It's happening, or has already happened, almost everywhere. During the five years I've been at my company we have had three rounds of redundancies. While we've been on this trip, two of the fellows have received news there will be layoffs at their organisation when they return home.
Immigration is a hot-button issue in the United States, and moves to initiate reforms to streamline and regularise the process are proving to be extremely contentious. Depending on who you ask, there are around 11 to 13 million illegal (or undocumented) people in the US, and they are here because there are jobs to be found and more money than what can be made back home. These workers toil in the jobs that Americans do not want – in agriculture, construction and sanitation.
Of all the monuments in Washington D.C., perhaps the most significant is that dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers and third President of the United States. Significant, because it is the only monument paid for in its entirety by Congress (the princely sum in 1934 of $3 million). President Franklin Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1939 and officially dedicated the Memorial on April 13, 1943 -- the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. FDR fervently admired Jefferson and wanted to be able to see the Memorial from the Oval Office.
The United States is accused of being the policeman of the world, but since no other nation has the appetite or power to resolve global conflicts, Washington has to step up to the plate. Rep Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, said he fully backs President Barack Obama on whatever action is needed to punish the Syrian regime after it used chemical weapons against its own people. “It’s not a sure thing, but if we get this through Congress, it will be three days of Tomahawk strikes on certain arsenals and instruments that the regime used to deliver the gas.
Four people, included the company's owner, were killed about two weeks ago when a man opened fire at a Minneapolis workplace before turning the gun on himself. The fifth victim died later in one Minneapolis hospital. A couple of weeks earlier in August, a guy in a Batman dress entered a cinema near Denver to hunt down people waiting for the movie to start, and it has been five years so far, since a mad student massacred not less than 32 (mostly fellow students) at the Virginia Tech University before killing himself.
The 9/11 memorial in New York disarmed me at first sight.
It was such a simple place. A large square embedded to the ground, names of all the 9/11 victims written to the black marble. Water was flowing down the walls of the square, making a serene sound, shining in September sun. No need for further explanations, because there is nothing to explain. All you can do is show the hole in the ground, and who is missing.
Just look at him. You see that fire in his eyes? You see that posture? He is indeed a very powerful man. And we are only looking at a photograph. When you meet him face to face, he is even more convincing. He is reverend Jerry McAfee and he is against gay marriage.
”What do you on your own time I couldn’t care less. What I care about is African Americans”, he told us, pitching black rights against gay rights.