“Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring…” — Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”
My wife and I have strength, determination and love, which have kept us together through our 35 years of marriage. And now we have three children who are into their own marriages with children. It isn’t easy, but the bonds of marriage never are.
Fortunately, like many couples, we were patient gardeners who have enjoyed the harvest of our lives.
I have found that Thanksgiving is a touchstone to what is important to us and measures the patience and love of a long marriage and the love that grows with our children, siblings and lifelong friends.
Read more » (532 words, estimated 2:08 mins reading time)
A video is going to be released tomorrow that shows a white police officer shooting a 17-year-old African-American young man named Laquan McDonald 16 times. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says that this video is “graphic”, “violent” and “chilling”, and it is expected to provoke a very strong emotional reaction from Chicago’s very large African-American community. Over the past few years, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray have all become household names because of the way that they died, and now it looks like Laquan McDonald’s name will be added to that list. But the situation in Chicago is potentially even more volatile what we witnessed in either Ferguson or Baltimore. More than a million African-Americans live in the Chicago metropolitan area, and the crime rate in the city has already been skyrocketing. In fact, it is being projected that Chicago’s murder rate will increase by 20 percent in 2015. This is a city that is always living on the edge of chaos, and now the case of Laquan McDonald could be the spark that sets Chicago ablaze.
Read more » (1042 words + 1 image, estimated 4:10 mins reading time)
Has there ever been a major holiday more focused on materialism than the modern American Christmas? This year, Americans are planning to spend an average of 830 dollars on Christmas gifts, which represents a jump of 110 dollars over the average of 720 dollars last year. But have our incomes gone up accordingly? Of course not. In fact, real median household income in the United States has been experiencing a steady long-term decline. So in order to fund all of our Christmas spending, we have got to go into even more debt. We love to pull out our credit cards and spend money that we do not have on lots of cheap, useless stuff made on the other side of the world by workers making slave labor wages. We do the same thing year after year, and most of us have grown accustomed to the endless cycle of growing debt. In fact, one Pew survey found that approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that “debt is a necessity in their lives”. But then we have to work our fingers to the bone to try to make the payments on all of that debt, not realizing that debt systematically impoverishes us. It may be hard to believe, but if you have a single dollar in your pocket and no debt, you have a greater net worth than 25 percent of all Americans. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true.
Read more » (1155 words + 2 images, estimated 4:37 mins reading time)
Two years ago, the political left used a Muslim man denied entry to the U.S. because he was on the government’s no-fly list as proof that Islamophobia is rampant in the nation. Earlier this month, he was arrested along the Turkey-Syria border on suspicion of working with ISIS terrorists.
Saadiq Long’s trouble flying to his native Oklahoma from Qatar to visit his ailing mother stirred international controversy after journalist Glenn Greenwald told of the African-American Muslim’s treatment in The Guardian.
Greenwald reported in 2013:
The day before he was to travel, a KLM representative called Long and informed him that the airlines could not allow him to board the flight. That, she explained, was because the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had placed Long on its “no-fly list”, which bars him from flying into his own country.
Read more » (647 words, estimated 2:35 mins reading time)