Alternatives to the Environmental & Economic Damage by the Border Wall Joffre (J.D.) Meyer @bohemiotx

“This Twitter moment offers alternatives (technology & more) to the environmental & economic destruction–including ecotourism–by the proposed border wall. Executive Order 12898 (1994) is Environmental Justice in Minority & Low Income Populations.”

1. Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall by @bohemiotx https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Environmental-Ecotourism-Impact-of-the-Proposed-Border-Wall … #environment #SouthTX #ecotourism #EconomicJustice

2. Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall, Part Two: Smart Walls with Technology, by J.D. Meyer https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/environmental-ecotourism-impact-of-the-proposed-border-wall-part-two-smart-walls-with-technology-by-j-d-meyer/ … via @bohemiotx #Technology #BorderWall #Environment #Texas

3. Republican Congressman: Trump’s Border Crisis Is a ‘Myth’ https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/will-hurd-border-wall-myth-781204/ … via @RollingStone #NorthernTriangle #LiDAR #NoBorderWall #SmartWall #ambassadors

4. Marines commandant protests US border deployments, wall https://news.yahoo.com/marines-commandant-protests-us-border-deployments-wall-232037037.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw … via @YahooNews #military #NoBorderWall

5. The Texas-Mexico Border Wall Comes with a Dangerous, Costly Side Effect: Flooding https://www.texasobserver.org/the-texas-mexico-border-wall-comes-with-a-dangerous-costly-side-effect-flooding … #BorderWall #floods #environment

6. Forget Trump’s Border Wall. Let’s Build F.D.R.’s International Park. https://nyti.ms/2JcYIl1 #BigBend #environment #Texas

7. New alternative to Trump’s wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security [solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border]. #GreenEnergy #Border #economics https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/build-the-energy-wall?fbclid=IwAR3ed6Ai1UhYyC7Kz0Xt8mOeJrnBNsWMIhxwKo-3uR5t0LoacuoH2eYj1GQ

8. Future Energy, Water, Industry and Education Park (FEWIEP) https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/USMexico-Border-Proposal_WHITEPAPER-2019.pdf … #FEWIEP #environment #RenewableEnergy

Replying to @amyklobuchar @keithellison
9. Could Executive Order 12898–Environmental Justice in Minority & Low Income Populations (1994) help in the fight against the #BorderWall? #ecotourism #SouthTX

10. Christina McNearney @tmcnearney1 • Mar 16
We stand strong as one progressive movement against our president’s anti-immigrant, anti-environment agenda. #NoBorderWall https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/stand-with-immigrants–border-communities-for-environmental–social-justice-no-beds-no-boots-no?promoid=7010Z0000027Wv5QAE&utm_medium=recruit&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=addup&tc=false

Blood Cancer Research Annotated Link Page—Including Eastern & Natural Medicine By J.D. Meyer

1. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Cancers/ Three Kinds of Blood Cancer: (1) Leukemia, (2) Lymphoma, and (3) Myeloma.

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136372 “Treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia from traditional Chinese medicine.” Highlights from Abstract: “Methotrexate (MTX) is a drug used in the treatment of various cancer and autoimmune diseases……Therefore, MTX can inhibit the synthesis of DNA. However, MTX has cytotoxicity and neurotoxin may cause multiple organ injury and is potentially lethal…..Our results show that the TCM compounds adenosine triphosphate, manninotriose, raffinose, and stachyose could have potential to improve the side effects of MTX for ALL treatment.”

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenosine_triphosphate “ATP is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the “molecular unit of currency” of intracellular energy transfer.[1] When consumed in metabolic processes, it converts either to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Other processes regenerate ATP so that the human body recycles its own body weight equivalent in ATP each day.[2] It is also a precursor to DNA and RNA, and is used as a coenzyme.”

4. http://www.itmonline.org/arts/leukemia.htm TREATMENT OF LEUKEMIA USING INTEGRATED CHINESE AND WESTERN MEDICINE, by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon. Highlight: “While specific nutritional approaches have not been developed for leukemia, certain general methods can be applied:
a. Make sure the individual is receiving adequate basic dietary nutrients, such as proteins, fats (preferably unsaturated), and carbohydrates. Monitor body weight and muscle strength, and take further action if there is not improvement, including recommending easy-to-use concentrated nutrition sources.
b. Provide additional nutrients and a high level of antioxidants using supplements (11). General anticancer substances may be tried, including flavonoids (quercetin, genestein, tea polyphenols), minerals (selenium), and vitamins (high dose vitamins A, C, and E). Even if these fail to produce a cancer-inhibiting action, they may provide other benefits for persons in the age group that suffers from chronic leukemia.
c. When possible, use Oriental dietary techniques to match the dietary components to the symptom/sign pattern (12). For example, use cooling foods for fevers, astringent foods for sweating, yin-nourishing foods for yin deficiency patterns, etc. Make sure the suggestions include using foods that can reasonably be obtained and prepared.”

5. https://blog.yinyanghouse.com/posts/one-more-reason-to-eat-your-veggies-significant-leukemia-risk-reduction Highlight: “Their analysis found that there was a significant decrease in leukemia risk as the vegetable intake was increased. Interestingly, they did not see a significant raised risk from red meat, poultry, fish, or fruits. The primary factors in elevating the risk were frequent intakes of “fat, deep-fried, and smoked” foods. They concluded that “diets rich in vegetables and adequate amount of milk reduce the risk of adult leukemia.

6. http://www.a-healthy-body.com/the-top-10-health-benefits-of-turmeric-plus-how-to-use-it-in-everything/#comment-92 “The Top 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric (Plus, How To Use It In Everything).” The most relevant benefits vs. cancer are probably #3 “Turmeric helps boost your immune system” & #5. “Turmeric can help treat and prevent cancer.”

FOOTNOTE (Initial Reaction): “I’m sorry to hear of your father’s illness. If my health research turns up anything, I’ll let you know. CoQ10 is great for cardiovascular diseases, and Dr. Peter Langsjoen of Tyler is one of the major authorities on CoQ10 in the world! But that may not apply for cancer.”

The Liberal Islam of Indonesia–Jaringan, by J.D. Meyer, mainly based on Ulil Abshar-Abdalla

Now it’s time to look at the liberal Islam of Indonesia at http://www.islamlib.com, also known as Jaringan Islam. What could be a better religious antidote to fanatic Muslim extremism than a faction of Islam that values reason?

Ulil Abshar-Abdalla read, “Upheaval in Islamic Thinking,” the journal of Ahmad Wahib, another Indonesian. Ahmad stated, “God is not a land forbidden to thought. God exists not in order for his existence to be un-thought. God takes shape not in order to hide from the light of the critique. He doesn’t want to be fixed in one place.” “Religion is a living organism that makes us feel enthusiasm.” Doesn’t that remind you of process theology? The Sufi go as far as to say that God created humans so he could be recognized.

The Mu’tazilah is a branch of Islam as major as the vastly better-known Sunni and Shiite. The Mu’tazilah asserts that through reason we can determine the limits of good and evil , undertake our own evolution and grow to be mature. Human reason is an active participant in interpreting the divine notions. We don’t have a brutish world; furthermore, revelation is not cruel but life-restoring.

A liberal Islam woman named Nong read the works of Fatima Mernissi, a Moroccan Muslim feminist. Fatima believed the wearing of the veil nowadays simply serves the political interests of men. But long ago, the tradition was necessary because Muslim women were harassed just to both Mohammed himself. Fatima and Nong feel that this veil tradition is outdated. Fatima feels that Moslem women should simply wear modest clothes that don’t attract attention. Turkey’s founder, Attaturk, forbade the veil tradition as he wanted some distance between religion and state.

A physicist, Imanuddin Abdurrahim, asserted, “If Moslems want to progress, they can’t depend only on religious texts produced in a certain social and historical context. Social law is not static.” If you don’t install lightning rods on a mosque, natural law could hurt you.

Ulil sees the roots of Moslem fundamentalism as born from a sense of desperation and disappointment. Muslims once knew a golden age, and now they feel degraded. Political fragmentation has hurt; they’ve been left behind in science and economics. They’re spectators of injustice by the West. The Muslim fundamentalist question can be, “Has God left us out?” A pretty shocking theory, but haven’t we seen people behave in a fashion that reminds us of the football proverb, “The best defense is a strong offense”? There’s no religion for those without reason, according to Ulil.

What is a Liberal Muslim description of sin? Sin incites the twitchy and turmoil in your heart, and you don’t like other people see you do it.
So what can religion do for us when our civilization has declined? It should uplift the humanitarian dignity more than worship of a fixed object.

This paragraph comes from Muhammad Ali, not the boxer. Extremists want to see a clash, so religious leaders ordained and lay need to build dialogue. The interrelatedness of sacred texts in the three Abrahamaic religions forms a starting point. Unequal power relations make it difficult. The West appears insensitive and arrogant while the Muslim world seems insecure and defensive. Constructive criticism leads to accountability. Yet the boundary leaders, those who operate on the borders of their community by reaching out to others, need support since it’s psychologically taxing. Ali warns of biblioidolatry, when one worships a religious text taken out of its historical context.

“Ulil’s (Abshar-Abdalla) Controversial Article in English”
We’ll close our survey of the Liberal Islam of Indonesia with a summary of Ulil Abshar-Abdalla’s article in English. Ulil begins by declaring, “Islam is first and foremost a living organism, a religion that evolves in accordance with the pulse of humankind’s development. The tendency to make an unchanging monument of Islam is very prominent at present and the time has come to combat this tendency.”

Ulil fashions a very structured article, starting with four key points: (1) Islam shouldn’t be literalistic; it needs to stay in step with an ever-changing civilization. (2) Local culture must be separate from values; we’re not obligated to follow Arab culture. (3) Muslims shouldn’t view themselves as cut off from other groups. The Quran never banned interreligious marriage. People are on the same level regardless of religion. (4) Social structure needs to distinguish between political power and religious power. Religion is a private matter while the ordering of public life is through the community reaching agreement through democratic deliberation. Now isn’t it refreshing to hear a statement in favor of democracy from a Moslem thinker?

Islamic law should protect the values of “religious freedom, reason, property, the family and honor.” “How these are translated into any given historical and social context is something the Muslims must work out for themselves through “ijtihad” (intellectual endeavor).

Muhammad (Peace be unto Him.) is “a historical figure that should be the object of critical study” and “not just an always-admired mythological figure by ignoring his human qualities and possible weaknesses.” Yet still he must be a model to be followed. Muhammad’s success at Medina was a negotiation between universal values and the social constraints at Medina.

Yet all works of human creativity regardless of religion have something to offer Moslems. Value can be concealed behind the form, according to Ulil. That reminds me of problems with office politics or the tension between the establishment and avant-garde. The enemy of all religions is injustice. Justice is not just a sermon but must be realized in the rules of the game, law, and deeds, according to Ulil.
Moslems must develop the capacity to face problems rationally. Muhammad said whoever wants to overcome the problems of the world and attain happiness should do it with science. Each field has its own principles and rules, but justice is paramount. Claiming the law of God appears as laziness and a form of escapism to Ulil, as well as the reason for the decline of Islam.

Dogmatism is the most dangerous enemy of Islam because it ignores civilization as an “accumulation of achievements supported by all nations.” Dogmatism builds a wall between them and us. The truth of God is greater than the Quran. Islam is better regarded as process more than institution. The prime criteria of goodness in religion should be the benefit of humankind.

Midtown Pantry: Convenience Store/Valero Gas Station Finally Re-Opens in Tyler, Texas–by J.D. Meyer

The Midtown convenience store/Valero gas station re-opened on at 720 S. Fleishel Ave; Tyler, TX 75701 on Sunday, April 22nd. Located on the southeast corner of S. Fleishel & E. Dawson, it’s called Midtown Pantry by White Oak Pantry—a company based largely in Arkansas. It’s across the street from the new Christus Trinity Mother Francis 6-story parking garage.

The store went through extensive repairs after closing many months ago—including its sewers. Now it’s a snack grocery store (lots of chips) with a taco restaurant that sells beer and wine too. The beer selection is extensive with budget beers along with higher-priced beers. Midtown Pantry sells the strongest alcohol beverages for take-out in Tyler—Wild Irish Rose wine (various flavors) and some simulated liquor drinks—all at 17% alcohol.

Your soft tacos can be on corn or flour tortillas. The meat filling choices are coarse ground beef, chopped pork, and chopped chicken and coarse ground sausage— all mildly seasoned. The topping is a blend of sautéed sliced bell peppers and onions. Red and green salsa is available too. I bought four fried jalapenos stuffed with melted cheddar cheese for $1. Thanks to their first Taco Tuesday, my beef taco on a corn tortilla with bell peppers and onions was free! But they’ll be $1.99 from now on.

Midtown (The Hospital District) now has a wonderful new store that’s really close to both hospitals–Christus Trinity Mother Francis (TMF) & UT Health East Texas—formerly known as East Texas Medical Center (ETMC), as well as Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler, also on Fleishel. The Midtown Pantry and its location exemplify the “Eds & Meds” economy of Tyler, Texas. Cities with dominant industries of colleges and hospitals attract restaurants. Furthermore, the population of Tyler is just over 100K, but it swells to 250K during the day from those living in nearby rural towns coming to work or to see the doctor. I will return, and you should check it out too.

SOL18: Assisting a Local Journalist: Future Story About Coping with Obstacles to Success Faced by Locals

I received a Facebook message from our star local newspaper’s photojournalist that she was in the process of co-authoring an article about obstacles to success faced by locals: poverty, medical/mental disabilities, incarceration, and lack of housing. I was flattered that she wanted my input; she’s been a favorite acquaintance and neighbor for a few years. You’ll notice that I added “coping” to this article.

I’m a former teacher who is disabled with COPD and asthma. To get on SSDI, I went for tests at a local hospital–East Texas Medical Center. Later I got on Medicare and became connected with the East Texas Council for independent Living (ETCIL) and entered a nursing home for eight months. I got two overdue surgeries while I was there. However, I couldn’t get discharged until I got on Medicaid and was turned down the first time. So I went to the Records Department of ETMC and got a complete list of my Emergency Room visits for the previous four years. Most of y’all have probably heard that Texas is the largest state not to have Medicaid expansion. It’s so wonderful to have Cigna health care. I get maintenance medicine, have a pulmonologist and a G.P. that are really great and nice, and discovered what else was wrong with me health-wise. I study my Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome and have a binder and a couple of folders on the illness; some articles are by me on my Word Press.

I mentioned that I went to the City of Tyler Neighborhood Services to get an apartment rental discount through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local center for independent living relocation specialist facilitated the process. Later when I moved across town, I did it all myself. Before I got on Meals on Wheels and SNAP Food Stamps, I went to a couple of local food pantries once per month.

Besides specifically telling her to call Neighborhood Services and ETCIL, I told her about my main volunteer activity: East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN). We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, & Transportation. Transportation is my main focus because I ride the bus regularly, as I quit driving several years ago. I’ve arranged field trips with lunch for all five lines. We went to both shopping centers, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. I also attend Education and Healthcare committee meetings.If more people rode the bus, we’d have less traffic, pollution, and more bus routes.

Just between us for now, I’ve really been trying to advertise the importance of finding a match between personality and college major choice/vocation. The local university wants to improve its graduation rate, so I sent my article on the topic to a couple of friends who work there. Furthermore, career counseling centers should advertise the free online Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instruments.

To conclude for now, I told the photojournalist that I may not make much money, but I don’t spend much either. Just because one may be a retired teacher (prematurely, in my case), a teacher never quits teaching.

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. Since delivering this Kwanzaa talk, I accepted an invitation to his closed Facebook group: Fareed Zakaria GPS Fan Club! Of course, I was already getting Fareed Z’s Daily Briefings in my email.

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.

SOL Tuesday: Shopping at Family Dollar for a Low-Fat/Low-Sodium Cardiac Diet (2nd Edition)

I spent a half week at the East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) Cardiac floor for COPD & hypertension. I’m on disability for COPD and asthma. Usually, my blood pressure isn’t bad, but in it was in mid-September 2016. It was my first overnight stay in a hospital in five years. Previously, I’d assumed my diet was okay because I eat a balanced diet. I’m no carnivore, for I like grain, vegetables/fruits, and dairy. My diet is if I see food, I eat it. Recently, I’d become aware of anti-inflammatory foods to cope with my Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation Foods that Fight Inflammation Later at the annual Northeast Texas Community Health Worker (CHW) Coalition conference in July 2019, we heard that grocery store tours–including how to shop at a dollar store–are available in some sectors. That lecture was “Meeting your clients where they are to promote healthy changes,” by Ardis Reed.

So I’ve been shopping with memories of the Cardiac Diet in my mind. Now, I check all foods for saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. I made sure I bought Mrs. Dash, the salt substitute, for starters. Texas Pete, a Louisiana type hot sauce, makes the cut with only 3% sodium per tsp. Texas Pete is the hot sauce for Church’s Chicken too.

Cheese was on the not-there list at the hospital. So I surveyed all the cheese at Family Dollar. Much to my amusement, the lowest fat/lowest sodium cheese is the cheapest generic cheese in Family Dollar! It’s simply called, Singles, an “imitation pasteurized process cheese food.” Saturated fat is 5% and sodium is 9% per slice, and the package has 16 slices for a mere $1.25! However, it didn’t melt well, so I’ve tried Shredded Velveeta at 10% saturated fat, and it tastes way better. Then I found delicious, generic shredded Mexican 4 Cheese Blend with a comparable low-level of saturated fat; the four cheeses are Monterrey Jack, cheddar, asadero,and queso quesadilla. But the winner of the low saturated fat award for cheese goes to Family Dollar’s Salsa con Queso with only 4% saturated fat in a 2 tablespoon serving. Plus it’s ready for dipping whether you heat it or not.

Unfortunately, that delicious slab of generic dark chocolate is off-the-scale for saturated fat at 41%! Hershey’s with Almonds has a staggering 71% saturated fat for the day. But all is not lost, Family Dollar chocolate syrup has no saturated fat! Here’s a pleasant surprise. Snack-Pack Chocolate Caramel Pudding has only 8% saturated fat and 5% sodium per cup. Furthermore, a four cup package only costs $1 at Family Dollar.

My beloved Family Dollar Sweet & Salty Peanut Granola Bars are OK at 10% saturated fat and 7% sodium per bar. Those peanut granola bars are so good with beer! Another generic granola bar favorite is Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Chewy Bars. They’re a bit high in fat at 15% saturated fat, together with 7% sodium per bar. Snicker’s Ice Cream has only 15% saturated fat and 3% sodium for a half-cup–another mega-relief! I had to indulge myself on Halloween but within reason. So I bought a package of 6 “Fun-Size” Snickers bars. Two bars have 15% saturated fat and 3% sodium

Margaret Holmes Seasoned Collard Greens have 16% sodium per half cup, but a staggering 130% of your daily Vitamin A, and of course, no saturated fat. Family Dollar Diced Tomatoes have no fat and 8% sodium per half cup. Both are considered anti-inflammatory foods.

Dean’s Zesty Guacamole Dip from Brookshire’s–Tyler, Texas’s major grocery store– has 15% saturated fat and 8% sodium per 2 tbsp serving. Speaking of other favorite grocery stores, Granvita Ganola from La Michoacana only has 4% saturated fat and 1% sodium per serving. I also mix horchata (cinnamon rice milk powder) with low-fat milk from Meals-on-Wheels. Horchata only contains 3% saturated fat per 4 ounces, and I only need a tablespoon, as I mix the half-pint of milk with a half-pint of water. La Michoacana is the leading chain Mexican grocery store in Texas. Hey, sometimes I catch the bus instead of walking a block.

Sardines–my favorite seafood in a can–tomato, mustard, plain; which is the healthiest choice? Pampa Sardines in Tomato Sauce wins with 5% saturated fat, 11% sodium, and 15% cholesterol. Furthermore, a serving has 20% of daily Vitamin A. A 15 ounce sardines-&-tomatoes can has seven servings, and it’s only $1.75! Our sardines are a product of China that’s distributed by a Miami company. I love globalization. Alas, sardines in mustard sauce–my former favorite–finishes last in my health measures with 15% saturated fat, 17% sodium, and 20% cholesterol.

Peanut butter is a mandatory fixture in my pantry, so let’s check it out. Value Time Creamy Peanut Butter (a generic) has 15% sat. fat & 6% sodium in a 2 tbsp serving size. Total fat is far higher at 25%, not a common large gap between total fat and saturated fat. Gold Emblem Crunchy Peanut Butter has 12% sat. fat & 6% sodium per 2 tbsp serving size with 23% total fat. I bought my crunchy peanut butter at CVS Pharmacy. Did you hear CVS bought out Medicine Chest? Peanuts show a range of saturated fat/sodium, depending on the seasonings. Japanese peanuts win with only 11% saturated fat & 9% sodium. Honey peanuts contain 17% saturated fat and 5% sodium. Meanwhile, the two spicy peanuts clock in at 20% saturated fat & 15% sodium and 17% saturated fat and 14% sodium.

CONCLUSION: Hopefully, you liked my analysis of some key favorite foods–mostly from Family Dollar. I’m no health professional, just a disabled Developmental English and ESOL (mostly)teacher. However, I’m certainly going to research what I eat from now on, and I seem to be improving. Furthermore, I can guarantee another revision with a sat.fat/sodium analysis of more food. Moreover, I no longer buy generic CoQ10 at the dollar store, but get the CVS Pharmacy choices– such as gummies and Qunol CoQ10. I was glad to pass this article to a Family Dollar employee, who had some heart issues about a month before I got sick. Don’t you feel sorry for those who live in food deserts? Some apartment complexes in town aren’t close to any stores–let alone hospitals, pharmacy, and a pulmonology clinic. We’re really happy to have a dollar store–Family Dollar–in this neighborhood: Midtown (aka. Hospital District), Tyler, Texas. Technically, most would consider a grocery store to be a far more valid dodge of food desert classification than a mere dollar store. But a dollar store is way better than nothing or mere snacks at a gas station.

Government Fraud Report from Russia, by Abrikatinovaya

“With regard to the main controller of the party “United Russia” in the Primorsky Territory Sergey Labuntsov Dalnerechensk and secretary of the municipal branch of the party deputy Andrey Sobolev prosecuted for attempted fraud. In the whole country since the beginning of the party excluded from its ranks 60 of United Russia, against whom criminal cases, 170 party membership suspended. Chapter TSKRK Nina Kudashova proposes to prohibit entrepreneurs engaged in party control, and at the next party congress in February 2016, to amend the charter of the “United Russia” the other amendments that will improve party discipline.”
Details: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2782844
Political News from Russia by Курятникова Настёна @Abrikatinovaya
Translated the summary with Google Russian to English

“Kwanzaa Revisited, January 2015 at Tyler Spoken Word,” by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

“Kwanzaa Revisited, January 2015 at Tyler Spoken Word,” by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

Introduction
Tonight’s talk is going to be on Kwanzaa. I didn’t first learn of Kwanzaa when I taught at Texas College from 2001-06 but when I was substitute teacher in the Garland ISD back in the late 90’s. Since I usually did elementary, I ran into some Kwanzaa children’s books. A speaker on Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC this morning noted that only 92 of 3200 recent children’s books have Black protagonists, so it’s good that Kwanzaa is helping a challenged field of publishing. Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) to improve Black self-esteem after the 1966 Watts Riots—a case of questionable police activity followed by riots and Black-on-Black property damage. This Pan-African cultural holiday honors the first harvest while bringing together seven universal principles: (1)Unity, (2) Self-Determination, (3) Cooperative Work & Responsibility, (4) Cooperative Economics, (5) Purpose, (6) Creativity, and (7) Faith. My four talks in Tyler were Creativity (2002), Purpose (2003), Self-Determination (2), and Cooperative Economics (2009). Before my “Kwanzaa: Summary & Reflections,” was published at Connexions of Rice University, I had three small articles published at two now defunct websites. http://cnx.org/contents/81536afb-abd9-41ba-a48a-09bd18c4c8ab@3/Kwanzaa_Summary_&_Reflections

Kwanzaa Expanding
Education World asserted how “to learn about Kwanzaa, the world’s fastest growing holiday, with these activities and Internet links.” In 2014, 20 million people are expected to celebrate Kwanzaa. http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson0.39.shtml Johannesberg, South Africa had some great themes this year. Unity Day at Noon featured open mic poetry and music with inspirational messages, performances by children and youth, and a Kwanza market—complete with books, jewelry, and fabrics. The focus for Cooperative Work & Responsibility was “Hip-Hop & Poetry.” Cooperative Economics examined “Resolving Hidden Hunger through Cooperative Economics.” Purpose offered “Women’s & Men’s Dialogue on How to Support Each Other.” Furthermore, there was a Pre-Kwanzaa event two weeks before the holiday’s start with story-tellers, dancing, drumming, and a pot luck banquet. http://www.theblacklistpub.ning.com http://www.ebukhosinisolutions.co/za

Critiques of Kwanzaa: A Hoop-Duh for Faith Night, Another Made-Up Holiday
Unfortunately, some are determined to criticize the very existence of Kwanzaa as a made-up holiday or for disapproval of Dr. Karenga as a young man. Dr. Karenga served time for an assault before turning around his life, and at one time proclaimed Marxist political theories. Some accuse of Kwanzaa of being anti-Christian.
I’ve seen first-hand the ease of Faith Night being led by a prominent minister locally. African-Americans are an overwhelmingly Christian ethnic group anyway. So you can’t tell me there’s something inherently anti-Jesus about Kwanzaa, which is why I’m talking in a “hoop-duh” voice right now. I owe this skill to my teaching colleague, Rev-Coach Robert Thomas, the pastor of Tyler’s Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America (CPCA). Rev. Thomas goes into the hoop-duh style at his sermon’s end to summarize and recommend, just like a good essay!
Let’s take an irreverent look at Santa Claus. As a child-less man, I can’t imagine what it must be like to look at your small child and tell the little one about a benevolent giving being from the North Pole who drives a sleigh with flying reindeer, moving at the speed of light. Is Daddy is having an acid flashback (lol)! At least when I was a wee child, I figured he started in the Eastern Time Zone and traveled west to get everywhere at midnight. But I fell for the story basically, just like everybody else. Have you heard the joke that a black kid questioned if a white man would climb down a chimney in his neighborhood? Then Christmas is held on December 25th to compete with some Roman Sun God even though the birth of Jesus was supposed to be in spring. The pine tree tradition came from German pagans and so on.

The Effort to Serve as a Public Intellectual
Before delivering my fourth Kwanzaa talk, I had the insight that Kwanzaa is the effort to serve as a public intellectual. I have been a long-time fan of Dr. Richard Florida of the University of Toronto—the developer of the Creative Class paradigm. Dr. Florida teaches business and creativity too. He asserts that economic development in cities depends on the Four T’s: talent, technology, tolerance, and territorial assets. A public intellectual brings his or her scholarship to societal issues outside of his or area of expertise. Dr. Florida’s wife, Rana, is a serious scholar too and is the CEO of the Creative Class. I’m honored to have become friends with her on Linked-in and Facebook within the past year.
Last fall, I stumbled onto an article by a former colleague of mine, Dr. Ibiyinka Solarin, about the public intellectual and one of his heroes, Wole Soyinka. http://www.gamji.com/article3000/NEWS3736.htm They’re from Nigeria. Let’s look at some highlights from the Dr. Solarin’s general description of the public intellectual. “The intellectual…is at once engaged with his or her society and contributes in his or her own little way to impart knowledge and lower the bar of ignorance. As a result of his exposure to varied reading and other cultures, he is impatient that his society ‘gets it right.’His restless spirit is constantly in turmoil, raising questions, seeking explanations, accepting no easy answers. While other acquiesce in the face of what is patently injurious to the interest of society, he raises his voice, he is not afraid of the powers-at-be…He knows that some of his ‘friends’ are in fact agent provocateur…who crave to be in the bosom of the establishment…because frankly, that’s where the power is.”

Highlights of Past Kwanzaa Talks
Creativity is the only principle that was both a talk and a published article at the now defunct Voices.yahoo, formerly Associated Content. It’s good practice to begin a Kwanzaa talk on a specific principle by referring to Dr. Karenga’s http://www.officialkwanzaasite.com Kwanzaa prefers to focus on the applicability aspect of creativity, to leave the community better than when you found it, and to repair the worn-out. Gifted and talented research lists four attributes of creativity: originality, fluency (lots of ideas), flexibility (adaptability) and applicability. The other three creativity traits seem to point toward the goal of applicability.
As for boosting Black self-esteem as an educator, I required an essay on Black History and began researching African-American and Pan-African history. At first I felt a little uncomfortable teaching a virtually all-Black audience about their history, but then I realized I could be saving my students from possible future embarrassment for not knowing about their history. This research evolved into a 40-something page chapter in my textbook and some annotated link pages.
During Cooperative Economics, I described the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program at University of Texas at Austin. It’s a consortium of several departments that work on solving societal problems, the opposite of ivory tower style research. Inadvertently, IE as served as a force for diversification for it draws minority and first-generation students into graduate school. They have a mentor program between graduate and undergraduate students as an introduction to the program. Later I would write an article that if IE was at UT-Tyler, it could help the city’s Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) Strategy #1 by generating more money for research. This article was not only re-printed at UT-Austin but also found its way to the Creative Class Library’s Education division of the University of Toronto where it’s had over 1000 reads. http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf
Another tradition for me is to list the awards received by the City of Tyler during the Texas Downtown Conference. The dividing line between big and small city is 50,000, so Tyler is a big city as its population is roughly 100,000. 2014 saw Tyler Downtown win three awards, sharing top honors for Best Public Improvement—The Fair Parking Garage and Best Marketing—the African-American Heritage Trail. Regions Banks won the award for best downtown business outright. In past years, I’ve summarized the City of Tyler ‘s Tyler 21 program, a long-range plan for urban development and renewal. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/208605/winners-of-the-2014-texas-downtown-association-presidents-awards-program-named

Twi vs. Swahili?
A new article by Columbia professor and Black conservative columnist, Dr. John McWhorter contends that Twi would be a better African language to learn than Swahili because it was spoken throughout West Africa ever since slavery from Senegal to Angola. http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2010/12/why_twi_is_better_than_swahili_for_african_americans_to_learn.html Centered in Ghana (then the Gold Coast), many West Africans spoke Twi as a second language also. Furthermore, the name “Kwame,” is Twi, and Kwame Nkrumah was the founder of Ghana. Many West Africans coming to America still speak Twi. Nigerian Yoruba is a popular language now but not during the age of slavery. Dr. McWhorter compares proclaiming the primacy of Swahili is like a Brit toasting with vodka and drinking borscht in honor of Europe! Swahili is spoken in East Africa, a region of emigration only in recent decades. Dr. McWhorter observes that Twi is easier to learn than Swahili. Nevertheless, most Kwanzaa celebrators have grown accustomed to Swahili for a handful of ceremonial terms, so it’s an inconsistency that here to stay. But if you really want to talk to talk to an African in his native language, your chances would be better learning Twi or Yoruba in most of the US. Nelson Mandela once wrote, “If you wat to talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you want to talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. “ That saying brought back memories of when I sang Tejano Karaoke at Los Desperadoz of Arlington on Friday night in Arlington and received a warm response from the Mexican-American audience. Yes, I taught English as a Second Language (ESOL) too.

Conclusion: Kwanzaa Exhibits Neo-Confucian Concept of Change and Some Ideals of Ma’at
To conclude, I feel that Kwanzaa exhibits the Neo-Confucian concept of societal change. One must have a sincere will before the societal conventions in order to keep the spirit of the ancients who created them. I f one feels that existing social customs or whatever is needed, then it’s time for a change or addition; that is ch’eng-yi to li.
Here are some of my favorites from the 42 Ideals of Ma’at—an Egyptian winged goddess that I discovered on Facebook right before this talk. Hopefully, I really live up to these ideals or at least really want to do so: I benefit with gratitude—the hallmark of my current church, Unity. I regard all altars with respect. I offer words of good intent. I honor animals with reverence (often bringing Pounce treats and cat brush too). I invoke laughter. I converse with awareness. I achieve with integrity. Thank you.