Pt. Reyes

I am very disappointed with the horrible decision to continue the status quo at Point Reyes.  The ranch leases were supposed to expire decades ago, but now they are being extended, despite the degraded land, polluted creeks and seashore, and trash dumps on public land. Instead of protecting our environment and wildlife, a duty that NPS is entrusted with, the decision will keep damaging the environment at Pt. Reyes, and keep killing the rare elk. The vast majority of the people who commented demanded that the leases be ended.  But…

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Children Take the Lead

Many in the US adult community were startled to hear that a 16-year-old girl from Norway was on a sailboat to speak before the UN. “What was this kid all about?”  People asked each other as she came into the New York harbor. When this youth named Greta Thunberg gave them a walloping speech at the United Nations about “stealing” her dreams, she was so right on.  The whole world sat up and took notice. When Time Magazine made Greta the “Person of the Year,” the media started to scramble…

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End Violence

Jerusalem, “God’s City of Peace,” is yet again at the center of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.  The fight goes back fifty-five or seventy-five or thousands of years, depending on who’s counting.  Both sides want their families to live in peace.  Palestinians and Jews must stop fighting, talk to each other and compromise, and end the occupation of Palestine.  They must learn to peacefully live side by side as equals in either one nation or in two states.    We are brothers and sisters, or at least distant cousins,…

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Peace Officers

Recent killings show that the police should be retrained as peace officers. They should defuse tense situations without killing anyone, and provide assistance to people in crisis. Smart phones have exposed outrageous actions and lies by some cops, yet the outrages still occur. Does a Black life really matter? Militarized police forces and mass incarceration look and feel like an occupying army. Trust in our police is low for many Americans, leading to calls for less funding.  Most police officers have been in the military, where they learned how to…

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Women and Children First

In the struggles for clean water and clean air, all too often women and young people are on the front lines of the battle for change. Why? Because they are also on the front lines of the fallen. This is a story of how women and young people across the country are struggling, and may very well succeed, in their battles for their, and our, safety. Their growing activism is against such toxic chemical giants – Chevron and DuPont and, in some cases, even against their own city governments.  Yearly,…

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A Legacy of Racism

America’s long legacy of racism, discrimination, brutality, and lynching against African Americans has finally been exposed to the light.  George Floyd’s killing by the police, along with the many other recent killings, brought outraged Americans into the streets to protest. In 2020, the idea that Black Lives Matter was raised up, and confederate flags and statues came down.  Millionaire athletes took a knee, and coaches and league presidents spoke against racism.  Sports teams changed their names— from Washington DC to high schools across the country.  Even NASCAR raced away from…

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A True Democracy

On the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, President Biden signed an executive order to “make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting.”  The House recently passed H.R. 1 that would increase voter turnout by having national election standards.  At the same time, GOP controlled state legislatures are trying to restrict registration and voting.  America has always been an imperfect democracy, from the days of the Founding Fathers to today.  Our history is in part the struggle to create a more perfect democracy.  First…

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Capitol Coup

I graduated from high school in Washington, DC, and worked on the Hill in my twenties.  The Capitol can be seen from miles away.  It is also a beacon from the first Democracy to the world.   America now looks like one of the banana republics that we created throughout Latin America.  Our nation has overthrown many foreign governments using similar assault tactics by mobs.   The red hat insurrection at the Capitol looked like a “color revolution.”  The Orange Revolution in Ukraine was encouraged and probably funded by our government.  Was…

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2020

2020 is one of those years that will be remembered in history books. The deadly global pandemic, the lockdown of societies and economies, going inward, zooming outwards, racism and BLM, an election, divisive polarity, Biden/Harris winning, and the hope of recovery and moving forward. This year has been tragic with over 330,000 Americans who have sadly lost their lives to COVID. I send my heart-felt condolences to their loved ones who are grieving during the holidays.  About 20 million Americans have been infected and survived, sometimes barely. They feared for their lives, as…

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I’m From Brooklyn

I’m from Brooklyn. In my part of Brooklyn, everything was interactive. Whether your ethnic group was Puerto Rican or African or African–American or German or Chinese or Thai or Yemeni, our part of Brooklyn actually encouraged you to talk to each other. As a family we were – and still in many ways are – Italian, even those of us who can no longer speak Italian. Being Italian means being vociferous, which is to say having opinions and being eager, watchful, and alert to the possibility of expressing those opinions…

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