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« April 2011 | Main | June 2011 »

By Angelo Lopez on May 28, 2011

On May 1, 2011, I went to downtown San Jose, California to participate in a march for immigrant rights. It is an important issue for me as the child of Filipino immigrants to support the rights of Latino immigrants, especially since many of these immigrants have been exploited for their cheap labor while being denied many rights to redress injustices inflicted upon them. It's something that other immigrant groups from past have suffered through as well, from the Chinese and Irish immigrants of the nineteenth century to the Filipino, Japanese and Mexican immigrants of the twentieth century. I only began attending public demonstrations about two years ago, when I first attended a vigil for health care reform, and I've learned a lot from walking with activists and listening to their stories.

In American history, there is a proud tradition of grassroots activism, of the early abolitionists, women suffragists, labor organizers, civil rights protesters, antiwar activists, and feminists. I think the people who participated in the immigrants rights march are in the spirit of the early Founding Fathers who wanted an involved and active citizenry willing to petition for their rights.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on May 25, 2011

Judge Finds Jared L. Loughner, Accused in Tucson Shooting, Unfit to Stand Trial

Jared L. Loughner, accused in the Jan. 8 shooting spree that seriously injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and left six others dead, was ruled incompetent to stand trial by Federal Judge Larry A. Burns on Wednesday.

Before the ruling, Mr. Loughner was dragged screaming from the courtroom in Tucson after disrupting the hearing; he watched the rest of the proceedings on a monitor in a holding cell. The court heard testimony from two expert witnesses that Mr. Loughner suffered from schizophrenia.

I'm not qualified to make judgment as to Jared Loughner's mental capacity or condition. However, I do make judgment that there is something wrong with our system. Too much regulation or not enough? The accounts of his activities leading up to the event, certainly, indicate he had a problem and evidence proves those problems were not addressed properly.

We spend billions or even trillions of dollars trying to insure security for ourselves, in a world fraught with violence and destruction.

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on May 24, 2011

Folks, this is not a typical post. This is not a political discussion. This, plain and simple, is a plea to all of you to help. Please, if there is anything at all you can spare, give to the disaster victims. I recommend the Red Cross and/or the Salvation Army.

We have seen records made and broken this year. The South and the Midwest have been devastated by floods and tornadoes. The severe weather/tornado season is still very much in the early parts. We could still see many more floods and tornadoes.

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on May 22, 2011

I am a Catholic. I was raised Catholic and I’ve strayed at times but always returned home, so to speak. By association I am assumed to be or assumed to believe certain things, as a Catholic. The Catholic Church makes statements and provides guidelines, and inadvertently speaks for all Catholics. Going broader, as a Christian I have even more folks speaking for me. I get associated with extreme factions that do crazy things. That is not me. I do not find those people to be correct in their preachings.

Often we have individuals claiming to know something because the bible told them so. We have seen this with cults and even this last Saturday we saw the faction that was predicting the end of days. Many times these self-proclaimed prophets miss very important teachings in the Bible as they preach their fallacy. For instance, those folks that were saying the Bible guaranteed that May 21st was the day of the rapture. They neglected several instances of the Bible saying that we cannot predict or know when the end is going to come.

"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Mark 13:32

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on May 12, 2011

Currently our nation is confronting and dealing with dual disasters. There is record flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and there is severe to exceptional drought impacting 11 different states in the continental United States. It is a shame that we can’t do something about moving that water from where there is too much to where there is not enough.

I’ve had this discussion a number of times with many different people. There is always one question that lingers with me; why couldn’t we build a pipeline to move that water to where it is needed. I know what I am proposing is extreme. It would easily cost $50 billion or more. If we look at what we are paying out in Federal Aid and in increased insurance premiums, are we not spending more than that already?

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on May 12, 2011

I can’t remember when I stopped watching the news, but I knew it happened gradually over a period of time. I think my growing absence from what Fox News broadcasters call “the lamestream media” began with the advent of cable news. When CNN first went on the air, I enjoyed watching the twenty-four, steady stream of updated news from across America and around the world. Then CNN was joined by its sister station, Headline News, then came MSNBC and, of course, Fox.

Read more from this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on May 10, 2011

We are advised that happiness is possible only if we are not preoccupied with the past and the future – that we must learn to be present to the “now.” We are to appreciate the light on the cottonwood, the spring song of the cardinal claiming his territory, the texture of the loved-one’s cheek. Yes, it is in these things that happiness is to be found.

But what if there is more to life than happiness? What if the past has value? What if there are lessons provided by the past? What if the key to knowing yourself is learning your heritage? What if the aggregate of all the positive contributions of all past generations are meant for your custody, and succeeding generations are waiting anxiously in the wings?

What if we are not the ultimate center of the universe (or “multiverse”)? What if those who come after are as important as we are? Or more important? What if they will be lost without what we are responsible for providing?

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 7, 2011

When I heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed, I had many mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was relieved that this man was no longer around to mastermind terrorist acts that would kill more innocent people. I hope Bin Laden's death put closure for the family and friends of all the people that Bin Laden had a hand in killing. On the other hand, I felt uncomfortable celebrating the killing of a human being, no matter how evil that person has been. In many ways, the way people are acting now is probably similar to the way previous generations reacted to the death of Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

Osama Bin Laden represents to me the type of extremism that is at the heart of so much terrorism. Because of Bin Laden, Al Queda and the Iranian revolution, most Americans tend to associate religious extremism with Islam, but all religions are plagued with examples of extremism. The three Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have had sad episodes of religious extremism where its partisans have used their religion to harass and kill those who do not hold their religious tenets.

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on May 3, 2011

Wow! So the deed is finally done. I really have a great deal to write in this article because this has been a complex situation for me. So I think the best way to do it is to just take you through it in the order that I experienced it.

So Sunday night I flip from my DVR and see that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I was so excited that I had to go to my office and get online and have the internet and the TV news going. The rush of endorphins and thrill of seeing it in writing that we had done what I questioned would ever be accomplished. I often thought that we would never be certain of his death. I thought that either we had already killed him without knowing it, or that he would die of old age and we would never know it. It was great to see it done. Then I thought, “What now? This certainly isn’t the end of terrorism. I know we aren’t going to bring our troops home. I know that Afghanistan is going to fall apart immediately after we leave… whenever that is.”

I thought about who I was when this first happened. I was just a 19-year-old green Sailor right out of Hospital Corps School and home on leave.

Read more from this post here ...

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