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Front Page » Table of Contents » Citizenship & Patriotism

By Angelo Lopez on July 2, 2011

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By Ken Poland on February 4, 2011

What is happening in Egypt? What are we seeing in society around the world? Is it civilized and peaceful organization to right the wrongs of oppressive government? Is our massive industrial complex of war machine manufacturers quelling the physical violence around the world? Is our mighty unmatched military complex creating peace?

What do we have in our constitution that guarantees a better way? The first amendment to our constitution is the secret to a better way. Religion with its emotional and spiritual blackmail power, guaranteed by support of sovereign power of government is a powerful force when corrupt and conscienceless men are in control. Freedom of/from Religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceful assembly are not available to most of the people held bondage by despotic rulers.

Here in Everyday Citizen and Kansas Free Press, we have a forum that allows exchange of opinion through the power of word and reason rather than rocks and bullets. We happen to be identified as being leftist or liberal. The right leaning and conservative folks have their outlets that give opportunity to exercise power and reason in the same way.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 27, 2011

Last December I went with my wife to Alabama and Georgia to explore a part of the United States that I didn't know about. I have this plan that before I die, I want to visit all 50 states in this wonderful country. So far I've visited fourteen states. In Birmingham I visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. While we were listening to one of the curators at the Institute, I learned about something that I had never known before. While we talked about the campaigns in the South in the 1960s, she mentioned the important role that Jews had in the Civil Rights movement. My close friend, Jan Lieberman, had told me that her rabbi had taken part in the marches, but I didn't realize the extent to which Jews had taken part in the fight for civil rights. I decided to check out some books in the library to learn more.

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By Ken Poland on December 3, 2010

It seems that I am getting more than my share of space on Everyday Citizens. Are we going to sit in silence as our government continues to sit on their hands and refuse to move forward in the Senate?

The every day citizens (I'm not talking only Everyday Citizens contributors) are sitting idly by while a minority is demanding their agenda be the only agenda. We can't extend unemployment benefits, until we cut somewhere else. Where is the somewhere else going to come from? Other social assistance to the unemployed, under employed, elderly, handicapped, hungry children, single parents (some through no fault of their own), education, community infrastructures, etc. are taking the brunt of those compassionate conservative policies that think our government should not be in the business of providing for people what they can't provide for themselves.

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By Angelo Lopez on October 6, 2010

Last Winter, I went to a rally to support a strong health care reform bill that was going through Congress. While I was there, I encountered three oddly dressed older women who were holding signs and singing songs for single-payer health care reform and against the power of insurance companies. This was my first encounter with the Raging Grannies, an activist group that fights for progressive causes like the ecology, economic justice, and civil rights. They use humor and music to protest for just causes.

The Raging Grannies began in 1987 in Victoria, British Columbia when a group of white middle-class Canadian women between the age of 52 and 67 began to protest the visit of US Navy warships and submarines in the harbors of Victoria. Many of these women had experience in activism, but were getting tired of being relegated to making coffee in the peace groups that were then in existence. Due to their marginalization in these other groups, these women decided to form the Raging Grannies to implement their own ideas of social protest, and on February 14, 1987 they staged their first protest. The Raging Grannies sent to Pat Crofton, then Chairman of the Defense Committee, a broken heart to signify his lack of commitment and action on nuclear issues. They sang a few satiric songs under an umbrella full of holes, symbolizing the absurdity of sheltering under a nuclear umbrella. Canadians loved the Raging Grannies, and a movement was started.

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By Angelo Lopez on July 4, 2010

The United States isn't a perfect country, but it's a good country, a country I love. What I most revere about the United States are the reformers and radicals who have fought to get this country to live up to its highest values. These reformers and radicals helped give this country a new understanding of what it means to be a country of freedom and equality.

So on this 4th of July I thank Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Paine and our Founding Fathers for giving us the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

I thank Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eugene Debs, W.E.B. DuBois, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Thoreau, Emma Goldman, Booker T. Washington, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Day, Norman Thomas, Bayard Rustin, William Sloane Coffin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, the Kennedy brothers, Harvey Milk, Dolores Huerta, Larry Kramer, Howard Zinn and other leaders of social movements that have helped women, minorities and the disenfranchised become more of a part of the American promise

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By Angelo Lopez on March 29, 2010

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By Pamela Jean on March 8, 2010

Those of you who have followed the stories I've written here (such as this one) regarding Mabel Rawlinson may remember that finally last summer President Obama signed a bill authorizing the U.S. Congress to award her with a Congressional Gold Medal.

In World War II, over 1,100 women, called the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), were trained to fly for the Air Force. All 1,100 of the WASP will be honorees at the ceremony this week in Washington DC.

Of course, Mabel won't be there. I will go in her place. Mabel died in 1943 in the cockpit of her Air Force bomber. Only 38 of these brave women died in service to the country. My mother's sister, Mabel Rawlinson, was one of those 38 fallen heroes.

Wednesday morning, my heart will be heavy as I enter the United States Capitol building.

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By Darrell Hamlin on February 28, 2010

Like many Americans, I was unable to watch the health care “summit” live last week because I was at work. But I did stay up until about 2 a.m. watching the replay on CSpan. Even at the time I thought it was a little nuts to stay up so late to watch a political event that essentially meant nothing and accomplished nothing. I had already read much of the post-event analysis; I had watched a number of clips capturing some of the more dramatic moments. But that’s just it: I was getting somebody else’s commentary, and viewing what somebody else considered the “highlights,” like it was a football game and all that mattered were the touchdowns. My wife is sane, so she went to bed. I sat in the darkness watching government on television.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 23, 2010

Ever since the special elections where Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, I've been disappointed and a bit angry at the results. As a Democrat, though, I have to admit that we Democrats have only ourselves to blame. Ever since conservative activists made a lot of noise at the town hall meetings in August, these conservatives have been able to control the terms of the debate. I think the anger that the conservative activists showed last August spooked the politicians who faced them and pushed them towards a more centrist path. Progressives have not been able to mount a strong and loud enough grassroots campaign to counter the tea party activists and pressure Congress to keep the public option.

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