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By Angelo Lopez on June 27, 2008

Growing up, my views of the American Revolution were influenced by the musical 1776 and the School House Rock specials on Saturday morning. I grew to deeply respect our Founding Fathers and to see in them a heroism that is lacking in today’s leaders. As a grown up I’ve started reading a lot of history books that remind that though these Founding Fathers were great leaders, they were also human, and that the Revolution was as much the story of the ordinary merchants, farmers, slaves, native Americans, and women as it was of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Our historians remind us that the American Revolution was a complicated event, with mixed results many of the people who participated in the fight. I’ve especially learned from 3 of my favorite historians, Howard Zinn, Gordon Woods, and Joseph Ellis, to see the founding of our nation in new ways.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 20, 2008

These past few months following the primaries have been a lot of fun for me, as I’ve found the Democrats running for President this year to be the most interesting in quite a long time. The candidates ran the gamut from middle of the road candidates like Hillary Clinton to traditional liberals like Joe Biden and Bill Richardson to more progressive candidates like Dennis Kucinich, and it was healthy for us to hear the spectrum of ideas within the Democratic Party. Early on I supported Joe Biden because of his experience and his plan of partitioning Iraq. When he dropped out, I briefly supported Bill Richardson but he soon dropped out. When the California primary came along, I settled on supporting Hillary, as I was impressed with her toughness. Now that the primaries are over and Obama is now the Democratic candidate, I wholeheartedly support Barack. I think this was an especially strong Democratic field of candidates, and they all would be better as President than George W. Bush and the Republican field this year. Though I didn’t vote for Barack during the primaries, I’ve always thought of him as being an intelligent and charismatic leader who brings unique gifts to the Presidency.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 18, 2008

In the House of Representatives, there are a group of 72 Democrats that are fighting to push forward Progressive issues within the federal government. This group is called the Congressional Progressive Caucus and it was founded in the early 1990s. The co-chairwomen of the caucus are U.S. Representatives Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee. The group fights for “universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare,” fair trade agreements, living wage laws, the right of all workers to organize into labor unions and engage in strike actions and collective bargaining, the abolition of significant portions of the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of gay marriage, strict campaign finance reform laws, a complete pullout from the war in Iraq, a crackdown on free trade and corporate welfare, an increase in income tax on the wealthy, tax cuts for the poor, and an increase in social welfare spending by the federal government (I got this from Wikipedia).

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By Angelo Lopez on June 16, 2008

Today I read in the paper about the first gay marriages to take place today after the California Supreme Court ruling making it legal in the state. The San Francisco Chronicle has had a series of articles on the history of the gay marriage debate, on the work of attorneys willing to fight for the right and on priests willing to perform the marriage services, and on the change in attitudes of the institution of marriage among the gay and lesbian community. I think the San Francisco Chronicle has done a great job of educating the public on the history of the gay marriage debate, showing both sides of the issue and giving a good reason as to why it is so important for the gay and lesbian community.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 6, 2008

When Bobby Kennedy died forty years ago, I was barely one years old. So I can’t say that I have the same feelings of pain and anguish of the many people who had lived through that horrible time. Bobby became a hero of mine, though, early in my life, along with his brother John and Martin Luther King Jr. They all embodied to my young mind the best of American leaders, fighting the good fight against racism, poverty, and war. As I grew older, I found out they had feet of clay, and I was disappointed especially with JFK’s dalliances and his ambiguous positions on Vietnam.

The more that I read about Bobby, though, the more I grew to admire him. Though he too, had feet of clay, RFK was a lot more passionate about fighting poverty and racism than his brother, more willing to take political risks to stand up for marginalized people and eventually to stop the war in Vietnam. Bobby and Martin remain two of my greatest heroes. Our country lost something special 40 years ago when they died too soon.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 3, 2008

I’ve always admired the Quakers. Over the years, I’ve read about how this group is always in the forefront of social issues in the last 200 years of American history: they were in the forefront of the abolitionist movement, the right of women to vote, the antiwar movement. I attended 2 Quaker services about 3 years ago and was impressed with the spirituality and quietness of their service. The American Friends Service Committee is a group that tries to put Quaker values into action, in our country and around the world. In the area of global poverty, I looked up their website and found them very involved in economic justice issues, especially in the area of debt relief for nations in Africa. In their website here the AFSC explains why they focus on this area in the effort to combat global poverty:

“According to analysts, Sub-Saharan Africa, economically the world’s poorest region, but carries US$201 billion in debt and pays $14 billion annually in debt service.

Paying billions of dollars a year in debt service takes away from Africa’s already scarce resources to invest in economic development, job creation, education, and health care. With some 300 million people living on less than $1 a day in Africa, approximately 38 million are facing a hunger crisis. Adding to this, with only 10% of the world’s population, approximately 60% of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases (25.8 million) are found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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More blog posts by this author:

Want to read more pieces written by Angelo Lopez? We have more here! This page you are on right now is an archive of entries written by Angelo Lopez in June 2008. This author's preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: May 2008.

The next monthly archive, after this one, is Angelo Lopez: July 2008.

To see all entries ever written by Angelo Lopez, see the complete blog archives for Angelo Lopez.

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This is an archive of blog entries written by Angelo Lopez in June 2008.

The preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: May 2008.

The next one in chronological order is Angelo Lopez: July 2008.

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