Towards A Renascent Haiti: It’s SECURITY, Stupid!

The sine qua non condition for the Haitian Diaspora to return home, foreign investors to come invest in our economy, and tourists to visit the country is to secure the nation. This is something most of us agree upon. We disagree, however, on the steps to be taken to get to that.

We talk a lot about what is needed for Haiti to start being a working country again, but not so much about how to make it possible. Restoring a sense of security inside the country is not complicated, and that could become a reality in a year if we are serious about it. We simply have got to take these three bold steps:

  1. The institution of the Haitian military (a professional military) with a clear and well defined mission, which is to defend, serve and protect the nation at any cost against foreign invaders and domestic and foreign terrorists. We do not need to start in full strength. We could start small (500 to 1000 well trained and equipped troops) and expand as we go and as our means allows.
  2. The institution of a structured and professional intelligence agency to be the eyes and ears of the government on matters pertaining to our national security. We must get these domestic terrorists terrorizing the population at their points of planning before they could carry out their missions or hit their next high-value targets (HVTs).
  3. The institution of capital punishment by means of “Pe Lebren” to punish these terrorists is paramount.

These terrorists are not to be played with; rather, they ought to be captured and brought to justice. And we can only be effective in our engagement when these three instances –the police force, the military and the intelligence agency –could operate in unison towards accomplishing one clear and well defined mission.

We need to take “Pe Lebren” off the streets and turn it into a punishment to be administered by the judges in the justice system. No one citizen will have the right to “Pe Lebrenize” another citizen. In other words, self-procurement of justice will automatically place the citizen in violation of the law. And anyone who does that will be dealt with in accordance with the legal treatment your case necessitates.

We need to “Pe Lebrenize” these terrorists in broad daylight so we could send a clear message to those who are contemplating on ways to hit their next HVTs. Such deterring measure will tell the next or aspiring terrorists that if they do not stop, if they persist in their mischievous operations, they are destined to face the same fate.

We are not the ones to believe in the rhetoric that poverty breeds crimes. Being poor cannot be a justification to commit crimes as one can be poor in dignity. So the notion that these terrorists cling to their criminal activities because of their socioeconomic situation is preposterous and does not resonate too well with us.

We are not aiming at seeing the emergence of a crime-free Haiti. That is not what we are aiming at. We have got to be realistic. What we want to achieve, however, is to put these terrorists out of their nuisance state. So we have a choice to make in this situation: either we regain control of the country so the Diaspora could return home, foreign investors could invest in the economy, and tourists could vacation in Haiti again as it used to be back then or let these terrorists have their way and turn the place into a crime state.

A renascent Haiti is possible if we all believe it is and accept to do what is necessary to make it happen. Everything starts with securing the country. So the security steps we will be undertaking in the days, weeks and months to come will determine the type of Haiti we want to have. Make no mistake that we have to work hard, diligently and intelligently to strengthen our economy through a job creation strategy. But that will not happen if we cannot secure the country and protect the people’s lives, investments and properties.

Do Not Let Bad Breath Wilt Your Image

Halitosis seems to be a serious issue nowadays, since 90 million Americans suffer from it. Surveys reveal that “it can wilt your love life, and even cost you that new job.”

The main focus of this article is halitosis or bead breath -its cause, its impact on our lives, how to fight it and how to tell a friend that he or she has it.

Most people with stinky breath do not even realize that they have it because “the brain becomes acclimated to one’s own personal scent.”

According to Dr. Harold Katz, bacteriologist and founder of the California Breath Clinic, the way to check if you have bad breath is not to smell your own breath in cupped hand; rather, it is to “lick the back of your hand, let it dry for a few seconds, and then smell the surface.”

Bad breath has nothing to do with the state of your dental hygiene because “you can have good teeth, rotten teeth or no teeth at all and still have bad breath. It has to do with the tongue,” Dr. Katz says.

The way to determine the smell of your breath -if it is fresh or foul -is to conduct a tongue test by looking at the color of your tongue. A tongue that indicates fresh breath should look pink and shiny, whereas one that appears white and scaly does indicate bad breath, according to Dr. Katz.

It is said that more than 600 types of bacteria can be located in the average mouth, many of which house under the surface of the tongue and cause the unpleasant smell in the mouth.

Now that we know the etiology of halitosis, let us see together how to fight it.

To fight halitosis, it is recommended that you keep your mouth hydrated, for a dry mouth is the perfect environment for the breeding and growth of offensive-smelling bacteria on your tongue.”Saliva has oxygen in it, which makes it a natural enemy for the foul-smelling bacteria,” Katz says. “They can’t live in the presence of oxygen, so drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum can produce saliva and naturally get rid of bad breath.”

Now, keep in mind that sugar-free mint or mouthwash can only provide temporary relief by masking the foul smell but does not really eradicate the offensive-smelling bacteria causing the bad breath.

Be watchful and mindful of the foods and acid beverages you consume as some -such as garlic, onions, curry, fish, beer, wine, coffee and soda -can be a trigger. They all contain foul-odor-releasing compounds that get absorbed into your bloodstream; the odor is given off in your breath until all of the food is out of your body.

It is also recommended that you limit as well your consumption of chocolate candy and sweets as the sugar they contain does help bacteria to reproduce in your mouth, leading to bad breath.

On the flip side of the issue, if there is an array of foods you are asked to stay away from for their strong odor, there are some you are recommended and encouraged to consume because they do fix bad breath.

For example, “Green tea has anti-bacterial properties that knock out the stink. Cinnamon contains essential oils that kill many types of oral bacteria. Try adding fresh cinnamon to your morning toast or oatmeal, or adding a stick to flavor your tea.”

According to Dr. Katz, foods that are high in vitamin C -such as berries, melons, oranges, etc… –are recommended to fight bad breath because they help kill smelly bacteria naturally.

He also recommends that people eat crisp fruits and vegetables, such as celery or apples, because they offer dual bad-breath-busting benefits: a. chewing them will produce more saliva in the mouth; 2. their firm texture will also help scrub away bacteria.

If you do all the aforementioned things in an attempt to modify your lifestyle and eating habits and yet your bad breath has not rescinded, it is advised that you contact your health care provider to make sure that it does not have to do with a more serious medical condition.

It has been scientifically surveyed that about 10% of bad breath cases have to do with a symptom of chronic sinus or respiratory infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver and kidney disorder, cancer or diabetes. These diseases can release into the body chemicals that cause bad breath.

Your friend has been slapping you left and right every chance he or she gets with his or her bad breath, yet you are not bold enough to tell him or her. How should you tell him or her that his or her bad breath is invading your comfort zone?

Well, as mentioned earlier, keep in mind that most people cannot smell their own breath. So if you detect a friend’s bad breath, do not be afraid to speak up on that and let him or her know about it.

Granted, telling a person -a close colleague, friend or lover –that his or her breath is offensive and makes you feel uncomfortable can be awkward for everybody involved to do. But it is still the right thing to do. After all, if you were the one with stinky breath, you would want to know so you could do something about it, would you not?

Now, let us see what the experts have to say on the issue of breaking the bad breath news. Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder of The Etiquette School of New York, though she acknowledges the delicacy and sensitiveness of the issue, believes that speaking up is good manners. She said: “If people are talking about them behind their back, it turns into a worse situation. If you respect the person, it’s your duty to tell them.”

How does she recommend that you proceed to break the bad breath news to the person? She believes that there are two possible approaches:

1. Just sit down with your friend in a private setting and be direct. Start off the conversation by telling them you believe there is an issue they would want to know about and that you are not too sure they are aware of it.

2. In the event that you know the person is sensitive, you may need to be a little bit more cautious about your approach. Delicately and kindly, bring up the issue by carrying mints with you. Take one yourself first and then offer one to your friend who has bad breath. If the person does not accept it, Fitzpatrick says it is acceptable to offer a nudge by simply saying, “I think you should.”

As the saying goes, first impressions, professionally and personally, last a lifetime. So it makes no type of sense whatsoever to let bad breath wilt your image. Taking incremental steps to control the chemical reactions happening inside your mouth will keep you smelling fresh, agreeable and tolerable.

A Haitian Hospitality Call To All Millionaires And Billionaires Of The World

Sean Penn & Prime Minister Lamothe of Haiti

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While my home country Haiti is gasping for investments from people with capital to help jump-start its economy, other countries are giving them hell. When it comes to wealth creation, I go by one simple rule: if you amass your fortune legally, you deserve to live with it in peace.

So I am making this hospitality call to all you millionaires and billionaires in the US and other parts of the world, those of you who are running for your lives because the media is out to destroy and bring you down. I want to let you know that Haiti is waiting to welcome you and your money with open arms. Move there with your money and live in peace. Like Sean Penn, make Haiti your place of retreat, your paradise on earth, your home away from home. Say enough with the trips to the mental rehabilitation institutions because of the level of stress you are under. You did not become wealthy for that wealth to become a matter of torment for you and your loved ones.

Once you move to Haiti, and I am encouraging you to do so, you will never want to return home. You will have everything you need at your disposal -a variety of succulent and delicious tropical fruits and foods, the nice and pleasant tropical weather (it is summer all year long in Haiti), our beautiful beaches, the culture, the music, the people, and most importantly your peace of mind.

Because I am Haitian, you may think, rightly so, that I am selling you something not worthy of the bargain. If you do think so, I am urging you to ask Sean Penn who is not Haitian. He will tell you from experience because he has been living in Haiti since after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. And there are many like him over there -who are not in the spotlight like he is.

I am about to make a bold statement, which some may find disagreeable; I will understand if they do: I guarantee you if Michael Jackson had moved to Haiti, away from all the stress the media was bringing into his life, he could have still been alive today. Being wealthy does not mean that you and your loved ones have to be tormented and harassed by a media watching your every move. And the more they report on your private life, the more money they make. Move to Haiti with your fortune -away from all the paparazzi -and live in peace. So Haiti is waiting with open arms to welcome you and your money.

National Security: A Haitian Defense Ministry For Strategic Reasons

Rodolphe Joasil, Haitian Minister of Defense

Some people are criticizing the Martelly-Lamothe administration for the creation of the Ministry of Defense. They argue that it is a waste of our scarce resources to have a Defense Ministry as an independent organization of the Haitian government -since we already have an agency called the Direction of Civil Protection, and let alone we do not even have a military institution. I don’t think these folks quite understand the real philosophy behind the creation of the Ministry of Defense, though.

The Ministry of Defense, per Minister Joasil’s strategic approach during his brief presentation of the institution’s mission, purpose, and agenda at the televised Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday, is going to play a very important role, one of an umbrella institution, in coordinating the efforts of many agencies such as the Direction of Civil Protection, the Office of Management of Mount Hospital, the National Intelligence Agency amongst others.

We do not really need to wait for when we have a national military for us to start doing certain things. For example, we can introduce in or add to the national police two well trained and equipped specialized brigades with mission to police our forests (to prevent the rampant deforestation) and man our border with the Dominican Republic (to control the movement of people and goods across the border).  These brigades too, once constituted, along with the aforementioned agencies, will fall right under the commanding authority of the Defense Minister.

I would like to urge these people going ballistic over the creation of the Ministry of Defense, which former Senator Joasil is commissioned to head, to not let the name “Ministry of Defense” throw them off. In my humble opinion, that ministry’s real name should have been Ministry of National Security with mission to coordinate the efforts of all these independent agencies so that they could communicate with each other and act in a concerted manner for effectiveness purposes.

It does make sense to detach the Ministry of Defense from the Interior Ministry. The Ministry of Defense is too vital of an institution to let it stay as a sub-institution inside the Ministry of Interior. From a strategic standpoint, I do understand quite well what President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe are trying to do by separating these two entities. If you really want to effectively secure our homeland, you have got to give the Defense Ministry its autonomy and allow it to operate outside the realm of the Interior Ministry. After the tragedy of September 11, here in America, we did the exact same thing with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which Secretary Napolitano is currently the head of. As the new threats and challenges emerge, we have got to keep restructuring government to render it more effective in its mission of delivering “real-time” service to its people.

Charnette Orelien Has Made History in Irvington, NJ

The people in the West Ward of the city of Irvington, NJ has spoken loud and clear Tuesday night –when they elected Charnette ORELIEN to represent them in the Municipal Council.

A native of Haiti, Charnette ORELIEN migrated to the US in 1996; she has been a resident of that ward since.

She is a graduate of Essex County College, Rutgers University and Seton Hall University. Needless to say, education plays a major role in her life.

Tuesday night, she has made history. In the city of Irvington’s 320-year history, she is the first Haitian American to win a seat in the city’s Council. Mind you, more Haitians reside in the city than any other ethnic group.

Charnette has decided to challenge that seat in the West Ward because she believed she could win and make a difference in the lives of her constituents.

She has won the election imposingly. According to the website of the Essex County Clerk Office, a total of 946 voters voted in the West Ward, of which she amassed 456 or 48.20%; John F. Brown, the distant second person in line, obtained 291 or 30.76%.

This crushing victory would have not been possible had it not been for the outstanding work of her staff and ground team of volunteers, the Haitian-owned radio stations and her technology/internet team (on Facebook, Twitter, etc…) to mobilize the people in the West Ward and get them out to vote on Election Day.

The turnout was very low, compared to the thousands of Haitian registered voters residing in that ward. That shows we still have some serious work to do if we dream to elect a Haitian mayor in that city in the years to come. So the community outreach effort we had going on through the massive civic education campaign -which got Charnette to win -must pursue its course.

Anyhow, her campaign strategy must become the model to follow and impetus to capitalize on, for it has produced the expected results. She did not do anything the ones who preceded her, those who did not get the chance to get that far in their attempts, could not do. Maybe they did not know any better. Like it is said in our Haitian Creole, “sa w pa konnen pi gran pase w.”

Kretyen Yo Tou Sipoze Vote

Gen anpil nan mesye pastè yo k ap preche yon levanjil Wòyòm Selès, kote y ap di fidèl yo ke politik pa yo a se nan syèl pou yo fè l. Sa se yon gwo pwoblèm.

Menmjan Kretyen an gen yon vi relijyez li pa ta renmen wè ki pa kodyòm ak Pawòl Bondye a, se konsa tou li gen vi sosyal ak sivik li tou ki pa sipoze neglije. Li sipoze patisipe nan pwosès demokratik la tou kòmsadwa. Kidonk, li sipoze vote.

Li iresponsab pou yon pastè ap di fidèl li pingga yo vote pou lemond; se pou Jezikris pou yo vote. Nou tande jan de pawòl degrenngòch sa yo touttan nan yon seri de legliz.

Fidèl yo ap viv nan sosyete a tou. Kidonk, desizyon k ap soti nan pouvwa anplas la, yo afekte vi fidèl yo tou. Se pa vi payen yo sèlman non ki afekte. Se sa k fè Kretyen yo tou sipoze patisipe nan pwosès demokratik la.

Si w pa vote pou w di men ki moun ou vle ki pou jere zafè pèp la, ou pa ka ap kritike, ap soteponpe lè bagay yo ap mal fèt. Se pou Jezikris ou te di ou t ap vote, se pou w fèmen bouch ou lè zafè w ap mal jere.

Vote, pou Kretyen an, se yon dwa ke li ye -menmjan li se yon dwa pou l jwenn bonjan ledikasyon, lasante, elatriye. Wi, l ap batay pou l ale nan syel, men pandan li sou latè a, se yon devwa li ye pou l vote, pou l patisipe nan desizyon k ap pran pou detèmine ki moun ki pou dirije zafè peyi a. Si l pa patisipe nan pwosès la epi zafè peyi a ap mal jere, li fè pati de moun sa yo ki responsab bagay yo ap mal pase a. Kidonk, li sipoze vote.

If Lucien Jura Cannot Do His Job, He Needs To Be Fired

Lucien Jura -President Martelly's spokesperson

Don’t we have a press team in the National Palace in Haiti assigned to record and report on President Martelly’s daily activities? If so, what is so difficult for these guys to videotape President Martelly’s major activities -the ceremony that took place at Toussaint Louverture International Airport yesterday morning during the President’s arrival from his hospital stay in Florida, for instance -and post them on his Facebook page, Twitter and Youtube Channel (if the National Palace has one, that is) for everyone interested to check out?

What are these guys doing in the Palace, seriously? I did not get the chance to watch the ceremony at the airport because I had some other obligation to honor. If somebody did not care enough to post on Youtube some bootleg clip of the ceremony, I would have not gotten the chance to see what went down minute by minute. Shouldn’t that be the job of the President’s press team?

Since we are talking about the President’s press team not doing its job, why does it seem so difficult for Lucien Jura, the gentleman said to be President Martelly’s spokesperson, to give a “press briefing” every morning to the National Palace Press Corps to inform the world on the President’s politics on certain key domestic and international issues?

Why do you think Jay Carney, President Obama’s Press Secretary, makes it a duty to stand before the White House Press Corps every morning to brief the world on what needs to be known about the politics of President Obama and his decisions on the major key domestic and foreign issues of the time? He does it because such is within the realm of his responsibility as a spokesperson. If he does not do it, who else is going to? You expect Rush Limbaugh, a vicious opponent of President Obama, to use his platform to do it for him? I don’t think any Obama sympathizer would want Limbaugh to be President Obama’s spokesperson.  I would not.

Lucien Jura is supposed to be the mouthpiece of President Martelly. If he cannot do his job, he has no business to be kept in his function. I am sure he was hired for the job because President Martelly believed he could do it EFFECTIVELY. That choice, I presume, was not made based on favoritism. So if his performance has proven ineffective, he needs to be fired. Plain and simple!

The reason why President Martelly is constantly being hammered left and right by his political opponents is because his mouthpiece, Lucien Jura supposedly, who is to be articulating his political positions, is not being effective in his function of spokesperson.

It seems as though Lucien Jura is there to diffuse political bombs thrown at the President, not to be preemptively on the offensive. And the best way to be and stay preemptively on the offensive is to inform the general public about the FACTS -especially when your opponents are using misleading information to torpedo you. When/if you fail to do so, you leave it up to your opponents to pollute the minds of the people with propaganda politics, which will negatively impact your political tenure.

In conclusion, President Martelly’s press team needs to be more proactive and aggressive in its function. Politics is a contact sport. If you cannot play tough, do not get inside the ring, for you will be slammed and stepped on. Sadly, Lucien Jura’s ineffectiveness as a spokesperson makes President Martelly look like a punk, someone who is being bullied, trashed, slammed or/and hit and not doing anything to retaliate. This is unacceptable. I am sick and tired seeing the President being portrayed as such. Again, if Lucien Jura cannot do his job EFFECTIVELY, he needs to be let go.