Monday, October 14, 2013

Federal Budget Battle, Hospital Interpretation Patients, DR High Ct. Rules on Haitian Descendants, Homophobia, 5th Estate

Sorry, folks, if this didn't post just now. I have always been IT challenged. Will try again.
In these last 2 weeks, in some respects, life in DC is continuing as usual, but in other ways, it has practically become a ghost town. But now, as the debt limit default deadline nears, maybe there's finally a little movement--at least the two sides are talking about how to end it and save face collectively and allow each side still get something that they can cite as a victory. It might hurt Republicans in general or even in statewide elections, but Congressional districts are so gerrymandered that, unfortunately, Republican Congress members collectively have more clout than their proportion of the population merits, and many of them will be lauded for standing tough. I sincerely hope by the time readers see this blog, that the federal budget battle will be over for the time being.

As mentioned before, Avaristus, a Nigerian fabric artist, is staying temporarily at my home after being invited here by the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. He is very puzzled about the current political standoff, something not expected from the USA.  He thinks that if the “masses” rise up, politicians will take heed.

Because some of my hospital interpretation work is connected with NIH, it has been affected to some extent. Still, I have been working with some hospital outpatients. One woman told me that her 18-year-old daughter is going to college and has been granted temporary residence under Obama’s “Dream Act” for young people brought to the US before a certain age, provided that they are now enrolled in college full-time or in the military; she is, of course, very grateful that her daughter has that opportunity.  

Another woman patient from Bogota, Colombia, where I lived 2 ½ years as a teenager, was so nervous that I had to keep my hand on her forehead for a whole hour while cardiac MRI scans were performed. Still another woman at the same facility refused to enter the scanner, even though she was given a tranquilizer, so her test was cancelled. A patient who had worked as a nurse for 10 years in her native Bolivia, envied the nurse attending to her, as the only work she could get in this country has been cleaning houses.

See article below with self-explanatory title. The DR is one of the countries in my jurisdiction as volunteer coordinator for the Caribbean for Amnesty International USA. The DR Supreme Court has concluded that Dominican-born descendants of Haitians can be denied citizenship. Sounds like what some Tea Party types would like to see here regarding American-born descendants of Hispanic immigrants. However, our local Spanish language press in DC now says that DR President Danilo Medina has agreed to meet with spokespersons for Haitian-Dominicans.

Meanwhile, I recently attended a film opening for a short documentary "Love Heals Homophobia" focusing on interviews, mostly with African American pastors, citing biblical texts about loving one another to make the case that Christianity does not support marginalization of LGBT people. Afterward, I talked with a young Jamaican gay woman, Angeline Jackson, a "convener" for an organization called QCJ, Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, She is a university student in IT and has not really been "out," but plans to be more visible when she returns from this U.S. visit. She said that most people she knows at the university and neighbors in her apartment building don't know that she is gay, though some may suspect. She is on guard at all times and tries to avoid public transportation. However, she believes that gay men face even more danger than gay women in Jamaica. Nonetheless, she plans to be more outspoken when she returns from the U.S. and said she would welcome contact and support from Amnesty International.

 About the Jamaican teenaage man killed recently for dressing as a woman at a party, she said that his family, who had rejected him, finally took possession of his body. But, as far as she knows, nothing has been done about searching for and punishing his killers, even though the president talks a good game and non-discrimination laws are on the books.

When I was in Hawaii, saw movie trailer for the new film “The Fifth Estate” about Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Now, I see the film is out and the fierce objections that Assange is making from his Ecuadorian refuge are only giving the film more publicity. I suspect that not only is he getting really tired of living there, but the embassy folks are probably getting pretty tired of having him.


Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favor:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Honduras? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Honduras in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez

Barbara Joe said...

Emilio, no estoy en Honduras ahora, estoy en EE. UU. Pero pienso ir otra vez en febrero y tratare de recorder de mandarte una carta desde alla, Barbara