Thursday, July 26, 2012

Combating Human Trafficking

The United States Congress requires U.S. Government agencies provide certain reports to it periodically.  The State Department for example annually provides country reports on International Religious Freedom, Human Rights, Terrorism, Narcotics Control strategy and Trafficking in Persons among others.  Through the reports the U.S. Congress is informed of what is happening and the role the U.S. is playing in tackling the subject of the reports.  The Trafficking in Persons Report or TIP for example seeks to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern day slavery. Slavery is exactly what human trafficking is.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The 2012 Olympic American Dream – Going for the Gold!

We often hear talk of “The American Dream” in abstract terms. Usually the definition is the house with the white picket fence, car in the garage, wife and two children. However, American athletes define their American Dream differently, usually in terms of records broken and competitions won. Every four years the Olympic Games give athletes from around the world the chance to represent their country in sports ranging from Archery to Wrestling. Far from the training they have done at home, the international competition is an opportunity to see just how good they really are, possibly even the best in the world.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Know America" - American Origins and Unity

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to
 the Republic for which it stands. 
One nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

The unity of the United States is one of our nation’s greatest assets. But how did so many groups willingly come together early on under the same flag? Many know that the British had 13 colonies in North America that declared independence. Rebellion and battles are what most historians highlight, but we often forget the lengthy debates, politics, and work it took to create a nation before and after the first shots of war were fired.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Of Independence Days

Every country’s Independence Day is a special event.  A time to celebrate the birth of the nation and the freedom obtained.  This is especially true for countries that were colonized at one point or the other, which is pretty much most countries of the world.  In Africa for example only Ethiopia and Liberia were never colonized.  I wonder what they mark as their independence or national day.  Anyway, for countries that were colonized the quest for independence was pursued vigorously.  Sometimes it was a peaceful transition but mostly it was bloody because the colonizer didn’t want to let go while the colonized wanted freedom.  Freedom: the universal cry of the human soul.

For the United States independence came by way of war and the declaration of independence from their British colonialists on July 4, 1776.  One statement I love from the Declaration of Independence is “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fourth of July: Celebrating U.S. Independence Day

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America's Independence Day is July 4, marking the date in 1776 when the country’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. It is celebrated with parades, fireworks, concerts and other festivities.