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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-07-07 - 10:29 a.m.

WritingFix.com

I write in this blog every day, often ranting, sometimes just organizing my thoughts, but always writing as if I could make difference. Some mornings I think, “What shall I write today?” Usually reading the paper or listening to CNN gives me plenty of fodder, but should the day ever come when absolutely nothing inspires me, I’ll turn to WritingFix.com. A site I recommend to the students I tutor in writing, writingfix.com features activities for the left-brained, as well as the right-brained. The left-brained person, who prefers order, sequence, patterns, finds prompts there for logical, sequential, realistic writing, such as the blogs I write. The right-brained, who loves reckless creativity, freedom, spontaneity, and even chaotic thoughts, will find plenty of that at writingfix.com, as well. I must be left-brained as I invariably tend toward logical (or at least I like to think the arguments are logical), realistic writing – as if I could make a difference.

My writingfix.com activity for today was to write a paragraph that included the clause, “as if I could make a difference”, in both the first and the last sentence of the paragraph. Rather a hot tip for students who have a difficult time with writing a concluding sentence!

An amazing site with thousands of interactive activities, WritingFix.com offers: daily and random writing topics, writingfix for kids, writingfix for poets, writingfix for teachers, a writing fix anthology, tools for writers, games for writers (including the Scrabble Game where I play three on-line games simultaneously with my friend, Bev, whom I rarely see although she lives about two blocks away; my daughter Val who lives in Irvine, and my sister Jean in Gold Beach, Oregon), simple punctuation and grammar lessons, and even some on-line publishing and contest links.

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And now back to yesterday’s AIDS entry:

Dan Mozena, who just finished a 3-year tour in Zambia and who will become Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs at the State Department in mid-August, reported that in Zambia, a nation about the size of Texas, more than 1 million adults — 21.5 percent of the Zambian population — suffer from AIDS. Mozena said that 850,000 children in Zambia are orphans, due mostly to AIDS. He further noted the life expectancy has dropped to about 35 years from 52 in 1981, with about 380 people dying daily of AIDS.

This kind of devastation and destruction leaves the nation vulnerable to political instability."If those states fail, they become breeding grounds, safe-havens for the next batch of Osama bin Ladens," Mozena said, noting the destruction and turmoil in Afghanistan proved appealing for the Saudi-born terrorist.

"If the AIDS epidemic keeps sweeping across Africa, it will come washing up on our shores as well, in ways we cannot know." However, following the party line, Mozena, the new state department representative, remains optimistic that a $15 billion, five-year, 15-country initiative by President Bush launched 1 1/2 years ago will help stymie the global AIDS epidemic.

My question is why has it taken so long to get the money flowing to where it could do some good? The first monies from that initiative of 1 ½ years ago were not dispensed until February of this year. Time is of the essence it would seem to me.

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