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« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » October 2011

By Angelo Lopez on October 28, 2011



Last Monday I visited the Occupy San Jose site to donate food to the occupiers. I had read in their facebook page that they were looking for donations after the police had taken their food and many of their supplies. When I dropped by, the group was in the middle of a meeting. A few of their members were planning to attend a City Hall meeting to engage in a dialogue about the councilmembers' concerns and to complain about the police taking their supplies.

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By Diane Wahto on October 28, 2011

Wichita, Kans.—Given recent actions of Congress, Americans are bemoaning the gridlock that has gripped our political process. Media reports often focus on such gridlock, as reporters interview men and women who complain about the inability of our elected officials to pass laws. The most recent example of political gridlock is the failure of Pres. Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, a bill that contained provisions for public works spending and a tax hike on the wealthy. The bill failed in the Senate and would have most likely died in the House if it had made it that far.

Gridlock is defined, according to The Washington Post, as “The inability of two opposing groups to accomplish any sort of remedy or compromise on a political issue because one side manages to prevent matters from moving forward.”

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By Angelo Lopez on October 25, 2011

As I've connected with various artists on Facebook, I discovered a great cartoonist in Alburquerque, New Mexico. J.P. Jasper is a cartoonist who has been posting his witty cartoons under the name Russell Millard Fillmore on his Facebook page that has gained a loyal readership and as he writes, "I'm still 'looking' for a job but in the mean time I'm enjoying the life of an educated bum..." He is a grad school graduate with a degree in Economics. His cartoons star a group of young adults who make wry comments on politics and culture. You can see his cartoons at his Russell Millard Fillmore facebook page or you could go to his webpage.

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By Angelo Lopez on October 24, 2011

As the "Occupy Wall Street" protests have continued in the last couple of weeks, more religious people from many different religions have begun to join and make their presence felt. This is important, as religious people have made important contributions to past movements for social change, such as the civil rights movement, the woman's suffrage movement, the abolition movement, and the labor movement. The three Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, have especially have a historic concern for the plight of the poor and the marginalized that fits well with the concerns of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters. Religious figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Joshua Heschel, Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin, James Farmer, William Sloane Coffin, Pauli Murray, and others have all fought for similar economic justice issues that the "Occupy Wall Street" protests are fighting for today.

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By Angelo Lopez on October 22, 2011

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By Ken Poland on October 21, 2011

With all the terrorism and pillage in the world, I’m reminded of a quote from:

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. -Jane Austen, novelist (1775-1817)

I would add my thought: One half of the world cannot understand the suffering of the other. - Ken Poland (1934-)

These two thoughts might just explain the riots, demonstrations, protests, etc. that we are witnessing around the world.

Civilization demands compassion and empathy for our fellowman. Those two emotions are in short supply. The whole world is plagued with the ‘me first’ attitude and to hell with you.

By Angelo Lopez on October 20, 2011

Here are some articles that I found on the struggling middle class. Illustrating this blog are more photos I took of Occupy San Jose last week.

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By Adrian Klaphaak on October 20, 2011

I see a lot of email subject lines and marketing materials that claim to reveal a "secret." I find this trend a bit annoying because the "secret" that is revealed is usually something that I already know. So, I was careful in making the claim to share, "The Big Secret To Finding Your Path." In my experience this secret is a big one and it isn't common knowledge or practice. And, most of the people that seek our guidance at A Path That Fits are also unaware of this secret and have been for a large part of their life. I was in the dark for a long time, too.

So... What's the big secret to finding your path? The secret is that finding your path comes from within. It comes from you discovering who you already are and then translating your uniqueness into a career. It doesn't come from thinking about what careers are out there and how to fit yourself into a career. The secret is to let your path organically unfold from discovering who you are. By discovering important parts of yourself such as your strengths, passions, values, personality, essence, and purpose, you let the career path that fits who you are naturally emerge.

Still not convinced this is a big secret? Okay. Consider this... What is the first thing that a person (possibly you) asks themselves when their career begins to stagnate and they start feeling the need to find a new career path? It's usually some version of, "What should I do?" Or, "What am I going to do?" The thing about these questions is they lead you to look outside of yourself at the options you perceive for yourself in the world around you. Those questions take you away from yourself and focus your attention outside of you. The secret is to look inside. The real question to be asking yourself is, "Who am I?" So pause for a moment and ask yourself, "Who am I?" You might find it a confronting question and a challenging one to answer. But, I think it is the most powerful question you can be asking yourself if you want to find a path that fits.

When you have taken the time to discover who you are, finding the right career path will be less of a mystery. And, you don't have to do it alone. Our coaching programs, retreats, and workshops guide you through a process of self-discovery that helps you answer the question, "Who Am I," and translate your uniqueness into a career path.
If this article resonates with you and you are ready to find your path, consider joining us on our first ever "Discover Your Career Calling" Retreat in Bali. It may only happen once and we are putting a lot of heart into creating an amazing experience for everyone that participates.

By James Bordonaro on October 18, 2011

Israel's policy of swapping terrorists and criminals with Hamas in exchange for the release of Sgt. Gilad Schalit is very dangerous to the United States and nearly as much of a weak link in the global war on terrorism as Pakistan's duplicity in supporting attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on October 17, 2011

One of my favorite Founding Fathers is Thomas Paine. The inspiration for this Everyday Citizen website, Paine was a strong foe of the aristocracy and the monarchy form of government. Despite his opposition to monarchy, Paine argued in the French National Convention during the Revolution against the execution of Louis XVI because of his opposition to revenge killings. Paine was able to separate his opposition to a particular system and his empathy to an individual within that system. I think of this often during the Occupy Wall Street protests against the 1% of the rich who own a disproportionate amount of the nation's wealth.

I share a lot of the anger of the Occupation Wall Street protesters about the wealthy class who have benefitted from this economic system and own such a large percentage of the nation's wealth. I want an economic system that more evenly distributes wealth towards a greater amount of people. My anger is more towards the economic system, though. I don't want to see wealthy people become paupers. I just want to see a system where everyone benefits and not just a select few.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on October 14, 2011



I dropped by the Occupy San Jose settlement briefly today. Most of the activists were sleeping in their tents, but I got a chance to talk to a few people who were awake. That person told me that the group has been cleaning up the area and making sure that they have friendly relations with the police. The last time I was there, news was that there might be a possible clash with the police over a city ordinance banning overnight settlements on City Hall. The activists were cited, but were not kicked out.

It turns out that many of the police officers support the Occupy San Jose cause. The mayor also thinks that the Occupy San Jose protesters are justified in their protest, and said that evicting the activists is a very low priority in City Hall's agenda. So for now, the group has settled in.

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By Bob Hooper on October 14, 2011

The issue of abortion is not so simple as some absolutists would have us believe. Consequently, I am reluctantly pro-choice: abortions should be legal, safe, and rare. Women, with their doctors and chosen advisors are best qualified to make the often agonizing decision--not the government or self-appointed religious authorities. Today, my aim is not to make light of a serious issue, but instead (with a smidgen of grim bedside humor) raise what seem to me both legitimate and necessary questions. Now then....

DO NOT SKIP QUESTIONS. CIRCLE or UNDERLINE CHOICES.

1 Morally and/or religiously speaking, should sexual intercourse occur exclusively to make females pregnant? Yes. No. I'll take the 5th.

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By Angelo Lopez on October 14, 2011

Last week two people died who had a great influence on America and the world. One person, Steve Jobs, helped create technological wonders like the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad that have benefitted people throughout the world. Fred Shuttlesworth was the other person who died last week. Shuttlesworth was one of the most important figures of the Civil Rights movement, one of the four founding ministers of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a leader in Birmingham protests. The death of Steve Jobs received front page news, while the death of Fred Shuttlesworth received less notice. Both men deserved to be highlighted for the great contributions they made for this country.

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By Bob Hooper on October 13, 2011

“The protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent,” wrote Paul Krugman in the New York Times. “The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.”

The reaction from the super-wealthy is nothing new. Throughout history, any time an informed and activist citizenry challenges the power and greed of the wealthy--the wealthy and their toadies are first nervous, then begin the campaign to discredit or sabotage protests. Those who haven't read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" should turn off TV for a week, find a quiet place and read it.

The corporate-friendly right wingers try to promote the notion that the protests are about envy of wealth. Sorry, the real problem is not wealth but greed.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on October 13, 2011

It’s A Beautiful World

We’ve been enjoying beautiful moon lit nights, here in NW KS. It reminds me of songs: Roll Along Silvery Moon, The Moon Sees Me I See the Moon, and many others. You folks who live in cities or smog filled areas seldom get to enjoy such serene and beautiful moments. I’m living in the house I was born in, nearly 80 years ago. Our nearest neighbors are 3/4 mile away. Except for a little village of about 85 people down the road a few miles, we have less than a dozen neighbors within 6 or eight miles. Isolation? No! Serenity and peacefulness? Yes!

Nature is both beautiful and terrible. We experienced a devastating wind, hail, and rain storm a few weeks ago. It destroyed 50% or our fall crops and the north side of our house (no windows or siding left). But, the sun came up the next morning and life goes on. Bear in mind, we live as far away from hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanos as you can get, in the continental U.S. An occasional tornado goes through, but you can see them coming and their path of destruction is usually not very wide or long. Help and shelter is always accessible, within just a few miles.

I love the early morning hours. The dust and debris of the previous day is settled and a fresh and new day lies ahead. It may deteriorate soon, but we enjoy the moment.

Now, I’m not the country bumpkin hermit, typically depicted by sensational news hounds or fiction writers. I’ve been actively involved in denominational church work, active in community clubs, agricultural organizations, Community College Board Member, etc. I’m not a world traveler in the physical sense, but I’ve been around the world through books, magazines, etc. Got 12 years formal education and a lifetime of hard knocks and experience. I wouldn’t trade my life’s experience with anyone.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on October 12, 2011

Here are more photos that I took from the Occupy San Jose protest that I visited last Friday. The protests have taken place in San Jose City Hall, where a group of activists have made encampments and plan to stay to highlight their grievances against Wall Street and the financial institutions responsible for our economic crisis. San Jose city officials have repeatedly warned the protesters that camping at city public facilities is prohibited. Yet they continue to camp out near City Hall, and they willingly face arrest as an act of civil disobedience.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on October 11, 2011

If someone stopped me on the street and asked, 'What is the greatest threat facing America today?' I would not hesitate to answer ---- greed. ---Rev. Robin R. Meyers. "Saving Jesus from the Church."

Somewhere burned into my neural wiring was a comment by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who served for 23 years in a time much like our own-- a time when there was an argument about whose interests government should serve, the rich or the rest of us--and the rich were winning. I couldn't remember where I saw it.

Brandeis's service in our highest court was a time of great disparity of wealth,. Predictably, it was also a time of great disparity of social and political power. Until the cataclysm of the Great Depression, the egotism of the wealthy prevailed that not only should they influence government, but in fact be government--to become ever richer.

In re-reading Thomas Frank's "The Wrecking Crew" I relocated Brandeis's comment. Brandeis had warned Americans: "We can have a democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on October 9, 2011

For congregations at one pole of our polarized politics, materialist, consumerist, unregulated, free market capitalism is all the rage. It is a fundamentalist religion whose version of the Nicene Creed is that government oversight born of public interest is satanic. Greed is the gift of the Lord.

That is a far cry from the conclusion of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). Hobbes warned that without government, the result would be a ruthless war of all against all.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on October 9, 2011

Like most people in the Left, I'm fairly critical of the Capitalist system. It's a system that is often exploitative of workers, it exploits natural resources and causes environmental and pollution problems, it leads to great inequalities between the rich and the poor, it fosters a culture of greed and corrosive self interest, and it leads to unhealthy concentrations of wealth in a small group of people. I do think though, that Capitalism does have its good points: it fuels competition that leads to technological advancements; in the long run it helps more people get out of poverty and raise the living standards of many communities. So I think that Capitalism is a system with great benefits and great flaws. I think one of the reasons I have the views that I do is the place where I live. If I lived in Michigan or some other place that has been hardest hit by the economic crisis, I think I would be more of a revolutionary. But I live in Silicon Valley, where the benefits and flaws of capitalism are both very pronounced.


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By Richard Head on October 1, 2011

Contrary to those on the right who decry "activist judges," the reality is just the opposite. In a new report from the Institute of Justice, the authors excoriate the judiciary for disengagement and abdication, rather than activism.

Consider the following:

The report finds:
• Congress passed 15,817 laws from 1954 to 2002. The Supreme Court struck down 103—or just two-thirds of one percent.
• State legislatures passed 1,006,649 laws over the same period but the Court only struck down 452—or less than one twentieth of one percent.
• The federal government adopted 21,462 regulations from 1986-2006. The Court struck down 121—or about a half of a percent.
• In any given year, the Court strikes down just three out of every 5,000 laws passed by Congress and state legislatures.
• The Supreme Court overturned precedents in just two percent of cases considered from 1954 to 2010.

Be sure to download the 20-page report (listed on the site above) if you want the details.

Earlier posts in this month:

Solyndra--The Story The Right Won't Tell, October 1, 2011

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