Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I speak to you today during a time that is holy and filled with meaning for believers around the world. Earlier this week, Jewish people gathered with family and friends to recite the stories of their ancestors’ struggle and ultimate liberation. Tomorrow, Christians of all denominations will come together to rejoice and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
These are two very different holidays with their own very different traditions. But it seems fitting that we mark them both during the same week. For in a larger sense, they are both moments of reflection and renewal. They are both occasions to think more deeply about the obligations we have to ourselves and the obligations we have to one another, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what faith we practice.
This idea – that we are all bound up, as Martin Luther King once said, in “a single garment of destiny”– is a lesson of all the world’s great religions. And never has it been more important for us to reaffirm that lesson than it is today – at a time when we face tests and trials unlike any we have seen in our time. An economic crisis that recognizes no borders. Violent extremism that’s claimed the lives of innocent men, women, and children from Manhattan to Mumbai. An unsustainable dependence on foreign oil and other sources of energy that pollute our air and water and threaten our planet. The proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons, the persistence of deadly disease, and the recurrence of age-old conflicts.
These are challenges that no single nation, no matter how powerful, can confront alone. The United States must lead the way. But our best chance to solve these unprecedented problems comes from acting in concert with other nations. That is why I met with leaders of the G-20 nations to ensure that the world’s largest economies take strong and unified action in the face of the global economic crisis. Together, we’ve taken steps to stimulate growth, restore the flow of credit, open markets, and dramatically reform our financial regulatory system to prevent such crises from occurring again – steps that will lead to job creation at home.
It is only by working together that we will finally defeat 21st century security threats like al Qaeda. So it was heartening that our NATO allies united in Strasbourg behind our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and contributed important resources to support our effort there.
It is only by coordinating with countries around the world that we will stop the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. That is why I laid out a strategy in Prague for us to work with Russia and other nations to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons; to secure nuclear materials from terrorists; and, ultimately, to free the world from the menace of a nuclear nightmare.
And it is only by building a new foundation of mutual trust that we will tackle some of our most entrenched problems. That is why, in Turkey, I spoke to members of Parliament and university students about rising above the barriers of race, region, and religion that too often divide us.
With all that is at stake today, we cannot afford to talk past one another. We can’t afford to allow old differences to prevent us from making progress in areas of common concern. We can’t afford to let walls of mistrust stand. Instead, we have to find – and build on – our mutual interests. For it is only when people come together, and seek common ground, that some of that mistrust can begin to fade. And that is where progress begins.
Make no mistake: we live in a dangerous world, and we must be strong and vigilant in the face of these threats. But let us not allow whatever differences we have with other nations to stop us from coming together around those solutions that are essential to our survival and success.
As we celebrate Passover, Easter, and this time of renewal, let’s find strength in our shared resolve and purpose in our common aspirations. And if we can do that, then not only will we fulfill the sacred meaning of these holy days, but we will fulfill the promise of our country as a leader around the world.
Gotta love her! First Lady Michelle Obama actually started her White House garden last week along with 25 school children to help. Before leaving on her European trip, the First Lady broke ground on what would become the White Houses’ first garden since the mid 1900′s. But really, who thought that Michelle Obama was really gonna get down in the dirt and start planting seedlings?
Kudos to the First Lady!
The White House garden will include annual and perennial herbs such as mint, garlic, chives, thyme, oregano, anise, basil, cilantro, dill and fennel.
Assorted vegetable also will grace the White House table. Different varieties of lettuce, spinach, onions, black kale, shard, snap peas, shell peas, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, tomatillos and cucumbers were planted. The White House garden functions as a duel purpose. To feed and inform. The White House garden will feed, not only the First Family, but neighboring soup kitchens. Most importantly, the White House garden will promote national awareness of eating good, natural healthy foods that families can grow for pennies. It is economical and heart-smart.
But where are the collard and mustard greens? Where’s the cabbage and corn? Something tells me that there is another more secret garden close by!
Somali pirates have restarted negotiations for the release of U.S. ship captain Richard Phillips Saturday. A Somali pirate has said that the captain will be released in exchange for an undisclosed amount of ransom money and safe passage.
Two U.S. warships are currently monitoring the Somali pirate situation off the coast of East Africa. Somali pirates say that one of their sources has revealed a plot by the U.S. to stage a raid. If this happens, Somali pirates claim that they will execute Phillips. Previously, Somali pirates stated that they would not harm the U.S. captain.
Somali pirate Da’ud said that “negotiations failed yesterday, but still there is another hope to begin again.”
Doctor That Treated Widow Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Arrested For Practicing Medicine Without A License!
The doctor who treated the late Coretta Scott King for ovarian cancer was arrested in California this week in the middle of his radio broadcast.
Kurt Donsbach, 73, was formally charged on 11 felony counts that included practicing medicine with out a state license. Bail was set at $1.5 million dollars. Donsbach is known for his naturopathic approach for treating various diseases with unorthodox or holistic approaches.
Donsbach’s website, Letstalkhealth.com, disseminates naturopathic information and dispenses natural supplements that carry the claims that theses can cure arthritis and cancer.
The late widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, was treated by Kurt Donsbach in 2006 at his clinic, Santa Monica Health Institute, located in Rosarito, Mexico. In 1997, Donsbach was sentenced to one year in prison for smuggling $250,000 in unapproved drugs into the U.S from Mexico.
California District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis stated the following after an extensive FBI investigation:
“The defendant preyed on vulnerable patients who were looking for medical help. Under the guise of providing natural and safe supplements, he sold victims potentially dangerous drugs.”
TMZ made a huge blunder last week by reporting that Snoop Dogg’s wife, Shante Broadus was killed in an accident. The story proved to be false and birthed questions on the mechanisms that churn gossip media outlets.
Snoop Dogg’s camp released the following statement to Internet site Bossip:
In regards to the story you ran earlier on the false death of Shante Broadus, can you please run this official statement from Snoop Dogg’s management and please attribute the quote as “an official statement released by Snoop Dogg’s management.” Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.
“Of course, the CHP rumors are absolutely not true, totally ridiculous, and most of all hurtful to Snoop Dogg and his family. Snoop, Shante and their family are all alive and well – we appreciate the fans concerns for their safety. Anything said or reported on regarding the death of Shante Broadus is totally false.”
DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools would close 23 schools and lay off 600 teachers in a proposal released Thursday that would consolidate facilities in a shrinking district facing a projected $303 million deficit.
The proposal was made by the state’s financial overseer, Robert Bobb, who also has asked the state for $200 million in federal stimulus funds to improve the remaining schools and strengthen safety and security.
A financial emergency has been declared for the district, which has been struggling for years with declining enrollment as the city’s population shrinks and charter schools draw students. The superintendent was fired in December and Gov. Jennifer Granholm named Bobb the district’s emergency financial manager the following month.
The 192-school system has about 5,700 teachers and an enrollment of more than 95,000; it had nearly twice as many students in the late 1990s. About 7,500 students would have to change schools under the new proposal.
Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson said Bobb’s plan appears to be a move in the right direction for the district’s long-term health.
“He’s going to make sure teachers are equipped with the materials that they need,” Johnson said.
Michigan Department of Education spokesman Martin Ackley said the state was reviewing Bobb’s request for $200 million to see what might be available. He said there was no timeline for a decision.
Without the federal stimulus funds, Bobb said he would use $26 million from a previous bond issue to get some of the needed work done.
The first of a series of town hall meetings for the public on the restructuring plan is scheduled for April 28, and the district is expected to make a final decision May 8. Bobb said some of the laid-off teachers could return, but another round of potential school closings will be announced this summer.
***Thank You Associated Press!***
TEXT OF LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 9, 2009
Dear Madam Speaker:
We face a security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan that demands urgent attention. The Taliban is resurgent and al Qaeda threatens America from its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
With that reality as my focus, today I send to the Congress a supplemental appropriations request totaling $83.4 billion that will fund our ongoing military, diplomatic, and intelligence operations. Nearly 95 percent of these funds will be used to support our men and women in uniform as they help the people of Iraq to take responsibility for their own future — and work to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The rest of the money will fund a variety of defense and international efforts that will help to use all the elements of our power to confront the threats to our security — from securing loose nuclear weapons to combating fear and want under repressive regimes.
In the past, the Congress has moved expeditiously to approve funding for our Armed Forces. I urge the Congress to do so once more. I also urge the Congress to focus on the needs of our troops and our national security, and not to use the supplemental to pursue unnecessary spending. I want the Congress to send me a focused bill, and to do so quickly. When this request returns to me as legislation ready to be signed, it should remain focused on our security. It is important that we follow the same approach we applied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and keep extraneous and unnecessary projects out of this legislation.
As I noted when first I introduced my budget in February, this is the last planned war supplemental. Since September 2001, the Congress has passed 17 separate emergency funding bills totaling $822.1 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After 7 years of war, the American people deserve an honest accounting of the cost of our involvement in our ongoing military operations.
We must break that recent tradition and include future military costs in the regular budget so that we have an honest, more accurate, and fiscally responsible estimate of Federal spending. And we should not label military costs as emergency funds so as to avoid our responsibility to abide by the spending limitations set forth by the Congress. After years of budget gimmicks and wasteful spending, it is time to end the era of irresponsibility in Washington. In this request, we are honest about the costs we will bear as a Nation, and we will use our resources wisely and responsibly to meet the threats of our time and keep our Nation safe and secure.
There is no question of the resolve of our military women and men. Yet, in Afghanistan, that resolve has not been matched by a comprehensive strategy and sufficient resources. This funding request will ensure that the full force of the United States — our military, intelligence, diplomatic, and economic power — are engaged in an overall effort to defeat al Qaeda and uproot the safe haven from which it plans and trains for attacks on the homeland and on our allies. At the same time that we are increasing our troop commitment, we will employ the necessary civilian resources to build Afghan governance capacity and self-sufficiency.
As the United States moves forward with our mission, we are asking our friends and allies to join us with a renewed commitment. As I made clear on my recent trip to Europe, the threat posed by al Qaeda is international in scope; the response to the threat also should be international. Going forward with this strategy, we will establish and regularly assess military and civilian capacity, checking progress through clear measurements to ensure an ongoing informed assessment and accountability. I have asked my National Security Advisor, General Jim Jones, to oversee this effort and to work with the Congress on the development of these standards for progress.
In Iraq, violence has been reduced substantially because of the skilled efforts of our troops and the Iraqi people’s commitment to peace. The threat of terrorism in Iraq has been dealt a serious blow. Iraqis are prepared to take responsibility for their own future through a peaceful political process. Because of this, we are positioned to move forward with a responsible drawdown of our combat forces, transferring security to Iraq’s forces. Under the Strategic Framework Agreement and Security Agreement, Iraqi personnel have taken the lead in security operations and will continue to handle greater responsibility.
Stability and security depend on responsive, capable, and accountable governments. This request includes funds to help create political and economic stability in post-conflict areas, assist Afghans and Iraqis to protect and sustain their infrastructure, and build their capacity for more responsive and transparent governance. This request also will enable military commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs in their areas of responsibility. We provide funds for the extraordinary security and costs associated with supporting U.S. diplomatic activity in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
The request also increases funding to provide wounded servicemembers with the highest quality support and care, and provides additional compensation to our troops for their service in hazardous, life-threatening areas.
This request reflects the reality of our day and age: We need to use all the elements of our power — economic and diplomatic as well as military — to confront threats to our security.
Thank you for your consideration of this funding request and for your steadfast support for our servicemembers and their families.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) – David “Pop” Winans, patriarch of The Winans family gospel group that earned six Grammy awards, has died, a spokesman for a Nashville hospice said on Thursday.
Winans, 74, died of a heart attack on Wednesday with his wife, Delores, at his side, a spokesman said. He had suffered a heart attack and stroke last year.
Under Winans’ guiding hand as manager of the children, The Winans became the biggest male gospel quartet of the 1980s with such songs as “It’s Time” and “Ain’t No Need to Worry.”
The Winans, nicknamed “Mom” and “Pop,” had 10 children in all.
The four performing as The Winans were Michael, Marvin, Carvin and Ronald, though other family members occasionally joined the group. Two children, BeBe and CeCe Winans, formed a duo and turned out R&B/gospel hits such as “Addictive Love” and “I’ll Take You There.”
The parents recorded a Grammy-nominated debut, “Mom & Pop Winans,” in 1989 followed by “The Rest of My Life,” which featured a rocking rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain.”
Another solo album, “Uncensored,” was nominated for a Grammy and was described by Billboard magazine as “some of the most compelling music this century has spawned.”
A statement from the Winans family said that memorial services are planned for next week at Perfection Church in Detroit where Marvin Winans is senior pastor.
***Thank You Reuters!***