Budget ACA: 3-10 Essential Benefits, 2nd Edition, by J.D. Meyer

1. Ambulatory patient services. [Outpatient care]
2. Emergency services.
3. Hospitalization. [Inpatient care]
4. Maternity and newborn care
5.Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
6. Prescription drugs.
7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.
8. Laboratory services
9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management;
10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Health insurance plans must cover these benefits https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_health_benefits

Right now, it’s all ten or none. Pay a fine if you choose none……. How about a budget version: (2) Emergency Services, (6) Prescription Drugs, & (1) Ambulatory patient services [Outpatient care]? Limit eligible clients to those who make $20K/year or less.

Let’s change the paradigm from younger healthy people would rather pay a fine than go for all ten. My new proposed paradigm is let the poor choose the three most important!

I know what it’s like to work over 40 hours/week with three part-time jobs and no insurance: adjunct instructor at a community college, construction assistant, and substitute teacher. This was my career from 1994-1999. I’d developed asthma in 1987. Trust me, summer is construction asst. only, and that faded out of the picture after I got a full-time teaching job (2001-2006), followed by COPD (2005).

Why did I choose those three benefits? Emergency Room visits are very expensive, and in the USA, we let the sickly get help and hopefully pay later. I got on Medicaid by showing my record of ER visits from 2008-2012 to social workers, despite living in Texas—the largest state not to expand Medicaid.

I could afford an inhaler and nebulizer fluid, but not Advair. Fortunately, I learned about botanicas from living in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood and got gordolobo (mullein leaves) and eucalyptus.

I went to clinics that generally served the poorer part of the population. Through “Ambulatory patient care [Outpatient care],” more would be able to afford the office visits themselves and have a regular doctor.

I hope my “Budget ACA: 3-10” brings a helpful new angle to American Health Care. It’s such a hotly debated topic, and we seem to have more difficulties than most OECD nations. My first edition was mistaken in choosing 9. Preventive and Wellness Services and Chronic Disease Management over 1. Ambulatory Patient Services [Outpatient care]. Outpatient care is more basic.I bet plenty of poor people would rather buy “Budget ACA: 3-10” than pay a fine–looking forward to feedback.

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Art of Peace Statement 2017, by J.D. Meyer

The Art of Peace implies a wide range of peace-making efforts. I’m going to analyze this issue according to four views: (1)my North Korea approach, (2) health, (3) apprenticeships, (4) the fiscally responsible approach to defending DACA and fighting The Wall. But first, I’d like to give an account of my spiritual experience some 30 years ago like a previous speaker. Self-confidence in one’s sincerity is the goal of the unity of knowledge and action (chih hsing ho-i). “Spontaneity as conforming to pattern-principle” (tzu-jan chi li) is another way to express having self-confidence in one’s sincerity.

I‘m a devout Twitter fan. I offered a different view of the North Korea crisis. “#NorthKorea wants praise for its nuclear weapons as a cash crop—their only crop! Make sure the bomb isn’t ticking #Diplomacy,”

I’m a member of COPD internet support groups and have written about health issues on my Word Press blog. Wear oxygen canula under your nebulizer mask to improve its efficiency. Also utilize your C-PAP while awake to end a bad exacerbation. I helped a depressed diabetic friend recently by telling her about the benefits of eating cactus (nopalitos). I buy my cactus already sliced, usually pickled in a jar. I don’t battle the quills.

How about more apprenticeships, as proposed by Tim Kaine and three other senators? The business would get a tax break, and the intern would make some money while they learned a valuable trade. People with a good job are more likely to be peaceful.

I’m a member of the local Indivisible group, a Fareed Zakaria Fan Club, and related closed Facebook groups. Let’s defend DACA and renounce Trump’s Wall through fiscal responsibility. It would take an average of $10.4K per person to expel a Dreamer. Moreover, we’ve heard many big business honchos, such as Mark Zuckerberg, protest against this proposal. Check out Congressman Henry Cuellar (D–Laredo, TX). 40% of agriculture workers overstay their visas. The Rio Grande is safer than the U.S. average. A wall is a “14th Century solution.” Texas Republican Senator, John Cornyn, prefers drones in environmentally-sensitive areas, such as the Santa Ana Refuge. The Wall would hurt ecotourism and reduce money coming into South Texas, among other atrocities. So when I say, let’s save focusing on humaneness concerns for a future generation, I sound like Booker T. Washington in a parallel universe!

So now we’ve examined a variety of ways to make peace. The possibilities are endless. To conclude, try to bring serious data to your argument in this hot-headed era. Strong self-respect is important; don’t let yourself get run over. For improving self-knowledge, check out a free online MBTI-style site, such as http://www.16personalities.com

SOL17: World Asthma Day, Publicizing Dr. Tedros of Ethiopia for Director of WHO, etc.

I’m a retired teacher, disabled due to asthma and COPD. I developed asthma in 1987 and COPD in 2005. I got on SSDI in 2010. By 2012, I was on Medicare and Medicaid and had moved to the Hospital District, aka. Midtown, in Tyler, Texas–my third neighborhood in the largest city in East Texas.

Nowadays, I spend much of my time on Twitter and Facebook. I was happy to see that World Asthma Day fell on Slice of Life Tuesday today. One of the best articles that I read today was about the reasons for the rise in inhaler prices–a chilling indictment of “Big Pharma.” http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/07/cost-increase-asthma-inhalers-expensiveWhy You’re Paying More to Breathe

The happiest pack of articles that I’ve encountered lately is about Dr. Tedros of Ethiopia–the leading candidate for Director of the World Health Organization (WHO). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dr-tedros-is-the-leader-the-who-needs_us_59075cd2e4b03b105b44ba96?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004 Dr. Tedros is the Leader that WHO Needs

A sad article that I read was about Trump ending Michelle Obama’s program, “Let Girls Learn.” http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/1/1657898/-Trump-administration-ends-Michelle-Obama-program-to-educate-girls-and-lift-them-out-of-povertyTrump administration ends Michelle Obama program to educate girls and lift them out of poverty Then I had a great idea. What if Dr. Tudros is able to revive Mrs. Obama’s program if he’s elected Director of WHO!

A different type of sad article shows that pollution causes lung disease. India is the most polluted country in the world with 13 of the 20 worst cities. Anti-asthma medicine has increased a staggering 43% in the past four years. Furthermore, it’s harder to measure the effects of air pollution in rural areas. Climate change is a big issue in political debate, despite its near unanimous recognition by science. However, how can pollution be denied at all? http://www.hindustantimes.com/health/world-asthma-day-india-chokes-sales-of-medicines-rise-43-in-4-years/story-mt5V9Kdqv4yGF062ZOmC6I.html World Asthma Day: India chokes, sales of medicines rise 43% in 4 years

To conclude, I started with the reasons for the rising cost of asthma inhalers, a graphic view of the actions of “Big Pharma.” Then I lamented the end of Michelle Obama’s project, “Let Girls Learn. ” Educated girls are more likely to be healthy and maybe wealthy. Then I campaigned for Dr. Turkos of Ethiopia for Director of the World Health Organization (WHO). Ethiopia has experienced dramatic health improvement through his guidance. I speculated that he may be able to save Mr. Obama’s project. Finally, I ended with the increase in asthma in India due to its air pollution. Nobody tries to deny that pollution can cause health problems. To conclude, improving health not only involves medical advances, but sound political decisions and cleaning up the planet!

SOL Tuesday: Printing at the Library & Some Nice Satire

I scurried to the Downtown Tyler Library this afternoon because my home computer was too slow, and I wanted to print a favorite contemporary article on Confucianism. I didn’t realize it was 12 pages! Then I printed my 2-page talk on the Transportation Conference in Austin at the East TX Human Needs Network (ETHNN) Transportation Committee meeting. Appropriately, I rode four out of five bus lines that day.

I’m going to look up something funny on my Facebook page from my birthday week. In the meantime, have a definition of sustainability. “Sustainability is a difficult term to define, as many view it in different ways. Essentially, it can be defined as it was at the world’s first Earth Summit in 1992 – maintaining operations and development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” From @CompareFootprin

Whoops, I’m not sure about my funny story since it’s political; however, the caption is Nice Satire. Anyway, one of my friends was so amused that he bought me some treats at the local restaurant hangout. It’s hard to scroll three weeks back on one’s active Facebook page. To summarize, I asserted to Former President Barack Obama that if he was “tapping” my efficiency’s computer, then he’d know I’d make a great family traveling companion to Hawaii or Alsace, France. That was the weird story of Mid-March.

My research in the Confucian tradition began in the early 80’s, largely by reading two fine journals published by the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center, That’s where Obama’s parents met! Furthermore, my grandfather, Joe Leo Meyer, fled Alsace for Victoria, Texas to live with his Uncle Xavier when the Germans conquered Alsace in 1890. Grandfather lived in Blodelsheim, a small village outside of Strausberg, the capital and where President Obama’s mother’s side of the family lived.

Perhaps I should use this blog to suggest a third trip: Indonesia. President Obama lived there when he was a kid, and I’m Twitter friends with the Director of the Jaringan Islam Liberals, Ulil Abshar-Abdallah. Furthermore, there’s a Confucian Church in Indonesia that I used to read about a decade ago. The late Dr. Thomas Kang, a former Library of Congress scholar, moved there and was a major author for those Indonesian Confucians.

Anyway, it’s getting late and time for dinner. By the way, I crossed 7000 Twitter followers today after only 24.5K tweets since my start in October 2011.

Booker T. Washington: Neglected Exemplar of Practical Education

By Mr. J.D. Meyer…Juneteenth 2005/Revised: Juneteenth 2008

Introduction
First, it’s very doubtful that I would have discovered Booker T. Washington if it wasn’t for primary resources on the Internet. In other words, third-rate historians who pass judgment while withholding evidence from the reader have obscured the real writings of BTW. Thus BTW is “ a figure more often caricatured than understood,” to quote Thomas Sowell et al’s article, “Up from Slavery,” based on Washington’s autobiography with the same name. BTW has been unfairly and illogically labeled as an Uncle Tom for emphasizing vocational education near the turn of the 20th Century. Yet in “The Awakening of the Negro,” Washington stated that if a Black owned the mortgage on a White’s house, then that White couldn’t prevent the Black from voting. In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington admitted, “How often I have wanted to say to white students that they lift themselves up in proportion as they help to lift others, and the more unfortunate the race, and the lower in the scale of civilization, the more does one raise one’s self by giving the assistance.”

Washington’s greatest speech (1895) was praised by many but maligned by some
as the Atlanta Compromise rather than the Atlanta Exposition address. It was the first speech by an African-American before an integrated audience in this country. This was a time when 100 Blacks/year were being lynched. Reconstruction was long over, having only lasted from 1865-1877. Furthermore, a conquering army had imposed Reconstruction.

In his later years, Mr. Washington admitted that if his Atlanta Exposition had been unsuccessful, it could have shattered the cause for Black advancement for years. Instead, the governor of Georgia ran across the room to shake BTW’s hand and offer congratulation. President Grover Cleveland mailed a letter of praise to BTW. The climate around the turn of the 20th Century was so tense that President Theodore Roosevelt was criticized for having lunch with Mr. Washington. It was even the topic of cruel newspaper cartoons. If you think that a call for crossbow manufacturing was overlooked, then you forgot what happened to the Black Panthers for their assertion of their American right to bear arms.

This presentation will examine the Atlanta Exposition Address, a talk that is a
component of Washington’s autobiography, Up From Slavery. Then we’ll have an
overview of “The Awakening of the Negro.” Our first reading is from “Black Race, Red Race,” reflections on Washington’s early career as the dorm supervisor of Native Americans at his alma mater, Hampton College. We will end with the article that significantly shaped my views on African-American history, “Keeping the Spotlight on Failure,” by Elizabeth Wright, and a chilling indictment of how many teach Black history to be little more than slavery, freedom, civil rights movement, and integration. There were plenty of great economic and institutional success stories individual and group, before the civil right movement and desegregation. Wright and many like her are philosophical heirs to Booker T. Washington, and their work can be found at websites like Issues-Views.com and Booker Rising.com

Excerpt from “Black Race and Red Race”—BTW
Six years after graduating from Hampton Institute, General Armstrong, the
President of Hampton, invited Booker T. Washington to be the dorm director for a
group of Native American males. Hampton is still one of the leading HBCU’s
today.
“There was a general feeling that the attempt to educate and civilize the red men at Hampton would be a failure. All this makes me proceed very cautiously, for I felt the keen responsibility. But I was determined to succeed. It was not long before I had the complete confidence of the Indians, and not only this, but I think I am safe in saying that I had their love and respect. I found that they were about like any other human beings; that they responded to kind treatment and resented ill treatment. They were continually planning to do something that would add to my happiness and comfort. The things that they disliked most, I think, were to have their long hair cut, to give up wearing their blankets, and to cease smoking; but no white American ever thinks that any other race is wholly civilized until he wears the white man’s clothes, eats the white man’s food, speaks the white man’s language, and professes the white man’s religion.”

The Atlanta Exposition Address
Why did BTW feel that vocational education was so important? First, because the
Talented Tenth that WEB DuBois wanted to nurture was just that—the 10% of any
population that can become doctors, lawyers, and the like. BTW chose to reach the black masses. As the first president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Washington seized the opportunity to do just that. The practical education movement at Tuskegee was paralleled at white colleges like my alma mater, Texas A&M University, because of the Morrill Act of 1862. This act provided for state funding for universities in each state to specialize in the sciences of agriculture, engineering, and more.
Thus, there is nothing demeaning in not gambling on replacing one’s archeology professor. For as, Booker T. Washington contended in Atlanta at the Exposition Address, “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”BTW opened the Atlanta Exposition Address by stating that the event was the greatest thing to happen between the races in the thirty years since the end of slavery. Then he admitted that the awkwardness of Reconstruction. The newly freed slaves began at the top instead of the bottom and blacks sought a political position rather than “real estate or industrial skills” or “starting a dairy farm or truck garden.”

On the other hand, subsequent research revealed to me that at least some to those African-Americans who ascended to political power truly were competent—like Matthew Gaines of Brenham, Texas. Mr. Gaines was instrumental in the founding of Texas A&M to the extent that a movement led by Aggie Republicans like my former philosophy professor, Richard Stadelmann, wanted to have a statue of Gaines erected on the campus.

Washington’s bold call to both races was “Cast your buckets down where you
are.” At that time, it meant for blacks not to give up on America and sail back to Africa. For whites, it meant not to expect foreign immigrants to be the answer to economic expansion because of the loyalty shown by African-Americans over the centuries. Suggesting anything to whites back then was quite bold. Yet perhaps the latter was one of Washington’s most peculiar contentions as there had been brutal slave uprisings, sometimes with white abolitionist assistance, as noted in WEB DuBois’s critiques of BTW. Perhaps Mr. Washington was hinting that black uprisings could have been a lot more frequent or worse in an off-hand (even clever passive aggressive) way.

Let’s jump back to the Back to Africa movement. It was extremely influential at
the turn of the century until 1920. Marcus Garvey was its most famous proponent and the leader of the largest black movement in history. Martin Delany, the first African-American field officer and a medical doctor, was another key figure. However, Delany changed his mind about the Back to Africa movement and leaned toward South America before his change as well. Dr. Delany has the peculiar distinction of almost being lynched by a white mob in a Northern border state before the Civil War; then he was almost lynched by an angry black mob because he supported an ex-Confederate officer who supported vocational education for African-Americans.
One of the most surprising aspects of this twisted by emotion era in American history for me is that some of the finest men fighting for black rights were the slave masters’ sons, as opposed to uneducated white competing for jobs open to ex-slaves apart from the BTW or DuBois game plan. Always looking at both sides of any issue, Washington admonished blacks not to sink into resentment over the atrocities of slavery because that would bog down progress.

Thus, the central theme of the Atlanta Exposition Address was that “there is no defense or security for any of us except in the development of the highest intelligence of all.” He waved aside already lost causes for his generation such as racial integration offering his example of as being “separate like fingers yet one in the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” He never renounced equal rights under the law but noted, “The ability to earn a dollar in a factory was more important than the right to spend it at an opera house.” BTW observed that as one-third of the population of the South, blacks could be a force for progress or stagnation, depending on whether blacks took the opportunities that were given, or had opportunities denied them, or simply blundered away chances. Thus,
BTW was able to link the fate of both races by connecting rights and responsibilities.

So how different were Washington and DuBois? Less than what it is popularly
assumed today, and at one time, they were close allies. DuBois did view the Atlanta Exposition as something of a sell-out. DuBois proved to be right in noting that without political rights, African-Americans could not protect what they had earned. Yet DuBois failed to see that part of Washington’s program of vocational education proved to be the beginning of the modern science of agriculture. Building construction was another area of training in all phases from bricklaying to carpentry to architecture.
After Washington’s death, it was discovered that he secretly donated to civil rights causes. Ultimately, Washington praised whites of good will while DuBois verbally attacked whites of ill will. Washington received substantial financial contributions for Tuskegee Institute as its president. DuBois lived to be 95 (1868-1963) while Washington didn’t make it to 60 (1858-1915). Admittedly, the savagery of white backlash over black success and BTW’s relentless speaking and work schedule may have driven him to an early grave. On the other hand, poor DuBois was subjected to an FBI investigation for his socialist leanings, and he moved to Ghana to spend the last years of his life with Kwame Nkrumah, its first president and a Pan-African giant.

Yet DuBois shared the fears of Washington that if whites lost their prejudices
overnight, much of the ignorant masses of blacks would stay down through using
prejudice as an excuse or drift into “indifferent listlessness or reckless bravado.” In short, you could not imagine a more effective early leader for African-Americans than BTW. His ability to point toward quiet economic success as a prerequisite for the achievements of later generations was essential and tragically unappreciated. There wouldn’t have been a Civil Rights’ Movement if some African-Americans hadn’t risen to middle-class stature. Likewise, my new T-shirt says Martin Luther King’s dream is being realized in Barack Obama’s message of change.

The Awakening of the Negro
Washington’s vision of practical education included witnessing the opposite. Once he saw a young man studying French grammar in a run-down shack, and another time, BTW saw a young lady playing a rented piano in a run-down shack. Washington responded to the objections that would surface later anyway: a young black has the right to study French or the piano. But in those troubled poverty-stricken days right after slavery, a more practical alternative was needed. Washington earned his degree at Hampton College—a model for Tuskegee. Washington was “surrounded by an atmosphere of business, Christian influence, and a spirit of self-help that seemed to have awakened every faculty in me, and cause me for the first time to realize what it meant to be a man instead of a piece of property.”

Washington saw the cardinal needs for African American as, “food, clothing,
shelter, education, proper habits, and a settlement of race relations,” a list that reminds me of the basic needs according to Abraham Maslow. Furthermore, Washington believed that training of strong young people in the “head, hand, and heart” would lift up the race from within better than missionary efforts launched from afar. By learning industrial or hand training, the young African-American could move up from their status at that time. Three other factors stood out: (1) the student could pay for some of his tuition; (2) the school called for a job that required skill; (3) the industrial system teaches “economy, thrift, the dignity of labor” and gives “moral backbone” to students. Such a student gains a “certain confidence and moral independence” when he is “conscious of his power to build a house or wagon or to make a harness.”

It is easy to update these practical suggestions for our century. Obviously,
residential and business construction is still leading fields, and the automobile or truck has replaced the wagon and the harness for the horse. But we need to add computer skills to our list of confidence-imparting practical skills. I am one of many who have the power to search the Internet, type rapidly and save the information on a computer or on a disc, insert tables, dabble with contrasting fonts, and make a Power Point. I could get off-task and ramble indefinitely about the new practical professions that exist today but were not present at the time of BTW.
Mr. Washington’s vision of industrial education was “how to put brains into every process of labor… (Therefore) much of the toil is eliminated and labor is dignified.” Tuskegee had a staggering total of 650 acres of land for agriculture: cattle and vegetables. At this time, 85% of African-Americans in the South worked in agriculture. Furthermore, Tuskegee graduates taught rural blacks how to save money, get out of debt, and buy their own house. Keeping isolated schools open more often was another typical goal. Older adults organized local clubs or conferences, and the Tuskegee Negro Conference was held every February, bringing 800 people together from all over the Black Belt. Besides the Tuskegee Negro Conference for the masses, BTW started a simultaneous gathering called The Workers’ Conference. The Workers’ Conference brought together instructors and administrators from the leading black schools of the South. By having these conferences at the same time, the laborers and educators were able to learn from each other.

What was the strategy behind Washington’s focus on industrial education? It was
to improve race relations through empowering blacks to produces something the white “wants or respects in the commercial world.” Furthermore, the white would become partly dependent on the black and less able to deny his political rights.
One of the greatest evils of the slave system is that it warped the work ethic. The white master did not work but was the ideal—the idle rich. Another evil was that slavery discouraged labor-saving machinery. Blacks worked but under protest. All of these strange quirks led to the Southern habit of putting off repairs until tomorrow. Thus the Tuskegee influence bettered all society—not just black. The South evolved from exporting its cash crop—cotton—in exchange for food supplies, to a society with diversified agriculture.

Keeping the Spotlight on Failure
Elizabeth Wright refutes the notion that blacks achieved little before integration in this fine article. The result of conditioning blacks into such thinking leads them to having a negative opinion of black businessmen and institutions while accepting the guidance of the elite without question. The perpetrators of this view are the black elite and white liberals. She cites no less than nine successful African-American entrepreneurs who lived between 1840—1930; some even lived before the Civil War.

Wright notes that during Booker T. Washington’s heyday, blacks had a better spirit of entrepreneurship, optimism, and pragmatism. It was accepted that economic change would precede changes in the laws. Getting bogged down theory or dwelling on victimization would divert one from making money. Furthermore, the Tuskegee Movement provided moral encouragement as well as technical assistance. Frequently, Washington and his colleagues would go into the rural areas and show poor blacks how to get out of debt, save their money, keep grade schools open more often, and become homeowners.

After the end of BTW’s influence, progress was no longer due to the individual’s effort and enterprise but the result of a group of civil rights leaders. The title that Ms. Wright chose for this article was actually borrowed from Mr. Washington himself. He noted that there were already black leaders in his time that wanted to remind their followers of sad stuff to keep them loyal but depressed and good whites feeling guilty. Nevertheless, I’d like to interject that it’s essential to examine each view in order to have a balanced view of African-American social/intellectual history. Without legal protection, successful black communities like Tulsa suffered wholesale destruction with no recourse, and lynchings got worse when African-Americans became more successful in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. Ironically, the Tuskegee machine was far from democratic and often crushed opposition from other black scholars.

Overall, I still endorse Ms. Wright’s view of African-American history with its
endorsement of Booker T. Washington as the more valid model. For example, the GI bill enabled many black World War II veterans to go to college, become more successful economically, and influence legal change. Perhaps the current young hustlers carry on some of that BTW style attitude concerning the importance of “make money first”; however, there’s all too often a spirit of Machiavellianism and a frequent idolization of gangsters. Obviously, black-on-black crime has never been worse, especially violent crime. John McWhorter observes a counterproductive anti-intellectual spirit in today’s youth also. Washington endorsed putting scientific skill into trades like agriculture, and he never negated that a “talented tenth” would go into professions like medicine and the law. But BTW did note that it’s more important to be able to make a dollar than spend it
in the theater of your choice.

Let’s look at some of those entrepreneurs cited in Ms. Wright’s article. First, she mentions Martin Delany (1812-1885) of West Virginia, hailed as the “Malcolm X of the 19th Century.” I mentioned a bit of history earlier in this essay. Dr. Delany was the first black field officer and medical doctor. He also was a book and magazine author who wrote non-fiction and fiction. Dr. Delany wrote for Frederick Douglass’s journal, the North Star. Charles and Ana Spaulding founded the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Durham, North Carolina at the turn of the 20th Century, and the company still exists today. William Powell was an ex-slave who opened a repair shop and invented or improved tools. George Downing owned a hotel in Rhode Island and was a caterer before the Civil War. Robert Reed Church was a Memphis businessman who built a park for summer festivities, graduations, and held Thanksgiving dinners for the poor.

To conclude my summary/analysis of “Keeping the Spotlight on Failure,” we
need an inclusive attitude toward information on history, especially something as twisted by dogmatic paradigms as African-American history. I certainly didn’t want to read depressing Black History essays, and I received tons of them until I wrote a guide to writing a Black History essay for my class. It was their one chance to do an essay on this topic, so be happy. Undoubtedly, Ms. Wright could have predicted that young blacks would generally focus on the dreariest aspects of their history unless urged not to do so.

Conclusion
To conclude this talk, I hope you have a better understanding of Booker T.
Washington’s achievements in the cause of African-American advancement and the business-oriented movement that not only succeeded him but preceded him too. It is too easy to judge somebody in the distant past by today’s standards. Maybe history can teach us to develop empathy and understand cause-and-effect. Furthermore, it is a victory for an entire country when any disadvantaged group can improve their status, not just the disadvantaged group.

Unity Night of Kwanzaa 2016: Some Friendly Muslim Thought Leaders, by J.D. Meyer

Welcome to Unity Night of Kwanzaa, Tyler Texas—the first night of our seven-night festival. Furthermore, it’s the 50th Anniversary of Kwanzaa! How does Kwanzaa’s founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga describe Unity? Unity invites an “alternative sense of solidarity…the world’s health and wholeness require education to know about others.” In this year’s Unity address, Dr. Karenga asserts, “For we come into being and best express and develop our humanity in relationship.” This reminds me of benevolence, the first of the five virtues of Confucianism (Ruism) Benevolence is a simple four-stroke character, a person standing next to the number “two,” symbolizing society.

Perhaps never before in Kwanzaa’s history have Unity Night presentations got the opportunity to repair an upset, divided country following the last election. In other words, our talks could go beyond the Afrocentric Black Elite. First of all, I resolve to stay positive and not bash ideological opposites. Who remembers that great soul song by the O’Jays, “Unity”? The chorus asserts, “Unity, we must have unity. For united we stand, divided we fall.” I’m going to focus on some great work of fine Muslims in this country and elsewhere.

Fareed Zakaria
Let’s start with my hero and favorite journalist, Fareed Zakaria https://twitter.com/FareedZakaria —the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN on Sunday morning at 9 am and re-run at noon. The GPS stands for Global Public Square, and he has interviewed many of the top leaders in the world.

Fareed is a Muslim immigrant from India, and he has a Ph.D. in Political Science from an Ivy League university. He also writes for the Washington Post and published a book, The Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education. However, Fareed isn’t a practicing Muslim but somewhere between deist and agnostic; plus his wife is Christian. Perhaps you could call him a cultural Muslim, but my point is that there is a continuum of beliefs within any religion from nominal to fundamentalist to fanatic.

Ulil Abshar-Abdallah & Indonesia
Our next standout is Ulil Abshar-Abdallah, and we’re friends on Twitter. https://twitter.com/ulil What is the most populated Muslim country? What Muslim country enjoys complete religious freedom in their constitution? The answer to both questions is Indonesia, and Ulil is the founder and leader of the Liberal Islam of Indonesia, also known as the Jaringans. The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, is known for his love of Heavy Metal music–notably Metallica and Megadeth. Indonesia has plenty of popular native heavy metal bands too, such as Burgerkill. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/11/joko-jokowi-widodos-metal-manifesto

I just checked Ulil’s Twitter site, and his pinned tweet states, “Don’t let politics ruin friendship.” A pinned tweet is always first on your list. A few days ago, he retweeted an article from the British journal, Independent, that warned about Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar financing extremist Islamic missionary groups in Germany. A few weeks ago, I shared some news with Ulil and everybody else from the Saudi hashtag #EndMaleGuardianship. It was a cluster of articles about Saudi women battling for equal rights. On Christmas, Ulil tweeted a New York Times article about being okay to wish Muslims a Merry Christmas. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/opinion/why-its-not-wrong-to-wish-muslims-merry-christmas.html Christians and Muslims share some of the same miracles.

“What is Liberal Islam? (a) open to all forms of intellectual exploration, all dimensions of Islam; (b) prioritizing religious ethics, not literal textual reading; (c) believing that truth is relative, open for interpretations and plural; (d) siding with oppressed minorities; (e) believing in the freedom to practice religious beliefs; (f) separation of world and heavenly authorities, religious and political authorities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaringan_Islam_Liberal Islam is a “living organism that makes us feel enthusiasm.” When Mohammad said, “There’s no compulsion in religion,” it was in response to a follower asking Mohammad if he should go get his son, who had moved to practice Christianity–an older religion. Ulil cited a Moroccan feminist, who felt the veil was no longer valid, but it simply serves the political interests of men. Originally, the head coverings were to protect Muslim women from being harassed just to bother Mohammad.But lets keep the burka. I’ve seen some beautiful models wearing them. Furthermore, who could object to an American flag motif?

Unfortunately, Indonesia has radical Islamic terrorist groups, but the government works with the USA in developing counter-terrorism strategies in USINDO. Indonesian police have successfully raided terrorist training camps. Furthermore, the founder of a leading Islamist group, Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) was imprisoned. http://www.usindo.org/resources/counter-terrorism-strategy-in-indonesia-adapting-to-a-changed-threat-2/ Ulil asserts that the roots of Muslim fundamentalism are a feeling of being left behind in science and economics and becoming spectators of Western injustice. Some Muslims protest the mayor of Jakarta–“Ahok” Basuki, a Chinese Christian.

Edarabia
Edarabia is the Middle East’s #1 Education Guide; helping students, parents and educators to interact and select the best institutions. Edarabia is based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—all on the Arabian Peninsula. https://twitter.com/Edarabia “Visitors can find the latest industry news, upcoming events, job listings, research updates, compare ratings, add reviews and engage with others in the community forum. Edarabia.com covers all areas of education including but not limited to universities, colleges, schools, nurseries, language institutes, training academies, music schools, online degrees and much more.”

Edarabia’s pinned tweet is a roundup of books recommended by teachers and their reasons why. They have a Paper.li account called The Edarabia Times. Paper.li accounts are a daily newsletter gathered from those you follow in cyberspace. Edarabia and I are Twitter friends too; plus, they added me to an influential educators list. My Paper.li account, The BohemioTX, is my pinned tweet.

On Christmas, I found an awesome article by Edarabia entitled, “Five Tips in Building a Community of Learners.” http://www.edarabia.com/110008/3-tips-in-building-a-community-of-learners/ It was largely a reaction to the possibilities that technology bring to the classroom. Here are the five points: (1) Use an innovative approach. (2) Embrace new learning opportunities. (3) Encourage a ‘community’ between your students. (4) Make learning relevant. (5) Let students know you care about them.

This article reminded me of including edited student essays in my Developmental English textbook. Two of the standouts are about a veteran driving tanks in Bosnia and an account of the “chopped” technique in Houston’s Rap music.
I sent this article promptly to an American education leader, Angela Maiers, the founder of the #YouMatter paradigm. Many of us love to be scholarly with our cyberspace friends and include links to articles and hashtags in our tweets and posts.

MENA-ICT
Let’s close with an account of the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Information and Communication (ICF) Forum. https://twitter.com/MENAICT It’s the premier ICT industry event in this region. The forum is held once every two years in Jordan through the direction of King Abdullah II since 2002. King Abdullah II is one of our best friends in the Muslim world. A former front-line soldier, King Abdullah II supports our military actions in the Mid-East, avoiding front-line conflict, which would look like a Christian-Islam apocalypse.

“The MENA ICT Forum showcases the entire region’s ICT success stories, and discusses latest trends, opportunities, and future outlooks.” The MENA-ICT Forum launched a 1000 Entrepreneurs National Initiative this year. Israel is a member of MENA, as is all of the Mid-East and North Africa. The first Arab Spring country, Tunisia, is still doing rather well as a democracy

CONCLUSION
I hope my Kwanzaa Unity talk has shown that we have strong allies in the Islam world, and not just an odd mix of “frenemies” and enemies. We started in the USA with Fareed Zakaria before examining Ulil Abshar-Abdallah and his country, Indonesia; Edarabia, a leading education site, based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the UAE, and the MENA-ICT conference and its sponsoring group. Many Muslims are battling for progress in education, religion, technology, and economics.

My Google Plus Argument with Donald Trump?! By J.D. Meyer

http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/donald-trump-i-would-absolutely-close-mosques/
posted in Donald Trump for President 2016 https://plus.google.com/108826186617942919810/posts

JDM: Prepare for war if #DumpTrump gets elected. What if Mexico refuses to pay for the Second Great Wall? Now he wants to squash Freedom of Religion, yet stated he’s never asked God for forgiveness!

DT: Islam is a death cult NOT a religion…wake up…and bring the war if you will

JDM: Try telling that crap to the Liberal Islam of Indonesia, the Jaringans. Please don’t attack them too. There was a missionary at the local MHMR handing out leaflets about becoming Christian or face eternal torture last week, so don’t tell me about death cults!

DT: and you don’t see the difference between being threatened with enternal torture in the afterlife and the raping and murdering Muslims do in every country who lets them in eh…stfu and sit down moron

JDM: First of all, there’s only one “n” in “eternal.” It’s just a few deranged Moslem groups that do a bunch of violence. My IQ is 120–not a moron, a retired teacher and published author. I don’t believe in obscene acronyms. Am I in a fussing match with The Donald himself? Sure hope not.

DT: You could not be more naive

DT: Being a teacher makes you a progressive liberal which does not bode well for your level of intelligence. Any idiot can get published. I’ve been published several times so either you think I’m an idiot or you are. If you’re a retired teacher that means you had tenure a long time and given the lack of competition in the profession it also means according to the psychological nature of activities that lack competition that you slacked for a very long time. I can count the number of good teachers I knew from school on on one hand and have fingers left over. Those kind of credentials might play well with the dregs of society that vote for Democrats but not so well with people who have had to live in the real world and not the shelter of unions and tenure. I have more respect for someone who has dug ditches their whole lives. At least they have lived in the world as it is not in a false utopia of protectionism….now go vote for Sanders like a good useful idiot.

 
JDM: I only had help from a teacher’s union once, and that was when I went from long-term sub to full-time teacher, and I was owed back pay. Sorry you haven’t had many good teachers. I used to haul sheet rock to the dumpster and do groundskeeping at a hospital to keep an adjunct instructor job going in healthier days. I learned how to install vinyl floors by working fast, and I graded papers at lunch. Isn’t that neato? I was in a competititve field. Let’s draft Michael Strahan for President in 2020!!
Sincerely,
JD