Category Archives: HumanLoving

Time for a Real Conversation Around Border Security : Immigration Impact

In years past, most arrivals were Mexican migrants who came into the United States for seasonal work. However, as Mexico’s economy improved, migration patterns began to change and fewer Mexicans  chose to come to the United States. This change from economic migrants to refugees and asylum-seekers requires a new response. Many arriving today are children and families fleeing extreme levels of violence and political corruption in their native countries and risk persecution and death if they are forced to return. Our laws make clear that anyone arriving at the border has the right to apply for asylum. Yet, asylum seekers are being turned away as if they were not fleeing for their lives. Worse, many are met with tear gas and are illegally refused access to the asylum process. We owe it to ourselves to have a discussion around what these changes mean for border security, how we should respond to instability in Central America, and how we keep America safe and prosperous. The discussion on the border wall relies on an over-simplistic and expensive solution to economic migration and a cruel response to asylum-seeking migration. Instead of focusing on erecting a largely symbolic struct

Source: Time for a Real Conversation Around Border Security : Immigration Impact

Carmen’s Christmas Age Four

Once upon a time there lived in the little village of Saranac, New York a dear little girl named Carmen whose papa and mama were very poor but happy as Christmas time drew near.

Carmen talked of Santa Claus and wondered if he would visit her. She had a dear good Auntie who was always thoughtful for her comfort and did many things for her that her mamma was unable to do because she was an invalid.

So when Auntie made her presents, she gave nice big gingham aprons or dresses, or stockings which made mama’s heart glad, for she knew they were the very things her girlie needed.

A short time before Christmas papa hired a pony and carriage and took Carmen and went to the stores to do their Saturday shopping. In one store, where they went, were beautiful dollies of all kinds and many pretty toys. Carmen selected a little cradle, a little white high chair for dollie and a cute little dollie in pink dress and bonnet. Mama got her candy also and some necessary articles of clothing.

Now these things were meant for her Christmas gifts but she had them so long before time that she forgot they were Christmas gifts.

One day a letter came from dear Auntie saying a box was on the way full of Christmas cheer – and when it was opened, the dear baby was delighted with the nice new aprons, bibs, slippers, etc. But she knew they were from Auntie – not Santa and her toys she knew were from papa and mama. And when anyone asked her what Santa brought her, she would say, “He didn’t bring me neny sing.” This made mama feel badly for she couldn’t do any more for her baby but would tell her that she had been well rewarded by others – but still she could not forget that Santa had forgotten her.

As mama was setting the table for tea on Christmas night, she took down a small glass dish for pickles – one she had not used for a long time and Carmen had forgotten she had. So she asked where it came from. Mama told her she found it one time in her stocking on Christmas morning. “Well, couldn’t I hang up my stocking?” asked Carmen. “It is too late my dear,” said Mama. Santa filled stockings last night. “Well… but maybe he would remember that he forgot me and will come tonight,” said Carmen. Mama told her to run along and not bother her – for she was nervous and sometimes a little cross, and Carmen annoyed her with so many questions.

When bedtime came, she got ready for bed and mama told her she might get into her own bed down stairs till papa went up – then she wouldn’t be up there all alone. No one noticed her undressing but a long time after she was asleep papa said, “I guess I’ll shave.”

He got things ready and as the fire was low, he went out to get wood – so thought he would prepare the kindling for the morning fire at the same time. While he was out, Mama happened to notice that on one the two posts of a chair were hung two little stockings – all baggy at the knee where some little girl had romped and played, and a tiny hole, which the garter made at the top.

The big tears started in mama’s eyes and a big stinging in her nose made more big tears. When papa came in she said, “Look! What faith the child has.” Papa’s eyes were a little misty too. He said, “Haven’t you any thing you could put in there?” But she had nothing that Carmen had not seen.

Money was scarce – for the farmers papa chopped wood for did not always have ready money to pay him. But by hunting around, they scared up forty cents and papa said, “I’ll not shave but will hurry down and the drug store will likely be open and I may be able to get something.” It was nine o’clock then – and it being Christmas – the drug store was closed but he found another store open and so did the best he could there.

He got mixed candy and peanuts, oranges and 2 picture books. Mama had some net candy bags, which she filled with candy and put in then the nuts and lastly the books rolled up and sticking out of the top.

When papa got ready for bed he picked Carmen up and carried her up the stairs and when she got up there she awoke and began to ask if he left the door unlocked for Santa, and if he left a light on for him, etc. She could hardly get to sleep again. She was so excited and mama and papa were glad they had discovered the little stockings.

When morning came papa, came down first to build the fire and Carmen called down, “Daddy! Is there neny sing in my stockings?” Daddy said, “Come and see” and there was a very happy little girl that morning.

She was more pleased with those few things than all the other things she got – for “Santa” had brought them. So mama resolved that next year – what ever came for her, something should be reserved and put in the stocking and it would be of greater value.

These are the facts as they happened on the Christmas of 1912.

Maude Wright

* * *

Maude Wright, my grandmother, was not able to directly keep her promise. She died a few months later from the effects of chronic TB and the birth of her second child.

My mother, Carmen, is the one who actually kept her mother’s vow. Maude Wright mailed the letter to her sister and Carmen’s auntie passed this letter to her. I did not see the letter until one year after after my mother had died on December 7, 1994. It was then, a week before Christmas of 1995, that I understood why my brother and I received a stocking from Santa each Christmas that contained an orange, some nuts, a little left over Halloween candy and a comic book or two. Thanks, Grandma and Merry Christmas to all. Ned Hamson

California fires: Number of missing soars over 1,000 as Paradise reels from unfathomable losses – Los Angeles Times

The Camp fire is by far the worst wildfire in recorded California history. By Thursday evening, the blaze had chewed through 141,000 acres and 11,862 structures, destroying an entire town in hours. Officials said it could take weeks to complete the search for victims. Thousands of survivors are without homes, living in shelters and tent cities.

Source: California fires: Number of missing soars over 1,000 as Paradise reels from unfathomable losses – Los Angeles Times

Eighty years after Kristallnacht, why my family has become German again | News | The Guardian

I was born and brought up in Britain, as a British citizen. I am not blind to its faults, nor do I deny its many virtues. But ask me how I identify myself and I will reply with a long list: I’m British, I’m European, I’m a Londoner, I’m a male, I’m a journalist, I’m a father and a husband. Less than two weeks before I acquired my German citizenship, a gunman in Pittsburgh murdered 11 Jews in a synagogue. The following day I received an email from a woman I met four years ago on a visit to Germany with my father. She wrote from Magdeburg, an ancient university town where some of my father’s family had lived, and from where three of his cousins were deported to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. This is what she said: “It is 80 years since the synagogues were attacked here, and we all know that it was the prelude to millions of murders. Since 1945, and every year since then, when we remember what happened, we realise how important it is to fight back from the beginning.”

Source: Eighty years after Kristallnacht, why my family has become German again | News | The Guardian

Marie Colvin: ‘She illuminated the cost of war through individuals’ pain’ | Media | The Guardian

I went to see it with another veteran journalist, who knew Colvin and had worked in several of the places she reported from. He went in braced for cliches, but emerged shaking.While Colvin might have been bemused to see herself celebrated on such an incredible scale, she would almost certainly have been glad to see the terrible suffering in Syria brought to wider attention again. She was killed there because she cared and wanted others to as well. “Part of me thinks Marie is looking down saying, ‘Hey, what’s all the fuss, this is what we do,’” said Hilsum. “But I also think she would be glad that people were talking about Homs again, and hope that maybe some of the attention would be focused on Yemen and other under-reported conflicts and the people suffering in them.”

Source: Marie Colvin: ‘She illuminated the cost of war through individuals’ pain’ | Media | The Guardian

Opinion | Why Squirrel Hill Is a Target for White Supremacists – The New York Times

I learned about Pittsburgh’s unique connection to modern Judaism and civil rights. Reform Jewish leaders developed and adopted the Pittsburgh Platform, which states, “We deem it our duty to participate in the great task of modern times, to solve, on the basis of justice and righteousness, the problems presented by the contrasts and evils of the present organization of society.” As an athlete I competed against Jewish boys from another integrated school, Taylor Allderdice in Squirrel Hill. Sometimes after track meets, we got pizza at Mineo’s. Squirrel Hill’s vibrancy didn’t come by chance. We learned how to live together. There was a deliberate investment in inclusion and peace.

John Kelly and John Bolton Have Shouting Match Over Immigration – The New York Times

Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine general and former commander of United States Southern Command, which oversees military operations in Central and South America, has made the case that American aid is vital to helping the region cope with its drug and economic problems, thus preventing an even larger flood of migration to the United States.