This is a subject that is close to my heart since I am a parent of a child with Down syndrome. In less then two weeks Special Olympics, a nonprofit organization will launch a new campaign. "Spread the word to end the word." March 31 is being billed as "National Day of Awareness" a call to all Americans to recognize and rethink their use of word "retarded" or as the organization prefers the "R-word."
Most people do not think of this word as hate speech but that's exactly what it feels like to millions of people, (my son being one of those millions), who have an intellectual disability. Words are so powerful and can hurt so much. Just remember to put yourself in their place. They did not ask for this disability, they did not have a choice in this disability and they really, really do have feelings like the rest of us and it does really, really hurt them and their family and friends when you use that word to describe them. In all reality they want to be just like you. With a face just like you, with speech that sounds just like you, they want to be like everyone else too.
If you want to get more information on this campaign or want to get involved go to www.r-word.org.
Every parent of a special needs child thanks you for rethinking your words.
Lessons in languages
We recently had the comical situation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presenting a box with a large push button to a Russian official. The label was supposed to read "Reset" in Russian, I suppose signifying a reset in relations between our two countries. When asked, the Russian said that what the label actually said was something else (I believe he said it meant "over the top").
Secretary Clinton had a very qualified translator provide this translation. It made me think of many years ago - was it President Kennedy? - who tried to say something in German to the West German people, which if I remember, the actual translation meant something like, "I am a sausage".
When working in Costa Rica a few years ago, having almost no knowledge of the Spanish language, I decided to buy an English-Spanish dictionary. When I used it, I was met with confused looks. Eventually they understood what I was trying to say, and provided me with a different word. When I asked why my word was incorrect, they told me, "Well, that's the way a Mexican would say it".
How many international incidents, wars, etc. are the result of this sort of confusion?
My pronunciation of Costa Rican Spanish evidently wasn't much better. We were working at the top of a large volcano named Mt. Irazu, near San Jose, and I noticed a sign on a little bridge on the way down. Later I asked my driver what that word meant. He was puzzled. Finally one day on the way down I pointed out the sign to him. He laughed so hard he almost couldn't drive. He never would explain to me what word I had been trying to pronounce.
But they appreciate so much you at least trying to use their language.
Prostate cancer can be deadly
Thursday's Star Tribune gave the results of a study on PSA tests in men for prostate cancer. It largely said that the tests were bogus and that prostrate cancer, while prevalent in older man, rarely kills anyone. This article will have the effect of turning some men away from prostate screening. The test is not perfect, and has never been advertised as such. But it does catch some prostate cancers before they become bigger problems. Prostate cancer has few to no symptoms.
I am not some urologist drumming up business nor do I work for one, or any medical facility. I am a man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer that was not going to lie silently. Left untreated my cancer would most likely have spread. Our family physician was not unable to detect this disease in my yearly physical. Only the elevated PSA test caught it. I was offered a wide range of treatments for my cancer and survival statistics for each including doing nothing. I was not pressured to except one treatment over the other by my urologist.
I lost two friends in the last three years from prostate cancer. Both did not discover their cancer until it was too late. Yes, there are after affects from treatment, but you need to balance that out with the results of not treating it and watching it spread to where they can't treat it.
Obama will wreck the dollar
Another trillion dollars. Are you kidding me? Make no mistake America, this is a deliberate effort by Obama and his merry band of criminals in Congress to destroy the U.S. dollar. If/when this goes through, the U.S. dollar will collapse in time, probably sooner than later. When you go to the bank to make an transaction, you won't be able to access your cash. No one will. A panic will start. The administration will act "shocked," and say they didn't see this one coming, (sound familiar). There will be a show hearing to end all show hearings. In the end, absolute power for Obama, who I feel has no intention of ever leaving office.
Call me paranoid, but there can be no other explanation for this administration's idiotic, reckless and intentional destruction of America's economy.
Welcome to the Banana Republic of the USA!
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