getting any personal fulfillment from anymore!
v     Quit volunteering for things and then failing to follow through with your commitment!
v     Quit listening to the naysayers!
v     Quit watching the depressing news if you are going to live in the doom and gloom of it all!
v     Quit making excuses about why you are where you are or why you can't do what you want to do!
v     Quit waiting on others to give you the answers...and start finding the answers in YOU!
Ø      If what you are doing isn't working for you...then quit it!
v     Quit settling and start making your dreams a reality!
v     Quit being afraid and START LIVING YOUR LIFE!

Monday, January 25, 2010

YOU MUST BE GAY BECAUSE...


Have you ever been told by anyone that you MUST be gay because of silly things they feel are gay traits? I've told some crazy things over the years, but my top 3 are:

1. You are TOO clean AND neat...NO STRAIGHT MAN KEEPS HIMSELF THAT WAY.
2. You look like a PRETTY boy (w/e that is).
3. Your name is Kishna and that's a girl's name.

SO WHAT THE OFF THE WALL THINGS OTHERS SAID TO YOU THAT MADE THEM FEEL YOU HAVE TO BE GAY?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

¡NO WAY OUT!



I know that many think that I have such a weird way of thinking about how this bible, church AND god thing works. But I can’t sit here and tell other humans that GOD wants you to do this or that…how can I? I often wonder how we as humans sit here with our finite thinking and suggest that God is this way or another. I often tell people that God would NOT give you a choice when there isn’t one.

Think about it…We say that God wants us to be happy and safe RIGHT? Okay so in order for us to have that, we have to live a certain way to live with him in heaven. However if we don’t then we will go to hell…Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone that would out rightly say they want to go to hell…so what type of God gives man a choice when there really isn’t one to begin with? Did this God of man REALLY give us NO WAY OUT?


EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING



"Everything Is Everything" is the fifth single by Lauryn Hill of the Fugees from her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It features John Legend, who was little known then, playing on the piano, but not as a featured artist. It reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, #14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and #18 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart. In the song, Lauryn Hill sings, while halfway through, she starts to rap, then switch back to singing, while repeatedly singing the title "Everything Is Everything". Though not as popular as "Doo Wop (That Thing)", it is considered as one of the greatest rap songs of all time, being voted #66 in About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs.

When I hear this song I reminded that there are SO many facts of life; and MANY of us don’t know to interpret it. We may hover between NOT caring AND taking life onto our shoulders when things in life are far MORE complex than either scenario. Still, not knowing how to take things from day to day is taking its toll on us. We look life over its head and NOT make eye contact with the things that are REALLY going on. Each time we do this, we disconnect ourselves from a large portion of our humanity when all we have to do is know that EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING!



 


Thursday, January 21, 2010

¿DID YOU KNOW THAT WATER COULD BE GAY?




When I come across someone that says or does something ignorant when it comes to things they perceive to be true about sexuality, I try my HARDEST not to understand why that person possesses that particular mindset. After all an opinion is just like an asshole…EVERYONE has one! So about 2 weeks ago I decided to start taking water to work with me. Who didn’t ask me about the water bottle I was carrying didn’t ask because they didn’t want to. I was like why all the interest in a simple bottle? So I got to my desk and a lady came in and saw my bottle, she then asked, ‘what’s the bottle for?’ I told her that it was for water, she then said ‘oh.’ @ That point my co-worker asked her what that meant she said, ‘well nothing really, I just thought ONLY women do stuff like that.’ My co-worker was like huh? He then turned to me and asked if I heard her? I said yes, but I going to keep on walking and I am NOT going to look back. If I had told her what was really on my mind I would have told her to…

CHECK YOUR PERSPECTIVE because the narratives you tell yourself about what you think you know is WAAAYYY of base! Why berate yourself with accepted ignorance?
STOP THE COMPARISONS! There is NO one way to live in this world and if she wants me to act like, be like AND shape like a man she recognizes, she is looking @ the WRONG man! There is no comparing me to others, for that’s a tool used by those who lack imagination and have a profound disrespect for humanity.

FACE YOUR FEARS because WAAAYYY too many of you are held hostage by what you think I am. You’ve created all these imaginary monsters that you think are going to destroy the world and take something away from you…rather someone.
LEARN FOR YOURSELF and don’t try to justify your ignorance! Find a way to have a DIFFERENT relationship with your heart N’ mind because we all live on this planet fighting some battle so…
I LOVE YOU because you were NOT born, nor are of evil or wrongdoing. You were born into circumstances and situations, systems and societies with ideas and beliefs that created a reality for the people who brought you here...Anything that happened to you is not a reflection of your worth, only a commentary on how the world is ignorant to OUR beauty and value as human beings.


I find it SO sad that she and others like her have strayed from the basic sense of humanity. We say and do SO many things on a daily that no one seems to have the time to analyze and think things over…SO THE MORE THEY COME @ ME, THE MORE I SUSTAIN MY INNER CALM & STABILITY.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

¡THE PLEASURE OF BEING STIMULATED!



Sexuality is life; sexuality and life go hand in hand. Life has wisely managed to create sexuality, eroticism, love and tenderness. As human beings we may live without love, tenderness, eroticism, but to do so is nearly impossible because they are all dimensions for the full experience of human sexuality. While we live key moments and change related to sexuality, love, mating and the erotic life, there is still much to be done to ensure that sexuality is no longer a source of discomfort, pain and frustration and become what it deserves for the great majority of human beings; source of growth and personal fulfillment. 

We understand the eroticism as the capacity that we humans live, experience, share and express sexual pleasure, is the ability to mobilize and activate our sexual arousal and emotions that accompany it in the context of an encounter that aims at the possibility of intimacy with another. We are a body made to feel, rich in sensory organs. We have a great ability sensory and sensual. Learn to feel, learn by practicing, experimenting, turning our senses and sense organs. We are able to feel sensations, enjoying the pleasure of being stimulation.

Monday, January 18, 2010

¿IF YOU WEREN'T GAY...


...HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD FEEL ABOUT GAY PEOPLE?

LIFE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PRECIOUS!


I FINALLY laid my eyes on the movie Precious this passed weekend and I MUST say that is a MUST SEE! This movie touched me from start end and left NO emotion unturned in me. This was SO POWERFUL that he left all that went with me speechless. Normally after seeing a movie, as soon as we get in the car we discuss it...but there was just silence. This movie made me feel SO powerless and both Mo'Nique and  Gabourey Sidibe gave such AMAZING performances. My ONLY wish as I was leaving the theater is that EVERYONE that saw this movie would take the message from it and use it to turn themselves around.

In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones lives in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem with her dysfunctional mother; she has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers long term physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother, Mary. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, known only as "Mongo" (short for "Mongoloid"), has Down syndrome and is being cared for by Precious's grandmother.

Following the discovery of Precious' second pregnancy, she is suspended from school. Her junior high school principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school, which she hopes can help Precious change her life's direction.[7] Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily existence through imagination and fantasy. While she is being raped by her father, she looks at the ceiling and imagines herself in a music video shoot; in the video, she is the superstar and the focus of attention. While looking in photograph albums, she imagines the pictures talking to her. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a pretty, white, thin, blonde girl. In her mind there is another world, one in which she is loved and appreciated.

Inspired by her new teacher Miss Blu Rain, Precious begins learning to read. Precious meets sporadically with a social worker named Miss Weiss, who learns about incest in the household when Precious unintentionally implies it to her. She gives birth to her second child and names him Abdul. While at the hospital, she meets John McFadden, a nurse who shows kindness to her. After Mary deliberately drops three-day-old Abdul and hits Precious, Precious fights back long enough to get her son and flees her home, permanently. Shortly after leaving the house, in an attempt to get out of the cold outside, Precious breaks into her school classroom and is found there in the morning by Miss Rain. The teacher finds assistance for Precious and she begins raising her son in a half-way house while she continues academically.

Feeling dejected, Precious meets Miss Weiss at her office, after a short conversation when Miss Weiss leaves the room, Precious steals her case file. Precious recounts the details of the file to her fellow students and has a new lease on life. Her mother comes back into her life to inform Precious that her father has died of AIDS. Later, Precious finds out that she and her mother are both HIV positive, but that Abdul is not. Mary and Precious see each other for the last time in Miss Weiss' office, where Weiss questions Mary on her abuse of Precious, and uncovers specific traumas Precious encountered. The film ends with Precious still resolved to improve for herself and for her children. She severs ties with her mother and makes plans to complete a General Educational Development test.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

THE JUST & THE UN~JUST...



Religious extremists, (whether the Taliban in the Islamic world or Christians the world over), don’t know the difference between JUST & UN~JUST! They don't care about democracy, respecting other people's right to live differently from them, the basic principles of morality AND the humans that live on this planet. To them we are just sheep that MUST do what they say and NEVER question them because to do so means you are questioning GOD himself. Because of these things, we can have people like PAT ROBERTSON say THE HAITIAN PEOPLE ARE CURSED & DESERVED THE EARTHQUAKE.

Now because Pat’s words are based on a book that dictates God’s will (which is invisible, inaudible, and entirely unverifiable btw), there seems to be NO reality check saying that his words are WICKED and  have an inhumane effect on the world. How can we sit here and accept such garbage? When something like this happens, it is to teach us that we should be addressing the REAL problems of the world and NOT doing the I told you so dance.

It SO OBVIOUS that the world is, quite literally, irrelevant to persons like this because they know that there is NO way to conclusively demonstrate what constitutes JUST & UN~JUST. There's no way to test the assertion that God punished Haiti with a devastating earthquake and to think otherwise shows a world that you are coward that’s hiding behind a bible in God’s name; and he seems VERY confused about the concept of JUST & UN~JUST.

His confusion is one found between what one is and what one does; and sinner is the generic term of what Haiti is in his mind. Therefore that means there were NO JUST people living in Haiti? I know here in the Bahamas most Christians share the sentiments of Pat Robertson…I suppose the difference to them is that there are MORE saints than sinners here so that’s why things like that don’t happen to us. But from what I remember about the bible, doesn’t it say that we all fall short of the perfection of God? So how could being a JUST nation not make us have a heart towards Haiti?

The OBVIOUS problem with paralleling the JUST & the UN~JUST is that most Christians have this belief that though the church is filled with sinners (adulterers, homosexuals and the like), as long as there is more of them they are safe. But I was taught in high school that ONE bad apple spoils the bunch, so there goes their theory. In my opinion being JUST is like saying certain cars go very fast, so if I am speeding it is expected!

Christians are NEVER above pretending to be more righteous than others and comments like Pat’s MORE than prove that! It is MORE than obvious that the reality is gone AND the brake lines of morality have been cut. I used to believe that ALL religions stamp us as ‘newborn’ with ‘their’ programming hoping to save us from ‘who knows what’ or, for some ‘God knows where’. As I write more entries like this, I am becoming more aware that the reason why SO many accept words from Pat et al is because they themselves struggle with flaws of their own AND know all too well their shortcomings…If ONLY we had the ‘Teach thyself first how to love, show kindness AND be aware of each other on this planet,’ all the ‘relic religions’ that give certain men the power to become the ‘religious spokesmen/salesmen’ for many would cease to exist…

Saturday, January 16, 2010

KING OF SORROW






"King of Sorrow" is the second single from the English group Sade's fifth studio album, Lovers Rock (2000). The song was written by Sade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale, Paul Spencer Denman and produced by Sade, Mike Pela.

The music video, directed by Sophie Muller, was filmed at and around Normandie Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of the world's most famous examples of Art Deco architecture. It follows the dilemma of a single mother struggling to conciliate her children's needs with her dream of becoming a singer.


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As MANY of us have such a keen awareness of world today because of what is going on in Haiti, I thought this song would be perfect. So few of us have a compassionate demeanor when it comes to the plight of others and I would hope that the earthquake in Haiti and the other social ills of the world would may you consider lending yourself to those who are in need. What else do we need to happen in this world before we adopt a responsive attitude to being responsible for each other?





Thursday, January 14, 2010

WHY HAITI KEEPS GETTING HAMMERED BY DISASTERS



When it comes to natural disasters, the little island of Haiti seems to have a bull's-eye on it. That's because of a killer combination of geography, poverty, social problems, slipshod building standards and bad luck, experts say.

The list of catastrophes is mind-numbing: This week's devastating earthquake. Four tropical storms or hurricanes that killed about 800 people in 2008. Killer storms in 2005 and 2004. Floods in 2007, 2006, 2003 (twice) and 2002. And that's just the 21st Century run-down.

"If you want to put the worst case scenario together in the Western hemisphere (for disasters), it's Haiti," said Richard Olson, a professor at Florida International University who directs the Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas project.

"There's a whole bunch of things working against Haiti. One is the hurricane track. The second is tectonics. Then you have the environmental degradation and the poverty," he said.

This is the 15th disaster since 2001 in which the U.S. Agency for International Development has sent money and help to Haiti. Some 3,000 people have been killed and millions of people displaced in the disasters that preceded this week's earthquake. Since the turn of this century the U.S. has sent more than $16 million in disaster aid to Haiti.

While the causes of individual disasters are natural, more than anything what makes Haiti a constant site of catastrophe is its heart-tugging social ills, disaster experts say. It starts with poverty, includes deforestation, unstable governments, poor building standards, low literacy rates and then comes back to poverty.

This week's devastating quake comes as Haiti is still trying to recover from 2008, when it was hit four times by tropical storms and hurricanes, said Kathleen Tierney, director of the University of Colorado's Natural Hazard Center.

And while there is bad luck involved, former top FEMA official Mark Merritt, president of the disaster consulting firm James Lee Witt Associates, says, "It's an economic issue. It's one of those things that feeds on each other."

Every factor that disaster experts look for in terms of vulnerability is the worst it can be for Haiti, said Dennis Mileti, a seismic safety commissioner for the state of California and author of the book "Disasters by Design."

Add to that the high population density in the capital, many of them migrants from the countryside who live in shantytowns scattered throughout Port-au-Prince.

"It doesn't get any worse," said Mileti, a retired University of Colorado professor. "I fear this may go down in history as the largest disaster ever, or pretty close to it."

For this to be the deadliest quake on record, the death toll will have to top the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 227,000 and a 1976 earthquake in China that killed 255,000, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

While nobody knows the death toll in Haiti, a leading senator, Youri Latortue, told The Associated Press that as many as 500,000 could be dead.

"Whether it comes in as No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3, only time will tell," Mileti said. "This is a major cataclysm."

Vulnerability to natural disasters is almost a direct function of poverty, said Debarati Guha Sapir, director of the World Health Organization's Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.

"Impacts are not natural nor is there a divine hand or ill fate," Sapir said. "People will also die now of lack of follow-up medical care. In other words, those who survived the quake may not survive for long due to the lack of adequate medical care."

University of South Carolina's Susan Cutter, who maps out social vulnerability to disaster by county in the United States, said Haiti's poverty makes smaller disasters there worse.

"It's because they're so vulnerable, any event tips the balance," said Cutter, director of the school's Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. "They don't have the kind of resiliency that other nations have. It doesn't take much to tip the balance."

A magnitude 7 earthquake is devastating wherever it hits, Cutter said. But it's even worse in a place like Haiti.

One problem is the poor quality of buildings, Merritt said. Haiti doesn't have building codes and even if it did, people who make on average $2 a day can't afford to build something that can withstand earthquakes and hurricanes, he said. Poverty often is a major reason for poor infrastructure, Tierney said.

Then there's the deforestation that leads to mudslides and flooding because Haiti leads the hemisphere in tree-clearing, Merritt and others said. That causes erosion which worsens flooding. The trees are cut down mostly for cooking because of the poverty, Merritt said.

Another problem is the inability to prepare for and cope with disaster, said Merritt, who last fall started work to help train Haitians to prepare for disasters, including creating emergency response teams in a country that only has a couple of fire stations. It involved Haiti's small disaster bureau, the United Nations, Red Cross and other relief agencies and governments.

The training manuals were still being translated from English to Creole when the earthquake hit, he said "If you look at neighboring Cuba, they have a very good emergency management infrastructure," Tierney said. "That's partly because of the way they organize the country from the block upward."

Another issue is that Haiti has been hurricane focused because quakes have been so rare in its history.

Until about a decade ago, scientists thought the north coast of Hispaniola was more prone to earthquakes. But work by Tim Dixon of the University of Miami found the southern fault zone, where Tuesday's quake occurred, was equally likely to produce temblors.

Scientists have known about the seismic threat for a while now, but Dixon said that doesn't help the Haitian government, which lacks the resources to quake-proof buildings and structures.

"This was not that huge of an earthquake, but there's been a lot of damage," he said. "It's the tragedy of anatural disaster superimposed on a poor country."

Haiti shares the island with the relatively richer Dominican Republic, which provides a good contrast when it comes to catastrophes, experts said.

Buildings in the Dominican Republic are stronger and withstand disaster better, Merritt said. Partly that's because it is a richer country with a more stable government.

The damage to Haiti is so devastating, so extensive that it offers a sense of hope in rebuilding, the experts said. Past disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, show that it is easier to put up new buildings than rebuild damaged ones, which is one reason why the wiped-clear Mississippi coast came back faster than New Orleans, Merritt said.

After the killer 1976 earthquake in Guatemala, houses were rebuilt with less vulnerable, lighter roofs and the entire region was designed to be less disaster prone, FIU's Olson said.

"Catastrophic disasters open a window of opportunity to fundamentally change how cities are rebuilt," Olson said. "If it's rebuilt in the same fashion (as it is now), our children are going to have this same conversation."


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

HAITI'S EARTHQUAKE: NO ONE IS EQUAL, UNLESS WE ALL ARE...







The other day @ work my co-workers and I were having a discussion and the topic of Haiti came up. For those of you who may not know, we here in the Bahamas have had an influx of Haitians since I knew myself; and to this VERY day MANY Bahamians have a lot of HATRED and are VERY PREJUDICED towards them. Where I understand the frustration of my people, I tend to take the position that they are human just like us and if they risk life and limb to get here by boat, then something MUST be wrong where they live.

So back to the conversation I was having with my co-workers…I wasn’t surprised that @ least one of us HATED Haitians…This young lady went as far to say that we need a shoot on contact order when our marine officers see their boats in our waters as they are trying to come here. She went on and on about how they are bringing us down and they need to be sent back to Haiti…born here OR NOT! I guess something is wrong with me because I’ve heard the many stories of how they came here and are taking away jobs (mostly minimum wage employment), taking over our medical service (most of us don’t use it) and sending their money out of the country…yet I don’t have a single piece of hatred in my heart towards any Haitian. 

So as I made my way home yesterday, I heard about the earthquake in Haiti. I thought oh no and my mind IMMEDIATELY went on my co-worker who doesn’t care for Haitians @ all. I couldn’t wait to see her and ask her how she felt about Haitians now…As she made her way to her desk I threw her the question…I didn’t think that her feelings would change, but I didn’t expect her to say, WELL THAT’S A FEW THOUSANDS WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT! I just looked @ her, shook my head and went to my desk. I was trying so hard to fight back the tears and take my mind off Haiti because I didn’t need to go off on her on my temp job. I could accept ignorance AND hatred towards me for being gay, but these are our brothers and sisters. How can anyone feel like this? Her out of touch~ness could ONLY mean that her heart is in her feet and she is walking on it.

I can only wonder who planted the seeds of intolerance that she carries wit her? Yes we are different, but the TRUTH is we are all more alike then we are different. How can she NOT see that? How can the many Bahamians that are like her not see that the sooner we get beyond this HATRED for Haitians, the better off we all will be? We cannot walk around with mirrors our entire lives and think it is okay!

I am sorry that so many died and that their deaths will ONLY mirror the commonly held false belief that Bahamians have about Haitians. We call ourselves a “Christian” nation but I often wonder how much of God is inside of us (THANK GOD I DON’T DO RELIGION!). I believe that it is NOT enough that we live, but we MUST live for each other. Our lives should centre around creating joy for others, working for the betterment of society and sharing what we have…How can we NOT try to bring some sort of HOPE to the lost in Haiti?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

¿REAL MEN WEAR PINK...RIGHT? (HERE IT COMES AGAIN!)





So last week Friday, I decided to wear a PINK shirt to work…you would think that I would have learned from doing it on previous jobs but… @ First I hesitated because I knew how most feel about men wearing a shirt that color. But something in me kicked in and I threw it on with a pair of jeans. When I arrive to work, I could feel the eyes on me…you know the stares that say, is he REALLY wearing that? I find it SO interesting that SO many care about what is placed on MY body. @ The end of the day it is all about what pleases me and NOT them…right?

So I made it to lunch time and my co-worker who is just as crazy as I am came to the supervisor as I was with her. He then asks her if she is going to mandate that both of us wear pink shirts from now on. She then looked @ him like he was from another planet and was like NO! Then he asks her if one of us come to work with a dress on, what would she say and/or do about it? She then said, well as long the work is done I could care less what you are wearing! I smiled as he looked like he was about to pass out from what she said. I would like to think that @ that moment he realized that this pink shirt business is SO stupid because it is just that…A SHIRT!

But I don’t expect him or the MANY others that feel this way to get some common sense about what feel a man should/shouldn’t wear. My life is ALL ABOUT DOING WHAT FULFILLS ME! I control what is placed on this body of mine and no one make me feel less than because of what I CHOOSE to wear. So I will continue to disregard the IGNORANT thoughts of my co-worker and the MANY like him that exist in this world. I know that MY confidence gives me something they can’t even give themselves because they are SO concerned about looking and being like each other. But between you, me and couple dead people, I feel that my co-worker is into me on some level because every 5-10 minutes this guy is bothering with me…cracking jokes, talking a bunch of shit and teasing me…I guess P!NK is right when says WE ARE ALL PINK ON THE INSIDE…However the difference here is that I wear mine on the outside as well…



Monday, January 11, 2010

THINK RED - ESSAY COMPETITION


I entered an the above-mentioned essay competition a month ago and won the top prize, this is one of the AWESOME things that occurred to me that mentioned briefly in recent blog entries. Here are the particulars for the essay:



Do you want to win some quick prizes or some for the Christmas holidays? How do you feel about HIV/AIDS? What do you feel you can contribute towards the fight against HIV/AIDS? 

I dare you to take this challenge.

Think Red
Essay Competition 
No Research Needed! State How You Feel about the Epidemic, experiences etc.

Topic: HIV & Me. The Reality!
Deadline: December 10th 2009
Word Limit: 350 – 500 Words
Eligible: 18 & over
 
$500 Cash Prize
2 Round Trip Tickets (Family Island of your Choice)
3 Months Gym Membership
Telephone Airtime
And other exciting prizes.

For December 1st 2009 (World AIDS Day), UniVision is sponsoring a National Essay Competition to enhance the awareness of HIV / AIDS, this year we’ve chosen as our theme HIV and Me. The Reality. This competition is opened to individuals from18 & over.

AND THIS IS THE ESSAY THAT WON ME THE TOP PRIZE:




According to online statistics, almost six thousand people died of AIDS on December 1st of this year and an even greater number became HIV-infected; though most of these men and women won't know this for months or even years. As far as we know, December 1st wasn't any better or worse than any other day in this regard. That it happened to be World AIDS Day was almost incidental.

In trying to articulate my feelings about HIV & Aids, I realize that I am conflicted-feeling a sense of joy on some levels, which may seem ironic and with the same breath some level of anger. An optimist by nature, advancement in treatment and research, increased accessibility to drugs and increased awareness, give me hope that mankind can and will unite against this disease, eventually conquering it. On the other hand, I am perturbed by the alienation experienced by persons who are infected. This can be attributed to the myth that this disease only affects certain marginalized groups and as such a large segment of the society has become apathetic.

Though I was clueless about this disease when it tore through the world in the 80s and 90s, I felt an indescribable energy emanating from infected persons I came in contact with. This ignited the activist spirit which burns in me to this day. I could not fathom that people could not care about something that is so treatable. Moreover, how would I fix it? I came to the realization that though I was only an individual, the change had to begin with me.

As daunting as the task may seem, one individual can make a difference and this one person attempted to do just that through the creation of a blog devoted to HIV/aids awareness. Though this was an important contribution, it cannot be overemphasized that there is more to be done. A revolution, which I have already started with friends and those I have been blessed to come in contact with. I intend to take this fight of education and awareness to schools, churches and civil society. I will demand an honest, coordinated and strategic fighting effort from all concerned groups. How many politicians and others say they care by simply attending the Annual Red Ribbon Ball? Is that good enough? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t work for me. We have a government that says it wants to be accountable to the people, so I will continuously hold their feet to the HIV/AIDS fire. From monthly marches to seeking out the public airwaves, I will take my message to them and the rest of the Bahamas that HIV/AIDS is a killer that is showing no signs of slowing down. 

There is power in the truth and that is my arsenal; and it has been my experience that the power of words coupled with action takes the human mind a long way. We know that we are standing on shifted sand it is only a matter of time before we are engulfed with no signs of relief. HIV/AIDS needs a strong individual that can lead a team of even stronger persons that places emphasis on the quality of live. I believe that I have the power to cripple this disease with love, shatter it with hope and conquer it in my spirit. I live as if every day is World Aids Day because I believe that if one of us has HIV/AIDS then we all do.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

ON “THE” MISSION TO SAVE…ONE SINNER @ A TIME…



Can we prove/disprove the existence of anything that falls outside of our knowledge and experience? Suppose someone says that God gave them a message for you or they have information on what happens to you after you die. Because messages from God are currently unknown to science and knowing what happens when you die isn’t a common human experience, can persons that come with these messages REALLY help and/or save us?

Right before the New Year came in; I was approached by a lady that came to wish me all the best for 2010 and beyond. As I sat @ my desk watching the time wind down, I saw her approach everyone touching them on their shoulders or taking them by the hand. So when she got to me, I was like this is going to be interesting…Interesting in that I couldn’t shun her because she has been there for a LONG time , is surrounded by MANY others that are just like her and me being ONLY a temp that’s looking for a job, I couldn’t avoid her. She took my hand, told me that God told her that he is opening MANY doors for me in 2010 and that I shouldn’t worry. Now I knew she was right about that (will blog about those things later), but the thing that got me is that she started to speak in tongues and get the spirit. I was like okay, can she give me my hand back now? After she did, and went onto the next person, I noticed that she told the EXACT same thing to person next to me and the person next to her. So I thought to myself, this woman is just like one of those psychics that give everyone that general information they seek when they come in contact with them. I mean it is a new year and we all are looking for new and good things to come our way so…Moreover, the last time I checked, she and I are both flesh and God and I weren’t mad with each other so…

Now just last Sunday as I was putting the finishing touches on last week’s entry, there was a knock @ my front door. As I made my way there, the knock got even LOUDER. Now I thought okay this person REALLY needs to see someone in this house. So as I looked out my window, I noticed it was 2 ladies with tracks in their hands. I smiled because I LOVE when they come to my house! They said good day and told me that they came to share some information with me…I was like okay shoot! So she held this track that was titled WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU DIE. Now me being who I am, I asked her, “if I die after reading this track, will I find the information in it to be true?” she paused and then said well it is the same thing that’s in your bible…Well you know that tickled me because I don’t believe in the book that was written by men inspired by God. So I relayed that message to her and she and the other lady with her got a puzzled look on their faces. They being Jehovah Witnesses put them a little lower than your average Christians in my book…I mean she couldn’t even say YES I AM SURE THIS DETAILS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU DIE! So if that’s the case, how can she base her knowledge on the bible if she cannot be sure of what’s inside its pages?

These women ONLY further my belief that the existence of THEIR GOD can be disproved, unless they are omniscient across all dimensions of possible existence…and CLEARLY, they are NOT omniscient. Therefore, their claims of messages and information don’t sway me @ all. They ONLY further my belief that religion is uniquely armored against anything that might stop it from SAVING you and me. I’ve written MANY times that religion is not only mistaken, but does more harm than good; and situations like this is why I feel this way.

I can hear the chorus already. "But not all religion is like that! Not all that say they come in God’s name should be placed in that category! But if the proof is emphatically NOT in the pudding, what should I think? Since they come with intent that religion is armored against criticism, questioning, and self- correction, can they lead me to a place they are not that sure of?

I could accept them coming to me with invisible beings and inaudible voices, but knowing these folks like I do, I know that their proof is coming form prophets and religious leaders, who supposedly hear these voices and are happy to tell them what to say. I know MANY would say that letting go of religious doubts is a liberating act of love. They would further tell me that the idea that religion operates in a different realm from the everyday world, and it's unfair to hold it to normal standards of evidence. But I would rather be rude AND intolerant if that means they can’t save me because they don’t have that power NO MATTER HOW THEY BELIEVE THEY DO!

TODAY IS SUMMER LEISURE DAY!