I warned you it was long.

With dear Mr. Solís, I felt that some of his points were similar, and that he was, in effect, repeating himself. Whether this was for emphasis, or completely inadvertent, I still felt as though I was being talked down to. Granted, most of the students in my class (myself included) had little knowledge of the workings of TLC when he spoke to us, but I felt he should have given us more credit. I also thought it was unfair to blame solely the president of the United States for the “failures” of U.S. foreign policy. I know enough about my government to comment that even if the president himself were sensitive to cultural issues, or “culturally conscious” in my own words, any plans he has still have to go through the Senate and the House. As I also know, having watched the previous battles on television from the confines of the den in my house in Indiana, the Senate and the House may not want to work with each other, much less the president. This is our democracy now, and it’s a shame. It seems, most unfortunately, that the party wants only its party agenda pushed. There is little cooperation, and even less listening. Also, who ever heard of a democracy that only has two voices? Why are only the Republicans and the Democrats in positions of power? I congratulate Ottón Solís for the first recorded break of a bipartisan election in 2002, but I took into account that it should not be solely the president’s “fault”, if you will, for the entire government’s inability to function within itself.

Whew. I hope I haven’t just been targeted by the CIA.

With the U.S. Embassy, once again, here are my initial impressions: big, shiny, imposing, impressive, far away, a show, and big, again.
Question 1) why is the Embassy so big? I’ve seen the Nicaraguan embassy, and the Mexican embassy, and the Peruvian embassy, and know what? They’re about the size of any office building.
Question 2) Why is the U.S. Embassy so far away from downtown Central??? I pass the other three I mentioned twice a day. All three. The U.S. Embassy was an hour and a half bus ride out of the Central. It takes me 20 minutes to get to the Central. 20 minutes.
With the actual lecture itself, I just have to mention the type of people that came to speak to us. David Hensen was, ironically, a white, elderly, male. Could we underline stereotype any more? Nothing against him, it just struck me, I guess. Also, Ms. Martinez was from New Mexico (she told us) and she dressed like the Costa Ricans, in a nice skirt. She had the blending thing down, but it was most likely her background that had this influence. /Jill/ struck me as a woman who had probably been in some sort of armed forces because she held a strong stance, with her legs apart, her hair was pulled back in a bun, and she was wearing a very practical white shirt with a vest and dress slacks that were stretchy. With the way the trio kept emphasizing the protection of U.S. interests overseas, and their obvious dislike of Solís, I wondered about how many groups they had come in who were anti-U.S. I felt like everything they said was in defense to accusations never accused. The entire lecture held the undercurrent of “we get the bad rap, but we’re nice people” and “everyone blames us because there are many anti-U.S. feelings right now because the Costa Ricans wanted CAFTA to pass”… Honest, I tried to be objective. I really did. But this is what I heard. I talked to other students afterward, and got similar feelings, so it wasn’t just me.
Here’s why I went on my rant about democracy: “Consensus means everyone has a voice, but sometimes nobody gets heard.” –David Hensen
I couldn’t believe he said that. To me, it sounds not like democracy (as it should be) but the same “rights-endangering” oppressive governments the U.S. denounces.

I would like to post the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights here.

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This Right only guarantees that Congress cannot tell us we are wrong to practice a certain religion, or speak out against the government, or even print things that are happening. We have the Right to ask our government to listen to us. Listen to us. What about each other? This Amendment says nothing about listening to each other.

If CAFTA is the best thing for the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic, why was it formed in Washington? That’s where the countries all met–in Washington D.C. Also, why does the U.S. want to trade more with these countries? If anybody is to blame in the U.S. for the unemployment rate, it’s the corporal companies and not the president. They’re the ones that outsource to get more hired hands at a cheaper price so that the people of the United States who have so much money to spend can continue to save that money to spend it. The U.S. economy isn’t working right now, and we’re seeing that. People are also blaming this downfall on greed. The quote from Ottón Solís, “We want telecommunication to be a social tool, not a profit-making industry. Why can’t you respect that?” I agree with him on this point. If the sole purpose of capitalism in the United States is to make a profit, it switches the emphasis from success to gain. Who is truly successful, and who is truly a failure? Are success and gain so intertwined they cannot be separated? I don’t think so. We need to separate them again. I have listened to others’ opinions and researched this. Now I have made my own opinion. All you can do is listen, or not.


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