Tag Archives: United States

where you stand . . . depends on where you sit

17 May

Living with Open Hands

“Where you stand . . . depends on where you sit . . .” The viewpoints you are most likely to advance (your stance politically, your opinions) are decisively determined by the place you occupy economically, in your career, in your community, in your organization, in society. We must not ever presume to speak for others; especially those outside of our scope, like the poor, the battered and bruised, the broken hearted, the “least of these.” We must ‘live’ there . . . and listen.

Three years ago, I sat in a very different place in life with very different viewpoints.
An entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur at that, making enough money to actually pay the bills.
Two income family.
Home owner.
Living in a middle class neighborhood.
Going to a middle class church in a poor neighborhood. (Made me feel better about church)
Wondering why those people in that poor…

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The footprint of America

14 Oct

The footprint of America is strong worldwide; be it during wartime or peacetime. And childs are among the most impressionable receptors.



Photo credit (in that order)


European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America: the word “union” has not the same meaning

2 Jun
European Union

European Union (Photo credit: erjkprunczyk)


Location map: Scotland (dark green) / United K...
Location map: Scotland (dark green) / United Kingdom (mid green) / European Union (light green) / Europe (dark grey); inspired by and consistent with general country locator maps by User:Vardion,User:Quizimodo, et al (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the UK, England supplies to the needs of Wales or Scotland without accusing them of being lazy. In the USA the federal government doesn’t threaten of exclusion the poorest of  its  50 federal States. Why does the EU  act so toughly with Greece?

My husband, your president

6 May

Presidential election: a meeting at the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Today France votes for electing its president. We have seen a lot of discourses and meeting an debates by our beloved French candidates. But let’s take a look at how a candidate to the presidential election expresses his program in a foreign country like the US of America for example.
A one and a half hour-long broadcast of a Barack’s and Michelle Obama’s speak in Virginia yesterday (May 5th 2012) in view of the November election in North America. The meeting begin with good sound (soul and rock music) and good vibe, then a lecture by Michelle, the spouse of the current president. We believe that in this country nobody should be bankrupted because he is sick 23 she says among other thoughts. And at the end of her speak, she says: Virginia I introduce to you my Husband and your president: President Barack Obama 32: 59.

In his program he puts education in the first place and then he makes choices for a cleaner energy than oil. He wants to end the war in Irak and Afghanistan after a decade of war. For budget balance he wants the healthiest Americans to pay a little bit more. He wants to allow young people to stay covered by their parents health care insurance. He wants an affordable birth control.

He also says: “We want our businesses to succeed but corporations aren’t people, people are people, in this country people succeed when they have a chance to get decent education and learn new skills 47:54. And by the way so do the businesses that hire those people or the companies that those people start. Our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health care and medicare and social security 49:20”

Near the end of his intervention Barack Obama declares that his campaign is about hope, changes and ordinary people 1:10
He concludes by God bless you and god bless the United States of America 1:12 and Michelle joins him on stage and makes some steps of rock and roll dance. And finally they leave the congress hall together, shaking hands. What a wonderful couple!

It seems that exactly like the two French candidates does in May the 6th, Barack will need a little help of his supporters in November the 6th.

Note: the numbers spread all over the text are the minutes (and hour in the end) of the video’s time counter.

Three controversial photographs

7 Apr

Facebook is a mine for controversial photographs.

On the Facebook page of Gregory Sams, a Londonian writer with a very British sense of humor and a former entrepreneur in macrobiotic catering, I found those two hilarious pictures reflecting, in my view, the occidental vision of the life (and what is coming after) for the first and the  occidental simplified world view for the second. Gregory’s father worked as an American press correspondent during Vietnam’s war and is of Syrian origin. Gregory Sams has written a book about the predominance of freedom over politics and the peril of its suppression in our society.

This latest picture is available on the Facebook page of the Guardian. The photograph  is not at all humoristic but raised a huge controversy when published for the first time only five years after 9/11 by the photographer Thomas Hoepker who, during that period, was ashamed by his own photograph and feared to be accused of making art from a slaughter. For the tenth anniversary of 9/11 the photograph appears like a allegory of the historical tragic events and the every day life which continues to goes on.


28 Dec

A Christmas Sciatica

Tarlov's cyst, MRI

Image via Wikipedia

During the night of December 24th I incurred a terrific backache which made me to experience the efficacy of the emergencies services in Marseilles. The pain was so intense that I asked my wife to dial the 15 (emergency phone number across all the France’s territory). They sent me (at five o clock in the morning of December 25th, Christmas day) a Doctor who injected me Bi-prophenid and Myolastan). After his departure, the pain increasing higher and higher and my left leg becoming insensitive I took myself the phone, dialled the 15 and asked to the physician regulator to send me an ambulance to transport me to the emergency room on the basis of neurological symptoms.  A crew of firemen of Marseilles arrived in about 10 minutes of time and transported me in a chair down my apartment (I was totally unable to walk) in to their fire department vehicle and to the neuro surgical emergency of the Timone university hospital.  I had in emergency an MRI (very sophisticated magnetic imagery, better than scanner). I was examined by an intern in neurosurgery. Pain was released by perfusion of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (thanks to Big Pharma) during the day and the following night and no longer than the next day I was examined in my public hospital bed by the Professor Fuentes a Key Opinion Leader in Neuro surgery who diagnosed a 3/6 paresis of my left foot but no need of surgical intervention if no aggravation occurs in the following 24 hours.  I discharged from the hospital December 27th and was bring back home by a light sanitary vehicle. My sentiment after this event is: yes we have the best health care system in the world, but also the best health insurance system in the world (I had absolutely nor bill neither fee to pay). And I’m proud of it. Perhaps France is indebted but if it is for such results in term of care (same thing in term of child’s education or public transports), the money we have borrowed was not spend in vain. For now on I am on work loss with income compensation benefits.  I still have difficulties to stand up or to sit down for long periods or to walk for a distance. If my employer read this post I want him to know that I wrote it lying in my sofa with my laptop computer;-)

Publish or not publish?

23 Dec

Terror risk linked to flu study

Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4 November...

Image via Wikipedia

Searchers have recently discovered in Netherlands and United States the method to transform the H5N1 virus in a mass destruction weapon. They were just on the way to publish the ingredients of the experiment on Nature and Science (the two world-wide best known scientific journals) when an US advisory board said: ”hello guys, wait a minute please, have you think to the consequences if terrorists buy the journal?”.

The scholarly kitchen blog analyse the issue. Now that the new has already been broadcasted it is useless to censor scientists. The better way, according to scholarly kitchen, to manage the thing is to widen open the access to information, thus hoping that the good guys will discover the vaccine before that the bad ones discovers the genetically modified virus. Indeed the scientific knowledge discovered by the two teams of searchers in Netherlands and United States can lead to both, the better and the worst. If hidden or censored, the information will more rapidly fall into terrorist’s hands than in philanthropic hands because the former possess more means to access secrecy than the latter.

The editor in chief of  Science stated that his journal may comply with the request if the NIH can create systems to provide the data to legitimate scientists around the world

We thank the Scholarly Kitchen for having revealed this frightening issue.

Moral injury

6 Dec

We were just two 24 years kids looking for answers! says Iraq veteran Joshua Casteel at this time  an interrogator for the US military at Abu Ghraib.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How I Became a Conscientious Objector, posted with vodpod

Beside physical injuries Doctors used to distinguish, until now, only psychological injuries. But since the researches undertaken during Iraq’s war a new category of injury is enlightened: the moral injury. Thus, Post traumatic stress disorders stem from a mix of these three sorts of injuries: not only physical or psychological but also moral injuries. This video shows us two 24 years old kids, one from the USA one from Saudis Arabia, each one looking for answers in their own ways. A Christian, a Muslim, a blond blue-eyed, a brown dark-eyed,  both interrogated by their faith and, what is the most incredible, the scene happens in an Abu Ghraib prison interrogation room. Why did you come in Iraq to kill the interrogator begins, the Jihadist response is : why YOU did come in Irak to kill? Neither of the two kids of Iowa and Arabi Saudis  never fired a gun in their life before. Fantastic conversation in a Iraq US prison. US army is concerned by the moral problems faced by its troops on the front. A 340 pages report of a symposium on the subject entitled Exploring the Professional military ethic has been published in November 2010. Many Medical Doctors spoke on that occasion.
An article in Clinical Psychology Review of 2009 models how to intervene to repair the post traumatic stress injury suffering soldiers.

You can access to the entire full text US army report here: EthicsReport2010

and the references of the paper in Clinical Psychology Review are:
Litz BT, Stein N, Delaney E, Lebowitz L, Nash WP, Silva C, et al. Moral injury and moral repair in war veterans: A preliminary model and intervention strategy. Clinical Psychology Review. 2009 Dec;29(8):695-706. Available from:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.07.003.

Joshua Casteel

Image by jimforest via Flickr

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