Tag Archives: social justice

School Safety and Gun Control NOW

My opinion column to the Bend Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman was selected for publication on 2-20-2018:

Click HERE or HERE to read.

I have posted it BELOW as well:

It’s time…

It’s time – to recall the past when pencil, paper, and eraser were all a student required to be adequately equipped for school. It’s time to recall the days of practicing cursive and penmanship. It’s time to remember using actual textbooks in class – and taking those home for reference…one’s face in a book completing homework.

It’s time – to remember when the internet began to transform the teaching and learning experience. It’s time to consider when digital devices began to populate our classrooms – and appeared as appendages in our hands. It’s time to recognize that face-in-a-book has become Facebook.

It’s time – to revisit those memories when schools were adequately staffed with trained guidance counselors and staff – when students who displayed emotional and behavioral instability did not fall obliviously through the cracks of our educational system. It’s time to recognize that those who do suffer from mental health impairments, including students, require identification and treatment from qualified mental health professionals – whose caseloads are currently vastly overburdened primarily due to inadequate funding and staffing shortfalls.

It’s time to confront the reality that times change; requiring the deployment of new resources, technologies and robust strategies to protect and preserve the safety, health and welfare of students, staff and families throughout Central Oregon public school districts.

It’s time to get real.

It’s time to rally support for the Redmond School District’s upcoming bond measure for the essential financial resources designed to improve public school safety and complete fundamental maintenance improvements in the antiquated school facilities in our community.

It’s time for the U.S. government to provide the essential financial resources to deploy metal detection devices/intruder prevention technologies at all points of ingress and egress in our public schools.

It’s time to ban the manufacture, sale, transfer, modification and possession of assault rifles and high capacity magazines in Deschutes County.

It’s time to bolster the processes and personnel designed to identify, treat and monitor those who display mental health impairments who may tangibly pose threats to self or others. It’s time to confront the reality that living in Central Oregon is cohabitation with abject poverty, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, overburdened behavioral healthcare evaluation and delivery system(s), a population of at-risk individuals and families – and a per capita unbridled fetish with firearms – of all kinds.

It’s time to insure that the systems designed to identify those not legally allowed to possess a firearm are integrity tested on an ongoing basis and that they are suitably integrated to defend the public health, safety and welfare.

It’s time for elected officials to worry less about re-election and embalming the past and display actions demonstrating their commitment to  “what must we do now” to provide the fundamental safety protections for our children, students and staff who inhabit our public schools on a daily basis. Investment in this “infrastructure” must become priority number one.

It’s time for Oregon’s U.S. congressional delegation to derive the funding essential for adequately staffing the behavioral healthcare assessment and delivery organizations in Central Oregon.

It’s time – time to speak the unspoken. It’s time for uncommon courage in Central Oregon. It’s time to recognize that the times have changed and now demand we enact measures to more adequately protect our children, students and staff in our schools.  It’s time for Deschutes County Commissioners and the City Council’s in this region to lead by enacting measures now required to enhance public safety – and bolster, preserve and protect the welfare of all stakeholders in our public education and behavioral healthcare systems.

It’s time for an S.O.S. – Summit On Safety – in the public schools of Central Oregon.

It’s time to change.

It’s time to enact change.

Our children, students, families, teachers, staff and communities require it.

Now.

Get Rid of This Dude

Get Rid of This Dude – A Poem by Bill Dahl

Trump Caricature – from Indivisible Redmond Oregon Facebook Site

 

“Locked and Loaded”
​the ​North Korean ​mess​.
​Spewing hubris
will tame unrest​?​

Healthcare for all!
A cruel joke.
Special interests triumph
mirrors and smoke.

Global warming
threatening all.
Trump proclaims:
“Build the wall”!

Disconnected
Out of touch.
Deliver nothing.
Promise much.

We’re the one’s
who wrote the song
Stop the madness
In Viet Nam!

We’re the one’s
who learned to sing
Supporting the mission
of Dr. King.

When corruption
required a fixin’​ -​
Our chorus led
To dismantling Nixon

We’re the one’s
who led the fights
finally realizing
women’s rights.

We’re connected
We care so much.
Resilient, united.
We remain in touch.

We’re the one’s
Elected reps must hear.
Not a right wing agenda
spouting fear.

Reality television
brought him fame.
His every tweet
Rains down shame.

Self righteous, pompous
egotistical and rude.
Time to banish
This disgusting dude.

 


 

 

Racism in High School – A Film – Students Speaking The Unspoken

Speaking the Unspoken

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the final day of the school year in 2007, our local high school nearly had an outbreak of race-based violence. Our son witnessed this. He was very disturbed it. — so was I.

During the summer, I contacted our local school district officials – the outcome of which is this film….the frank testimonies of our students – for students in other high schools – who may face a similar reality.

You can watch the film here on YouTube:

It’s purpose is to be educational, contain uncensored, gritty student expression, cause dialog about race, ethnicity, prejudice, sexual orientation, attitudes and racism — and provide a tool – map — to a bridge — a creative pathway – high school students may use to explore these critical issues in their own lives – in their own school – their own community.

In every sense, this film is intended to be constructive and instructive. It’s when we cower from confronting the tough issues together – that learning becomes diminished.

Please use this tool constructively – and admire the courage of high school students “Speaking the Unspoken” among themselves – for the benefit of all concerned.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

323032-R1-10-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is a letter I sent to our Mayor and City Councilors today, after attending a public hearing on an ordinance to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in our City (Redmond, Oregon USA) for a year. We currently have none.

Here’s the letter:

March 26, 2014

Dear Mayor and City Councilors:

Re: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing in Redmond, Oregon

I brought my 17 year old “son” (international exchange student from Cologne Germany) to the City Council meeting last night – Tuesday March 25th. He had never experienced attending any meeting of elected officials in the U.S. before.

After the meeting, I asked him, “so what did you think?” “It’s a wonderful thing witnessing democracy in action,” he said, bubbling with obvious excitement. “When I return to Germany this summer, I am going to get involved in my local community.” I smiled with pride.

He was also impressed by the dignity that is shared by the Council members when confronted with those who have opinions contrary to those you may hold individually. Finally, he was moved by those clearly less fortunate – who mustered the courage to speak publicly at the forum. “I hope Redmond will provide those who suffer with the ability to buy their medically approved cannabis in Redmond,” he said…staring out the window of the car…

As a resident, voter, parent and father – I would like to thank you all for your comportment – and the impact the same has on a student from another culture and country – who has been positively impacted by your public service. Thank you VERY much.

To Councilor Onimus – your remarks, dissent, informed judgment and compassion  must influence the ongoing deliberations of your fellow councilors on this issue of licensing a regulated medical marijuana dispensary in Redmond.

Please note:

1. There is nothing written in stone that says the proposed “moratorium” MUST be for one year. Why not 6 months, nine or ten months?

2. A publicly declared framework for “educating’ the Council and the Community” may also be a consideration – one that itemizes a timeline along with specific activities, questions and objectives the Council will explore together – toward this fundamentally important end.

3. The ordinance, as currently written, omits the prohibition of “production” of cannabis within the City limits. However, patients with a State approved OMMP card are authorized to do so and/or designate a caregiver or grower to do the same for them – in Redmond. This appears to be somewhat of a conundrum that deserves further  research.

The OMMA clearly states (and I quote): “The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) protects medical marijuana users who comply with its requirements from Oregon criminal prosecution for production, possession or delivery of marijuana.” (end quote).

4. I can only hope that Mayor Endicott’s position that “allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Redmond is a violation of Federal law, and our oath to uphold the Constitution.” As pointed out by a Mr. Matlock during the meeting – Oregon has had legislatively approved/operative “right to die” laws operative for many years – in clear contradiction to existing federal law. In fact, Matlock pointed out, the “right to die” choices have been – and are being made – by Redmond residents, their physicians, caregivers, families, the staff of St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond, and Redmond based convalescent and hospice facilities. “What’s next? Are you going to take this right away from us too?”

There are a myriad of other examples whereby current Oregon law conflicts with the proscriptions of Federal statutes. Again, I can only hope the Mayor will engage in behavior to further illuminate the porosity of his stated position. Yet, I honor his right to his stated position.

Finally, science continues to make advances that disrupt norms, mores, traditions – what we thought we knew – is being replaced by what we now know – it’s a fundamental part of human existence.

My hope is that you will use the moratorium period you decide upon to act in the best interests of those who suffer – whereby new advances in alternative, state approved and regulated medicinal approaches – may provide these sufferers with access to this medicine in Redmond, Oregon.

Remember the testimony of Lois Sweet:

I’m now a participant in life. I want to spend my money in Redmond – NOT Bend.”

Again, I am proud of all you – and City Staff – as the superb public servants – and people – you continue to be.

You represent us well. Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

William S. Dahl

 

 

 

At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch

Encouraged by author and acquaintance Andrew Himes new book, The Sword of the Lord – The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family, I began reading Taylor Branch’s At Canaan’s Edge – America in the King Years 1965-1968.

This 771 page epic is the final in a trilogy from Taylor Branch ( Pilliar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 and Parting The Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963 (Pulitzer Prize Winner for Non-fiction).

I find that a reading of history is incredibly informative regarding the issues and challenges currently faced by one’s country and our world.

This book truly captures the essence of an ongoing struggle in each and every society. As stated by President Lyndon Johnson (p.230): “But wantin’ to do what’s right and doing’s what’s right’s two different things – and sometimes, it’s a long hill to climb in between.”

In reading this book, you re-live this era. Your heart breaks. Your soul is shattered. You’re shocked and appalled. You become baptized in the depth of the sacrifices made and lives that were lost. You see the faces and voices of hate, bigotry and prejudice – deeply ingrained in the human equation. Yet, you see what progress can and must be made when the immorality within the day-to-day of human existence is confronted with a movement of moral determination.

Consider the following excerpt from President Johnson(pp.112-113):

“Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth and abundance, or our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and purpose and the meaning of our beloved nation….we have already waited a hundred years and more and the time for waiting is gone.”

As I read the book, I couldn’t help but contemplate ongoing, unresolved issues of social inequity and injustice where America has “waited over 200 years and the time for waiting is gone.

In what Robert Kennedy called “a moral issue — as old as the Scriptures…as clear as the constitution.” (p. 474) – segregation, in it’s many forms, remains an ongoing, unresolved challenge in America today. As I read Taylor Branch’s book, I could hear current day voices and the faces and places of the immorality of prejudice, bigotry and segregation the continue to inhabit the heart of this great nation. Essential U.S. immigration reform kept coming to mind. The most segregated social institution in America remains the church.

That’s why books like Andrew Himes The Sword of the Lord are so darn important. They remind us that the life’s work of Dr. King, Taylor Branch — and all those who have preceded us as citizens of this great country — that we have much more to do where the time for waiting is gone.


Immipartheid

The Disease Without a Name

Words are the bugles of social change,” [i] wrote London Business School professor Charles Handy.

Whatever symptoms you might experience, there’s a word somebody has created to capture the essence of what seems to be ailing you. If a friend says they have symptoms like fever, the chills, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach and headache for example, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? “You’ve come down with the flu!”

It seems as if the ability to name a disease is dependent upon identifying a certain set of symptoms that alert ourselves and our physicians to the distinct possibility that we are unhealthy. When the sheer numbers of people afflicted become large enough, somebody, somewhere seems to step up and begin looking for a cure. Epidemics have a tendency to get people’s attention. Where do these breakthroughs come from?

Take the New York born (October 28, 1914) son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, for example. The first in his family to go to college, he enrolled at the medical school of New York University, researching influenza. The existence of the flu virus had recently been documented by others. This young student was eager to determine if the virus could be deprived of its ability to infect, while preserving the basis for immunity to the illness. He succeeded in this effort, continuing his research endeavors over the next decade. On April 12, 1955, the discovery of the polio vaccine was announced to the world. Dr. Jonas Salk became a household name. Salk never patented the vaccine nor had any desire to profit from its deployment.

Throughout history, cultures develop symptoms that evidence broader, societal ills.  Yes, countries can become afflicted with maladies just like individuals unfortunate enough to contract the flu or polio. Who typically alerts the broader public to these sorts of social ills and the need for their eradication? Madleine L’Engle suggests, The first people that a dictator puts in jail are the writers and the teachers because these are the people who have vocabulary. Artists are dangerous people because they are called to work with human clay, with the heart and the soul.”[ii]

On June 24, 1901 a boy was born in a town in eastern Poland. He arrived in the United States on April 18, 1941 as a Jewish, immigrant-refugee. Raphael Lemkin has been characterized as one who belonged to a virtual community of frustrated, grief-stricken witnesses.[iii]


Lemkin’s distress was attributable to the evil he observed evolving in Europe. He focused on developing a readily recognizable term that captured the essence of the malady. He studied semantic theory and linguistics. He discarded terms like barbarism and mass murder. In November 1944, Columbia University Press released his book entitled Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. The word that he created to populate the discourse about the reality of Hitler’s horrors was unleashed. ‘Genocide,the crime without a name had been born. Shortly after his death on August 28, 1959, approximately 70 countries had ratified a treaty criminalizing genocide. His funeral was attended by seven people.

Daniel Malaan became Prime Minister of South Africa in May 1948. He mis-diagnosed the ills of South Africa and was a central architect in the deployment of the prescribed treatment: apartheid. According to the dictionary, apartheid is defined as, the policy or practice of political, legal, economic, or social discrimination, as against the members of a minority group. The apartheid prescription developed by South Africa included the molecular components for the preservation of white supremacy, separation of the races and a retribalization of Africans. By 1991, a period of forty-three years, the final vestiges of apartheid legislation were repealed and free elections were held in 1994. Making a poor diagnosis and prescribing the wrong treatment can eviscerate the soul of a nation.

Today in the United States, we are not immune to the insidious maladies that come to infect the souls of our people and the heart of our nation. The symptoms are evident, the malady is pervasive, and the integrity of our country is at stake. There are a myriad of diagnostic opinions, yet no congressional consensus and federal approval for the components of the cure. This disease has no name.

Epidemiology

There will be no magic pill we can swallow, no miraculous antibiotic we can inject, no patch we can affix to our epidermis, no secret lotion we can apply. When the heart of a nation becomes afflicted with cardiovascular infarction, we’ve all come down with the malady, whether we recognize it individually or not. Today, the U.S. has become infected with the disease of immipartheid. To prepare yourself to ingest what I’m about to say, gird yourself with the counter-intuitive curiosity of Salk, the compassionate persistence of Lemkin, and the distinct potential for living the consequences from disastrous errors in judgment embraced by the nation of South Africa. Let me explain.

Apartheid has been diagnosed as possessing the following elements:

  1. A policy of racial segregation involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
  2. A principle or practice of separating or setting apart groups of people.
  3. The legal circumstance of being separated from others; segregation.

According to the U.S. census[iv] in 1860, the population of the U.S. was 31,443,321. Of that total, 3,953,760 were identified as non-white slaves. In 2007, the estimates range from 10 to 30 million undocumented, resident immigrants living in the U.S., the vast majority of which are non-white and of Hispanic descent. The percentages of non-white slaves in this nation 150 years ago and undocumented immigrant residing among us today are comparable. The parallels continue.

The non-white South Africans subjected to apartheid, former non-white slaves in the U.S. and present day undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S., have the following in common:

  1. Voting rights were restricted or non-existent.
  2. Access to public services such as education and medical care were restricted and often of inferior quality vs. those afforded their white counterparts.
  3. Forms of identification emerged that designated the person as a member of a segregated class. ( consular cards, discussion about the implementation of a national ID card).
  4. Movement within the country was restricted. (try getting on an airplane today without a valid ID).
  5. Permits authorizing one to labor in certain occupations and/or certain geographic areas emerged. Oftentimes, these permits did not include the spouse or other members of one’s own family.
  6. The legal ownership of land was tightly regulated, precluding segregated persons from participation.

The parallels are clear: A disenfranchised class of people, numbering in the millions, was formed and sustained in South Africa. Of course, in the case of U.S. slaves and non-whites in South Africa, the creation and maintenance of this social structure of legalized oppression was intentional. Allow me to politely characterize the genesis of the situation of resident, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today as inadvertent. Yet, the reality of the situation we find ourselves in here in the U.S. is clearly a mutant form of apartheid. We’ve contracted immipartheid; a condition that possesses a distinctly similar syndrome of outcomes for the afflicted as apartheid.

You may contract disease either inadvertently or intentionally.  The intentionality of willingly, or deliberately infecting another person with an infectious disease, shocks the global human conscience (take for example, knowingly transferring an HIV infection to another person). In fact, in some cultures, this act is criminal. No matter how one contracts an infection, you must desire to return to a state of health. It requires treatment. The unwillingness to admit that one is ill, or agree upon the proper course of treatment, serves only to advance the seriousness of one’s condition. This is the state of the patient today in U.S. society: unwilling to admit we are soul-sick, and loath to muster the courage to immerse ourselves in the essential therapeutic milieu, we maintain the immipartheid infection, spreading it to others, allowing it to grow in complexity, advance in seriousness, posing an ever greater threat to the present health and welfare of our entire nation, our prospects for a full recovery, and a healthy, vibrant future.

This is not the first time in U.S. history we have succumbed to the insufferable angst of determining what to do with ourselves in a predicament like this. In the collected essays of America’s revered James Baldwin, Baldwin recorded and characterized the plight the American Negro (to use his words), as he wrestled with the issues of democracy, race and the American identity. The parallels to our current quandary are obvious:

“This is why his history and his progress, his relationship to all other Americans, has been kept in the social arena. He is a social and not a personal or a human problem; to think of him is to think of statistics, slums, rapes, injustices, remote violence; it is to be confronted with an endless cataloguing of losses, gains, skirmishes; it is to feel virtuous, outraged, helpless, as though his continuing status among us were somehow analogous to disease – cancer, perhaps, or even tuberculosis – which must be checked even though it cannot be cured. In this arena, the black man acquires quite another aspect from that which he has in life. We do not know what to do with him in life….Our dehumanization of the Negro then is indivisible from our dehumanization of ourselves: the loss of our own identity is the price we pay for the annulment of his.”[v]

The immunity we thought we had developed to being susceptible to this form of societal malady appears to have broken through again – or did we ever really have immunity?

Triggering the Immune Response

Most diseases are contracted inadvertently. When you become ill, you don’t go around looking for the source of the bug do you? Yet, in the case of immipartheid, we, once again, focus our attention on identifying a scapegoat; someone to blame. No issue (other than abortion) seems to lance the American under-belly like the issue of U.S. immigration reform. The venom and puss that ooze out of this polarized tirade about the appropriate treatment for our malady are toxic, shameful, and a stench to those around us. Our vitriolic stubbornness and closed-mindedness serve only to forestall the development and implementation of the required consensus for initiating the treatment regimen. Our outbursts ricochet around the planet, causing the global community to pause and reassess their view of the American identity.  In the United States today, we need a new dose of reality, as characterized by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright:

“I regret that we have fostered a political culture that rewards the extremes, a culture in which dogmatic belief is deemed a virtue and open-mindedness a weakness, and sarcasm and slanderous attacks frequently drown out intelligent discussion. Haven’t we had enough of this? We need a dose of unity.”[vi]

In his inauguration speech on January 10, 2001 President George W. Bush proclaimed to the Nation: America, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation’s promise. And whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love.[vii]

Perhaps Albright’s prescription for a dose of unity and Bush’s measure of love are just what the doctor ordered. It just might be the place to start. Yet, these elements seem foreign to the vast majority of the diagnoses being bantered about today.

Triggering the essential immune system response is fundamental to developing a vaccine to effectively address the immipartheid outbreak. However, it’s counter-intuitive. Salk essentially killed the poliovirus, yet kept it intact just enough to activate the necessary immune response. An immune response is basically the way our body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful to the body. Essentially, the vaccine is literally sourced from the virus that is ailing you. However, you need to be able to accurately establish the identity of the virus or you run the disastrous risks of creating the horrific consequences of a misdiagnosis as Malaan and his cohorts did in South Africa.

The testing of the hypotheses based upon shouting slogans, slurring others, scalping scapegoats, and fear-mongering are in: they do not trigger the desired immune response. It’s time to develop and test new hypotheses, using true and time-tested methods. Perhaps it’s time to reach deeply into our souls and emerge with the perseverance of Lemkin.

Maybe, a simple word might galvanize unity, guided by a love for the past, present and future of this nation-patient.

Heralding Healing:

Like any other malady, the contraction of the disease of immipartheid has been a process. One theologian suggests; “The use of others begins slowly and then, over time, becomes the habit that not only dehumanizes the other, it dehumanizes ourselves as well.”[viii] Resolving the U.S. immipartheid epidemic contains the genetic code essential to begin restoring a fundamental dimension of our national integrity. The matter of the destructive duplicity exposed by the infection of immipartheid provides us with the opportunity to begin prioritizing our actions above hollow, time-honored, well-worn slogans. There is pertinent wisdom in the following: “We can’t change what we are known for unless we change how we live.”[ix]

What does that look like? Maybe it contains an element of a new tone that guides our political deliberations today, as the essence of the following has characterized our more lucid moments for national public policy development, since the birth of this nation:

“A new political message is therefore called for. It must begin with the age-old assumption that we are only as strong as our weakest link. It asserts that the judgment of a society will depend not on how it treats its most powerful, privileged, and wealthy, but rather on how it treats its most vulnerable.”[x]

Perhaps, the genetic code of the immipartheid virus contains important strains of a moral configuration that we are just now beginning to explore and unravel. My sense is that this is the arena where we must now re-focus our efforts.  Maybe it’s the simple, time-tested, fundamental truths that we must learn to return to, in times as rapidly changing and complex as ours. Allow the simplicity of the following to speak to your senses.

“We gain something profound when we stand up for our beliefs, just as part of us dies when we know something is wrong, yet do nothing. We would call this radical dignity – if we remain silent in the face of cruelty, injustice and oppression, we sacrifice part of our soul.”[xi]

My prayer is that the soul of the body politic and the citizenry of the U.S. will begin to appreciate the term immipartheid for what it really is. I hope that this appreciation may birth a new posture that requires a reorientation in our attitudes, discussion and actions that respect the lessons of our Nation’s history. Just as we have identified anti-semitism and other racially-based slurs as a scourge, my hope is that we will apply this same fervor to the elimination of anti-immitism. The history of this nation reveals that we are capable of rising up and exterminating the social diseases we have somehow contracted. Our zeal to heal the infirmities of the world is presently hampered by our untreated condition here at home. Listen to the following:

“America is unlikely to play a different role in the world until it is a different America — until it finds ways once again realize the values of equality, liberty, democracy, and, one day, perhaps even of community in our own land. Efforts to alter the excesses of America’s international stance and to persuade the United States to respond more humanely to global problems are both essential and laudable. If we Americans truly hope to help others around the world, however, we have much hard work to do, first and foremost, here at home (emphasis is mine).”[xii]

Let’s not overlook the riveting insights of Baldwin, the counter-intuitive curiosity of Salk, the passionate persistence of Lemkin, as we prepare to assume a new posture, kneeling before the words, the language, of those who have gone before us. May we be reminded that we are the one’s called to work with human clay, with the heart and the soul.[xiii] Hearts that beat. Souls that hope. People just like us.

“When our language changes, behavior will not be far behind.”[xiv] I certainly hope so.

It’s the immoral part of our dilemma we cannot hide.

Somebody call 911.

About The Author:

Bill is a freelance writer. Bill is published in numerous professional publications, magazines, websites, journals, newspapers and newsletters. You can enjoy Bill’s writing on his website at http://billdahl.net/ For reprint permission, Contact Bill at wsdahl(at)bendbroadband(dot)com. All Rights Reserved.

NOTES


[i] Handy, Charles The Age of UNREASON Harvard Business School Press © 1994 p. 17.

[ii] L’Engle,Madeleine – Compiled by Carole F. Chase –  Herself – Reflections on a Writing Life, ShawBooks, An imprint of WaterBrook Press, Copyright © 2001 by Crosswicks Ltd. P. 15.

[iii] Power, Samantha A Problem From Hell – America and the Age of Genocide, Perrennial, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc. NY.NY. Copyright © 2002 by Samantha Power, p. 31.

[iv] : http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0056/tab01.xls

[v] Baldwin, James  James Balwin – Collected Essays – Edited by Toni Morrison – Published by The Library of America, Copyright © 1998 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. NY,NY excerpt from Notes of a Native Son pp. 19.

[vi] Albright, Madeleine The Mighty and the Almighty – Reflections on America, God and World Affairs, HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc. NY,NY Copyright © 2006 by Madeline Albright, Pp. 89-90

[vii] http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/inaugural-address.html

[viii] Chittister, Joan The Ten Commandments – Laws of the Heart, Orbis Books Maryknoll, New York Copyright © 2006 by Joan Chittister p. 118.

[ix] Kinnaman, David and Lyons, Gabe UNChristian – What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters, Baker Books – Grand Rapids, Michigan, Copyright © 2007 by David Kinnaman and The Fermi Project, p.   P. 231.

[x] Rank, Mark Robert One Nation Underprivileged, Oxford University Press Oxford, U.K. and NY,NY Copyright © 2004 by Mark Robert Rank p. 251.

[xi] Rogat Loeb, Paul The Impossible Will Take A While – A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, Basic Books – A Member of the Perseus Books Group NY,NY Copyright © 2004 by Paul Rogat Loeb, p. 12

[xii] Alperovitz, Gar America Beyond Capitalism – Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Society and Our Democracy John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ Copyright © 2005 by Gar Alperovitz P. 239.

[xiii] L’Engle,Madeleine – Compiled by Carole F. Chase –  Herself – Reflections on a Writing Life, ShawBooks, An imprint of WaterBrook Press, Copyright © 2001 by Crosswicks Ltd. P. 15.

[xiv] Handy, Charles The Age of UNREASON Harvard Business School Press © 1994 p. 17.