‘This Land is Your Land’…as long as it does not get in the way of Money

My friend of over forty years, Jeff D., has educated me on the Dakota Access Pipeline.  When he first began talking with me about the problem…I did not know that there was a problem.

‘First, the pipeline would cross right under the Missouri River at Lake Oahu, half a mile north of the reservation.  A leak or spill could send oil directly into the tribe’s main source of drinking water.  The tribe points out that Dakota Access originally considered a route farther north, upstream of Bismarck, but the company rejected that route, in part because of the close proximity to the state capital’s drinking water wells.  Second, the tribe argues that the pipeline would run through a stretch north of the reservation that contains recently discovered sacred sites and burial places.  True, the land isn’t part of the current reservation.  But the Standing Rock Sioux argue that the land had been taken away from them unjustly over the past 150 years.  And any bulldozing and construction work could damage these sites,’ according to VOX.

Former President Obama halted the pipeline construction for further study and possible re-routing, at the close of his administration.

President Tump, in one of his first Executive Actions, restarted the pipe line.

When asked by a reporter, a few days later, he said that he had not heard one complaint regarding the Dakota Access Pipe Line.  I was told today, by a SIU student who was protesting DAPL that the phones  that people are to call at the White House, complaining about this violation, had been shut off.  Although the President’s exclamation of no complaints and everything is going smoothly strains credulity…as he is an admitted voracious consumer of television news.

img_0720img_0721It seems curious to me that with all of the ‘Make America Great Again’ talk, of our new President, and his vision of removing those who are illegally here…and with the new Travel Ban that will be released later this week…that will protect our pristine shores from all those who do not have the right to be in America…how do we not consider the rights of the ‘Original Americans?’  Our Native American brothers and sisters were here before President Trump’s family.

I would not want to have my drinking water in danger?  Would you?

I would not want my precious Mother and Father’s graves violated?  Would you?

My friend traveled to North Dakota and stood in Solidarity with our brothers and sisters.  My friend has significant Native American Heritage…so do I.

The camps of the protestors, who by and large were there to pray, are burned to the ground…

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University Reborn

As you may have guessed by now…Southern Illinois University is a primary passion of mine.  It has been so for nearly forty years.  After having worked there for thirty-two years, two months, and three weeks…the University became part of my life.  Now I am in the seventh year of my retirement, and I only love the institution more than ever.

Over the past few days as I was walking the Campus, I noticed many of the Red Bud trees are already in bloom with their beautiful red/pink blossoms.

img_0669-5img_0662-2As I continued my walk I encountered an impassioned and articulate SIU student conducting a tour for a prospective SIU Family.  As I listened to her terrific rendition of the spectacular opportunities at SIU…it occurred to me that our University may be on the cusp of becoming greater than it has ever been!

Certainly SIU has had extreme challenges for the past several years due to primary budgetary issues caused by a diminishing of students and the state of Illinois failure to address their fiscal deficit.

Nothing focuses a person or an institution’s efforts…vision…and willingness to go the extra mile and accomplish what needs to be done more than a dark and perilous valley of change.

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I have talked, of late, with a good friend and one of my colleagues from my SIU days.  Elizabeth’s passion and vision and energy for helping SIU is extraordinary…and gives me renewed hope that all is not lost…perhaps this is the beginning of the true Halcyon Days of our wonderful institution of higher education.

img_0708-2img_0704-2I read a budgetary hopeful email from University President Dunn today…perhaps the clouds are at last clearing?

One truth is irrefutable…our University will rise on the enthusiasm of it’s Community!  If our legislature and Governor will at long last come to an agreement on the State’s Budget…we will all win!

img_0655-4img_0503Is the current situation we find ourselves in desperation or opportunity?  Is it sunset…or perhaps a glorious sunrise?

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Stay Cool

Please enjoy a great Blog by my Son Jonathon.

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It can be difficult to be an original, a one-of-a-kind, instead of a crowd copy. Peer pressure doesn’t end after junior high or high school. It carries over into adult life. The crowd says to drink a lot of this and then I can be cool. The crowd says to do that (insert any risky or immoral behavior here) and then I can be in with the awesome people. This world says to eat and to drink and to be merry because tomorrow the whole mess is coming to an end anyway.

Now I’m all about a glorious and merry celebration of every new moment of my entire life. I believe in always rejoicing regardless of the situation I’m in at the time. However, life is so much more than passing pleasure or wild parties. The pleasures and the parties can leave one believing all is lost and everything is…

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Alternate Universe

I began using the range terms of, Alternate Universe…Alternate Reality…and Twilight Zone about a year ago when referring to the massive upending upheaval in Presidential Politics and the desire of people who had not been heard from in many years…to be heard.

I have been surprised and amazed at the number of times that I have heard the term Alternate Universe used in popular mainstream media.  Often this is the ‘go to’ terminology to describe the Trump Administration and their accusations of, Fake news…election fraud to the tune of three to five million illegal votes…and that the mainstream media is the enemy of the American people.

These accusations seem ludicrous to many of us and damaging to our long history of the freedom of the press and the need of that adversarial relationship, of the free press with government,  for the ultimate health of our beautiful democratic experiment.

However, Americans see reality through the prism of their experience.  To the poor urban African American who has lived in poverty and deprivation for generations.  Who have been the victims of profiling and prejudice…who have looked longingly for truth tellers in the predominately white government…the Alternate Universe that they live in is cruel and cold and filled with want and lies.

Reality of the poor white man and woman who is working, if they are fortunate enough to have a job, until their fingers bleed without any hope of accomplishing more than to cover the monthly bills and the purchase of enough groceries to stave off hunger for themselves and their children.  The experience, every four years, of having presidential candidates tell them that they feel their pain and that if elected they are going to solve their economic distress.  Watching silently as their government tells them that they do not have the money to give them an opportunity for a good job while at the same time their government sends untold millions of dollars to other countries to help their efforts and people.  The Alternate Universe that these people live in is one of hard work… without reward.

The life of the immigrant…whether Mexican…or muslim…or any nations suffering under economic and eminent threat of death and destruction…still looks to the Great Lady with the poem of acceptance…and the hope of a better life.  We were known for being a beacon of freedom and escape and opportunity to the suffering masses of the world…but now we are known as something else.  As we round up immigrants that have been here for years…and strike fear in their little children and their families…are we really adhering to our values?  The Alternate Universe of the refugee and the immigrant and ‘the wretched refuse of you’r teeming shores,’ is one of fear and uncertainty in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

If you watch MSNBC as opposed to Fox News…you may and will hear two different reporting of what are supposed to be facts…not alternative facts.  If you only subscribe to the news source that fits your political ideology…you will continue to live in your Universe of facts and reality.

‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.’   Abraham Lincoln…(a Republican)

The North Dakota Pipeline is opposed by many Native Americans for serious reasons.  The Standing Rock Sioux are opposed to this pipeline due to the threat to their main drinking water source.  The Sioux are also opposed to the destruction of their ancestral burial sites and the destruction of burial grounds.  The Alternate Universe for the Native American is often that of broken promises and lies.

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If there is a solution…it must include the setting down of all of us…to break bread and listen…and listen…and listen…to each other…with an open heart…and with empathy.

The answer is not in our current leader…it is in us…if we are willing to accept the assignment.

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What is a Leader?

‘Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right,’ according to Professor Warren G. Bennis.

‘Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it,’ according to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I have always been fascinated with Leaders and the concept of Leadership.  Former President John F. Kennedy said, ‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ This historic statement resulted in a generation devoting themselves to public and humanitarian service.

Winston Churchill lead embattled Britain with the power of his oratory and clear eyed vision of their ultimate success…in the darkest days of World War II.

Winston Churchill said, ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.’  ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.’  ‘If you are going through hell, keep going.’

Empathy has a role to play in leadership.  Can you place yourself in another person’s shoes?  Can you relate to how another is reacting or feeling?  When someone is hurting…do you feel their pain?

For many years I was a manager of a large housekeeping organization.  I found one of the statements uttered by the popular motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, to be relevant in all my leadership efforts, ‘People do not really care how much you know, until they know how much your care…about them.’

We all are looking for a leader who has our back.  Someone who has our best interest at heart.  A person who cares about our success and our advancement.  A leader who is fair with all and who endeavors to treat others like they would like to be treated.

Criticism comes with being a leader.  This is something that our new President appears to be having some difficulty with.  No leader likes criticism and it is best to ignore it, accept for instructive purposes.  Certainly a leader must not personalize criticism.

A true leader understands that they are a member of the group that they are attempting to lead.  They are not more intelligent…gifted…or somehow endowed with a special magical sprinkling of dust from heaven that is kept in storage… just for people like them.

Humility is important and vital to the success of a leader.

Nothing is more humbling than being a manager, an administrator, a leader of a group of honest hard working people…that are looking to you for guidance.

All of us seek to be our best.  We desire to maximize our skills and be recognized for our efforts.  A leader understands how to make these very human desires happen.

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Leaders often must make difficult decisions.  These decisions should be made after serious consideration regarding the impact of the them and the motivation for them.

A leader is inclusive.  Opportunity is for everyone.  During my thirty-two year career at Southern Illinois University our department went from being a primarily caucasian male organization to being a ‘house for all people,’ according to my former friend and Chancellor Dr. Jo Ann Argersinger.  This included many disabled persons…who were some of our finest staff.

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What Road Will You Take?

 

Our Pastor, Rev. Janice west, spoke to us this morning regarding the variables that occur dependent upon our choices though our life.  How different each of our lives would be if we had gone left on the path of life rather than right.

The classic Christmas movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ depicts clearly the impact each of our lives have on those we encounter…even if we do not realize it.  In the movie George Bailey, after encountering the reseting of his dreams of education and travel to rather stay in Bedford Falls and support his Father’s life’s work of the Bedford Savings and Loan and later encountering financial catastrophe…contrived by the town’s richest and most evil man, Mr. Potter.  George ultimately tells his guardian angel, Clarence, that he wished that he had never been born.  He gets his wish and the collateral results on the town and his friends and even his wife are devastating.

So often our lives, although short, are full of mystery.  Often the choices that we make are far removed from what our original mental GPS had illustrated so clearly.

The novel, ‘4 3 2 1,’  by Paul Auster is the story of Archibald Issac Ferguson and the four different paths that his life takes.  In other words four different Archibald Issac Ferguson’s simultaneously.

I can easily remember my feelings when Mary Jane suggested that I take the Building Service Worker I Civil Service exam at Southern Illinois University.  She holding a teaching certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree from SIU and I a janitor.

Yet I did take her advice…and it resulted in a wonderful career at the University…and an opportunity to help people…which was my passion.

I began as a Fundamentalist Christian.  I received a great bedrock christian training that is part of my character.  Yet, colleagues of Mary Jane asked her to visit with them at their church, First Presbyterian in Carbondale.  I loved it from the first time that I attended…and it has changed my christian life.  That was nearly twenty years ago.

A dear friend of mine told me recently how much that I was missed at the University and that I had made a difference in peoples lives…I am sure I am not worthy of such lovely sentiments…but indeed it was my desire for the people that I associated with to receive the great gift of opportunity that I received from the path of Southern Illinois University.

img_0435dscn5486‘Don’t You Quit’

‘When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if your must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.  Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor’s cup;  And he learned to late when the night came down, How close he was to the victor’s crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close your are, It may be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.’

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Breaking Bread With People From Around the World

This past week Jonathon and I attended the International Student’s Annual Lunch that  they serve at the Student Center on the Campus of Southern Illinois University.  The first thing that I was struck with was the enormity of the crowd shortly after 11:00 am when it did not open until 11:00.

As we waited to purchase our tickets for the culinary event…again long lines.  When we entered the Ballrooms it seemed that every table was full and the food line was surrounding the large assortment of international food delights.

The kindness of the servers, who represented countries across our globe, was touching and affirming.  These scholars were glad we were there…and they were honored to serve us.  I was humbled and honored to be a part of this healing event.

dscn5468dscn5506The peace and harmony of the unique luncheon event was moving.  In the Student Center Ballrooms were peoples of many nations…including many of the Muslim faith who were doing one of the most human…and most loving of interactions…breaking bread with each other.  No one was thinking of the political divisions between us…or the differences in how we approach God…or not.  Instead everyone was united in the family that we all are members of…the human family.

dscn5509dscn0018dscn1868dscn0037No one required banning.  Everyone in attendance loved the diversity of our enormous family.

One of our greatest Presidents…who led us through the Great Depression…and World War II…said…”The only thing we have to fear, is fear its self.”  This great leader did not stoke our fear…or daily ramp it up by false assertions and feverish dreams of grandeur.  He calmed us…and centered us during some of the most difficult times our country has ever endured.

dscn4423dscn4370Indeed there are people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life…but it is not the majority…it is an evil minority.  Most of the human family still wants to live in peace and acceptance of their fellow men and women and children.

When Jonathon and I finished our lunch and began to exit the International Lunch…we were stopped by a young woman who asked if we would like to add our names to a poster that was going to be presented to the international students at the conclusion of the event…to let them know that Americans supported them and were glad that they were in our Country.  We added our names with humility and pride.

We were told that attendance at the International Student Luncheon last year was about 100.  This year there were several hundred.

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Dark Times Reveal Rays of Light

For the last three days I have taken extensive walks around the Campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  It had been since before Christmas since I had engaged in this thoroughly enjoyable activity, due to falling and fracturing three ribs.

Saturday I happened upon what was apparently an Open House, where I found many prospective students and their parents looking with awe and wonder at the great and beautiful University that is SIU.

The excitement that was in their faces renewed my remembrance of what a gift higher education and SIU are, not only to the people of Illinois…but around the world.

img_0510IMG_0450.JPGimg_0475I think we often feel that our efforts are not enough to combat the herculean problems that confront us.  Indeed many support our new President’s Executive order banning seven countries on a thinly veiled religious test…which is directly in opposition to our Constitution.  However one Attorney General from Washington State presented a written argument to one Federal Judge…which in turn has…for now halted the President’s Un-constitutional Executive Order.

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We in  Illinois fear that some of our University’s may become so diminished, due to the failure of our State Legislature and our Governor’s failure to agree on a budget for almost two years, that they will be unrecognizable to their faithful alumni and the students who are rely on them to be there for the fulfillment of their educational dreams.

I saw in the eyes of the parents and their children, this past Saturday, hope in the midst of darkness…and a belief that what is right…what is as necessary…what is wise and prudent…will continue to be offered as a necessity and not a luxury.

img_0503img_0478-9img_0537Your know…at time you just feel in your gut…that something is wrong and you must speak out.  That feeling is often right.  It is not about Republicans and Democrats…it is about right and wrong.

It has been said that people get what type of government that they deserve…?

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Carbondale Pride

Please enjoy a great Jonathon Brooks Blog.

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I live in a college university small city and I love living here. Carbondale, Illinois, home of Southern Illinois University, is where I bum around. I moved to the Carbondale countryside with my parents and brother when I was seventeen years of age. Before the move I lived in a small village about twenty minutes away named Elkville. Moving to Carbondale was good for my family and I. A great deal of our time was already spent in this university small city.

An aspect of Carbondale I absolutely love is that, because of SIUC, people from all over the world come here to attain a college degree. I get to meet and make friends with people from different cultures and from places I’ve never traveled. Once a good friend told me that he’s never seen me meet a stranger. I certainly took the compliment to heart! As a follower of…

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Hope Wept

‘World War II prompted the largest displacement of human beings the world has ever seen-although today’s refugee crisis is starting to approach it’s unprecedented scale.  But even the millions of European Jews displaced from their homes, the United States had a poor track record offering asylum.  Most notoriously, in June 1939, the German ocean liner St. Louis and it’s 937 passengers, almost all Jewish, were turned away from the port of Miami, forcing the ship to return to Europe; more than a quarter died in the Holocaust,’ according to Smithsoniamag.com.

‘The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestors who lived in the Pacific coast.  Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens,’ according to Wikipedia.

Citizens from the following countries are affected for 120 days by President Trump’s Executive Order banning their entry into the United States, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.  This ban includes persons with a Green Card.  This Order bans Syrian refugees until further notice.

‘In September, Hungary authorized its army to shoot rubber bullets and tear gas at desperate refugees on its border.  This decision followed increasing and often violent clashes between authorities and refugees in the area.  Meanwhile, nations worldwide were clamping down their borders, even when it went against their traditional and cultural principles.  Britain, for example, has always drawn a distinction between immigrants and refugees.  For centuries it has welcomed the destitute and those fleeing persecution-from the Huguenots escaping Louis XIV in the 1720s-70s to the Uganda Asians trying to get away from Idi Amin in the 1970s.  Yet earlier this month Britain’s ruling Tory Party bared 3,000 child refugees-and made persistent efforts to limit Britain’s Syrian refugee intake.  It is a pattern which is being repeated all over Europe.  Those countries which are taking more refugees in (such as Germany) are experiencing unprecedented volumes of internal opposition-and one need only flick quickly through the comments section of any refugee-related Facebook article to see the horrible vitriol with which the safe condemn the suffering.  But why?  Where does all of this anger come from?  Why are the refugees so despised in some quarters?’, according to I Am Syria?

It appears that many confuse the Muslim faith with ISIS.  The Muslim faith has it’s roots in the Middle East and traces back to Abraham. ‘The hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda.  15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates (2) Egypt and Lebanon,’ according to Wikipedia.

“Here’s a look back at the major terrorist attacks that have taken place on US soil since 9/11, including the nationalities of the perpetrator, or perpetrators.

-2001 Anthrax attacks-The FBI concluded Bruce Ivins, a top biodefense researcher, was the key suspect for the attacks, although he was never charged for any crime.  Ivins was American.

-2002 DC sniper attacks-Over the course of three weeks in 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and critically injured three others in Washington DC, Baltimore, and Virginia.  Muhammad was born as John Allen Williams in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Malvo is from Jamaica.

-2006 UNC SUV attack-Mohammed Reza Taheri-aza intentionally rammed into people on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.  Nine people were injured, none seriously.  Taheri-aza was reportedly an Iranian-born US citizen.

-2006 Seattle Capitol Hill massacre-Kyle Aaron Huff opened fire in a rave afterparty in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, killing six and wounding two others.  Huff was American, from Whitefish, Montana.

-2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting-Naveed Afzan Hauq shot six people, one fatally at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building.  Haq was a US citizen of Pakistani descent.

-2008 Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting-Jim David Addison killed two people wonder seven others at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Addison was American.

-2009 Arkansas recruiting office shooting-Abdulahakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed one military recruiter and seriously wounded another at a Little Rock, Arkansas Army/navy Career Center.  Muhammad, previously known as Carlos Leon Bledsoe, was American.

-2009 Fort Hood Shooting-Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in Fort Hood, Texas.  Hasan was born in the US to Palestinian parents.

-2010 Austin Suicide Attack-Andrew Joseph Stack III deliberately crashed his single engine plane into the Austin, Texas, IRS building, killing himself, one IRS employee and injuring 13 others.  Stack was American.

-2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting-Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  Page, who was active in white supremacist groups, was an American.

-2013 Boston Marathon Marathon Bombing-Double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured at least 264.  The perpetrators were brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  According to FBI interrogators, the two were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs,but were not connected to any known terrorist groups.  Tamerlan was born in Russia but was a permanent resident of the US, while Dzhokhar was born in Kyrgyzstan and became a naturalized US citizen in 2012.  Both were ethnically Chechen.

-2013 Los Angeles International Airport shooting-Paul Anthony Ciancia opened fire at Terminal 3 in LAX, killing one and injuring several others.  Ciancia is American and grew up in Pennsville, New Jersey.

-2013 Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting-Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., a neo-Nazi whit supremacist, committed a pair of shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, killing a total of three people.  Miller was American.

-2014 Las Vegas shooting-A married couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, committed a shooting spree in Las Vegas, killing three people as well as themselves.  Both were American and supported extreme anti-government views.

-2014 Queens hatchet attack-Zale H. Thompson attacked four New York City Police Department officers with a metal hatchet, injuring two.  A civilian was also injured after police opened fire on Thompson.  Thompson, who was American, was described by police officials as a self-radicalized Muslim convert who was inspired by terrorist groups.

-2014 slayings of NYPD officers-Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinkley killed two on-duty NYPD officers, reportedly as revenge for the deaths pf Eric Garner and Michale Brown.  Bristly was born in the US to a Muslim African-American family.

-2015 Charleston church shooting-Dylann Roof killed nine people and injured one during a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.  Roof, a white supremacist, is American and was sentenced to death on Jan. 10.

-2015 Chattanooga shooting-Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four Marines and wounding two others.  Fifth Marine died from his injuries two days later.  Abdulazeez, a naturalized US citizen was born in Kuwait to Palestinian-Jordanian parents.

-2015 Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting-  Robert Louis DearJr., a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, killing three and injuring nine others.  Dear, who is American,was ruled incompetent to stand trial and was indefinitely confined to a Colorado State mental hospital.

-2015 San Bernardino attack-A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 civilians and injured 22 others in a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.  Farrok was born in the US to Pakistani parents, Malik, who was a permanent US resident, was born in Pakistan but grew up in Saudi Arabia.

-2016 Orlando nightclub shooting-Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Sateen was an American born in the US to Afghan parents.

-2016 shooting of Dallas police officers-Micha Xavier Johnson ambushed a group of Dallas police officers, killing five and injuring nine others.  Johnson, a former Army reservist, was an American.

-2016 Minnesota mall stabbing-Dahir A. Adan committed a mass stabbing at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, injuring 10 people.  Adan was born in Kenya and became a naturalized US citizen in 2008.

2016 New York and New Jersey bombings-Over the course of three days in September, three bombs exploded and several devices were found in New Jersey and New York City, injuring at least 30 people.  The alleged perpetrator was Ahmad Khan Rahimi, and Afghan born US citizen.

-2016 Ohio State University attack-Abdul Razal Ali Artan carried out an attack on the Ohio State University campus injuring 13.  Arian, a student of the university, was a Musim Somali immigrant.

2017 Fort Lauderdale Airport attack-A mass shooting occurred at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport near the baggage claim in Terminal 2 on Jan. 6.  A total of five people were killed and six others were injured.  Esteban Ruiz Santiago, the alleged shooter, was indicted on 22 counts by a federal grand jury on Thursday.  Santiago is an American, born to Puerto Rican in New Jersey,” ( The above information taken from People Magazine Posted on January 29, 2017, at 10:00 A:M: EST.)

On the Statue of Liberty is inscribed the poem by Emma Lazarus, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:  I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’

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For our history…with all of our human rights mistakes…we often have risen to the aspirations of the Lazarus poem.  Amidst all of our darkness of deed and thought…yet we still were the beacon of freedom and safety and opportunity to the abused and hurting of the world.  When we leave the bedrock principles that have identified us as the beacon of light to our planet…do we also turn our back on the greatness of our character?

Has our Beacon been snuffed out?

Malala YousafzaiDSCN2370DSCN0022statue of liberty, arm w torch32538D0A-6F26-41C0-8088-868BA9BC542AIMG_0346DSCN1810Where are we going…who will be be when we arrive…and how will the nations of the world treat us when we are persecuted and afraid and homeless?

‘But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’   Matthew 19:4   KJV