Archive for the ‘Benjamin Franklin’ Category

News From Vietnam

August 4, 2007

Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2007 11:36:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jean Libby editor@vietamreview.net

Subject: letter from VN Embassy to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose); protest to Yahoo from Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo) for helping Chinese jail dissidents

Thank you Tieng Dan Weekly for the attached copy of the response from Nguyen Tam Chien of the VN Embassy to a letter from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren regarding the recent demonstration and arrests in Saigon. The letter is particularly odious and deceptive, saying that the issue is not human rights but “land disputes” as “stated by sources unfriendly to Vietnam.” The letter, dated August 1, 2007, was authorized by VN President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Congresswoman Lofgren is fighting hard and well to insure the rights of small groups of immigrants and their children to the USA as well as speaking out for human rights in Vietnam. Her battle with showboating Republicans who are appealing to ethnic prejudice with “immigration backlash” as chair of the House of Representatives Immigration Committee is front-page news in the San Francisco Chronicle today, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/08/04/MNJ7RCGOU1.DTL.

Among the individuals who are being championed by Congresswoman Lofgren is a De Anza College student who was born in the Philippines in 1984. His parents were deported for not maintaining their visa status properly, and the student was arrested on May 2. He is in federal custody. His older siblings were allowed to remain in the USA legally because they had become adults during their long residency.

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A measure among the small bills that Representative Lofgren is introducing is a proposal for AmerAsians in certain South Asian countries born since 1950 be granted U.S. citizenship in their countries of birth. Last May this topic was addressed in a meeting in San Jose by the Boat People SOS organization represented by Jean Libby as a volunteer, by San Jose Councilwoman Madison Nguyen, and a dozen residents of San Jose who are AmerAsian. Congresswoman Lofgren promised she would introduce the measure “at the right time” and it would appear that this is that time.

Best wishes to Congresswoman Lofgren in your battles with Republicans to protect human rights at home and with the Communist government to protect them in Vietnam.

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Also in Congress yesterday, Representative Tom Lantos (D – San Mateo), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has opened an inquiry into the conduct of Yahoo when it turned over information to Chinese officials about the pro-democracy journalist Shi Tao. A human rights group has recently published the search warrant presented by China to Yahoo to gain information and it is clear to Congressman Lantos that Yahoo should be investigated for misrepresenting their role in the jailing of Mr. Shi Tao. Additionally, the Sunnyvale (California) web portal is named by human rights groups of complicity with the Chinese government by supplying it with records of several journalists and activists who are now in prison.

Thank you, Congressman Lantos. As a Yahoo client who spends $130 monthly on domain web hosting (including a merchant site), I am following your Congressional investigation closely in order to initiate web hosting changes. My domains and merchant site are not subsidized by any other individual or organization.

Full article link: http://vietamreview.blogharbor.com/blog/_archives/2007/8/4/3139425.html

Jean Libby, editor
VietAm Review
http://vietamreview.blogharbor.com/
http://store.atozproductions.com/

“Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” Benjamin Franklin.

Open Attachment:

Letter_to_Congresswoman_Lofgren_August_1_.07.pdf

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

July 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007

I may be the only one in America that isn’t fond of Harry Potter. In fact, I find the book series a time wasting distraction that leads kids towards fantasy and novels and away from much greater reading learning experiences and challenges: like world or American history.

On February 28, 2004, American historian Daniel Boorstin died. On that same day, local high school students on the TV quiz show “It’s Academic,” in Washington D.C., failed to even make a guess at the answer to a simple question about the American Civil War and Fort Sumter.

So you may say, “why is the Civil War so important?” The saving of one continental nation? The emancipation of the slaves? Are there no lessons here about determination, dedication and perseverance for our children to learn?

Boorstin: lawyer, head of the Library of Congress for 12 years, faculty member of the University of Chicago for 25 years, and writer more than 20 books was a spectacular American worth “knowing” though his works. His famous trilogy on the American experience, U.S.A., gave us deep lessons into who we are as Americans.

Boorstin was a man of depth and merit who left us a legacy.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but Harry Potter is not the best use of a child’s time or brain.

Harry Potter is just one more waste of time on top of so many video games, T.V. shows and other horrible uses of wonderful tools like the human mind, the imagination, the intellect and the computers that makes us tick: ourselves and our fellow Americans.

Since there are only 24 hours in each day, and many of those hours are already packed full of clutter and entertainment, I am generally not in favor of more that disassociates people from reality.  Especially those masters of the future universe, our children, should be encouraged to take a bite out of real life a little more often.  The current diet of pop culture is too heavy in what clogs the veins and mind.

Ever wonder why American history, values and society are no longer a mainstay of American schools and media? Because many of the Founders were unusually talented super-achievers and every single one was a firm believer in The Almighty.

Today: your kids’ teachers want them talking about abortion, sex education and gay marriage but certainly not God or the values, traditions and history that made America great. In fact, most of our corps of teachers are liberal and not conservative and don’t really believe that America is great (if it ever was, they say).

And there is another subliminal message: YOU CANNOT EVER be a super-achiever yourself.

We are treating our children to a brainwashing of mediocrity.
Photo
Chinese students take an exam en-masse.

History is filled with super-achievers, inventors, military leaders, scientists and researchers. History teaches that money is not always the most valuable commodity or goal.

American history teaches us the values, rights and responsibilities of our citizenship. History makes us a nation: a race of people and not just a collision of different peoples from many lands.

You can be born French, but when you move in from another land you don’t necessarily become French. When you move to America and become a citizen, you are embraced as an American.

People come here to share in the values and rights of all Americans. Yet we, as parents and teachers, neglect them or even undermine them.

Understanding who gained those American rights and how they achieved them is important because those rights bind us together as a people.

Our history is “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the Boston Tea Party, Ellis Island, Posk Chop Hill, Gettysburg, and “I have a dream.” Our history is the Emancipation Proclamation, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.

Our history is our culture. Our focus upon Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson, “Lord of the Rings,” and, yes, Harry Potter himself, is fleeting, largely meaningless debris. The liberties gained by our history are lasting and binding and allow us a free Hollywood entertainment machine. But you can’t learn history from Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

How many kids in your child’s classroom know that George Washington was an accomplished horticulturist who created hybrid plants and made his own wine? How many can appreciate the architectural genius of Thomas Jefferson? How many know that Benjamin Franklin charted the ocean’s currents on his way to Europe to serve as an Ambassador?

Do your children know that a Black Man and former slave named Frederick Douglass was instrumental in freeing the slaves and became one of the finest orators of his time? And how many can discuss Mark Twain: another world renown orator? How many know what an orator IS?

How many of your children know that Black Men like Christian Fleetwood were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War? How many know what the Medal of Honor is and what it means?

How many of your children can articulate even one story of an American immigrant super-achiever like Henry Villard: a German speaking immigrant who became one of the finest English language journalists of his day and then rose to become an American Tycoon?

In fact: our American story is filled with super-achievers. Real men and women who were super achievers. Who needs novels and stories of fantasy when the facts of our predecessors from all races and all places is tremendously enlightening and challenging?

Our history teaches us toughness and serenity. Through history we learn the dichotomies of man and the strange bedfellows life brings. We learn that Great Britain, George Bush’s greatest ally in Iraq, is also the nation that burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol in 1814. And yet the Republic survived. So what really did the nation have to fear on September 11, 2001? Fear itself? And who coined that phrase?

And the history of man, world history, teaches us how tribes became cultures and nations.

Madam Curie, Robert Fulton, Robert Peary, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Charles Lindbergh, Albert Einstein and so many more through history offer all of us, and especially our children, lessons in life.

And the stories of these people may inspire future greatness among our children.

History makes us appreciate what it means to be an American and our history compels us read. But don’t read your kids’ history textbooks. They are often politically correct collections of facts and misinterpretation not worth reading. Understanding history, like mining, requires one to dig deep into the writings of and about great men, at least occasionally.

Ignoring our history belittles the greatness of our nation. It also insults the intelligence of our children. By building a national generation of pop culture worshipers instead of a generation of dedicated super-achievers we send the message that Michael Vick and Paris Hilton are really valuable and important.

Is this what we really want?

I don’t like Harry Potter one bit. It is another piece of pop culture trash that detracts from reality instead of embracing it.

Sorry to rain on anyone’s parade but if we as a nation and a culture continue to loudly applaud the stuff that makes the barn floor slippery we can expect a lot more slippery stuff in our society.

Related:
Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Reading American history about the early years of America and the Founders is enlightening…..
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

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An open letter to Free Republic readers and others linking to this article:

Here are a few ideas to consider as you attack my ideas.

–I do not believe that money equals value. In other words, Pet Rocks made a lot of money for someone but we are still a ways from curing cancer. Paris Hilton and Michael Vick have made a lot of money, but in many places they would not be welcome near children…..

–I very much do agree that reading is important (as the essay clearly says). But reading garbage is a waste of time. Harry Potter is 5 books. Those have been blockbusters. Great. But that has not translated into more readership overall. Despite Harry Potter, readership, especially teen readership, is in a steep decline.

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

–My recommendation for parent younger than …well, my age…is that they start to attack their schools. If teachers think the learning/reading dilemma is solved with Sir Harry they are wildly off the mark. In fact, off the reservation.

Finally, I hope people will read Part II of this essay which deals with our national well being and understanding America’s Founders and roots.

Part II:
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

All the best to everyone.