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Everyday Citizen

News, Opinions, & Things That Matter

Baby Suggs’ Sermon

Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And oh my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it, and hold it up.

There are few more powerful scenes in literature, than that of ‘Baby Suggs’, the woman preacher in Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’, sermon preached in a place

Hunger in America: 1 in 8 Americans Faces Food Insecurity

We all sense that there is a big difference between feeling hungry and being afraid of dying due to not having enough nutritious food to eat. Since most of those reading this blog have never experienced the latter, when we hear that some Americans are now experiencing food insecurity, we can mistake that to mean that those Americans are feeling unsure about some future ability to provide food for themselves. But that’s not it. Food insecurity isn’t a …

A Christmas Sermon on Peace

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first delivered A Christmas Sermon on Peace at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Christmas Eve, 1967.

In his message, King delivers a timeless challenge to people of faith to rise above the evil and hatred of the present age to prove up the power of enduring, suffering love.

Here are selected portions of the moving address for your Christmas Eve reflection…

This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within …

Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII and Two Different Responses to Hitler’s Anti-Jewish Laws

Recently I watched Amen, a Costa-Gavras film about an SS officer and a Jesuit priest trying to get the Vatican to denounce the Holocaust. It was very critical of the Pope for his feeble response to the atrocities being committed against millions of Jewish lives. How fair is that criticism? I decided to research the actions of the two popes during the 1930s and 1940s and see how they reacted to Adolph Hitler and his policy against the Jews. Pope …

Your Vote Holds the Power of Hope

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Some days it seems like our world is falling to pieces. The economy, the war and other concerns we face are daunting. There is always hope that with change in leadership, there will be a better future. I am running for the U.S. Congress in Kansas’ 4th District because tough decisions have to be made in …

Walt Kelly and Pogo

I recently read that Berkeley Breathed is retiring his wonderful character, Opus, after almost 30 years of creating wonderful gentle satire of American culture and politics. Opus is part of a long tradition in comic strips of sharp political satire. From Al Capp and his comic strip Li’l Abner, to Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury, to Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks, a few comic strips in each generation have taken on the politicians, celebrities, and wall street financiers that dominate the nation’s news. One

Long Live the Memory of Jana Mackey

The world lost a great woman today. Never was there a more caring, more compassionate, more brilliant, and hilarious woman with each of those qualities and more all wrapped into the heart of one activist.

For those across the state and country, Jana was a bundle of light and beauty that ended all too soon. Search is underway for a person of interest which you can view at the link above.

I first met Jana with our University’s Gay/Straight Alliance

Maya Lin and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

A few years ago I first saw the documentary, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. It was made in 1995 by Freida Lee Mock, and it documents the career of Mara Lin, the architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, the Yale Women’s Table and many other wonderful buildings. Her most famous buildings have political and well as aesthetic motivations, that elicit strong emotions in people based on how they …

My Fallen Hero: Fly Girl from Kalamazoo

It began to occur to me if I’m going to write you while I’m still in the 319th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, I’d better start. One of my three roommates is home packing up her things today – washed out, she is. Had her Army check ride yesterday, and the Lieutenant recommended for her elimination. I’ll be having my next Army ride any day now, so maybe I’ll be packing up too…
The words above were written by …

Below Media Radar: The Next American Civil War

It isn’t the south against the north. It isn’t Christians versus Muslims. It isn’t even the rich versus the poor. It is a civil war arising from the land use conflicts inherent in alternative energy generation initiatives and it thrives on a certain disconnect between urban and rural elements of our society.

While rural communities possess the required land resources, large urban centers have the hunger for the power and the political influence needed to acquire it, along with little