SEN. RAND PAUL – Does the government really peer into the personal business of everyone in America? According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has put the number of instances that the feds have spied on Americans in the â€œgazillions.â€
BRENDA GAINES – Late last Friday, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) sent out a news release announcing its plan to file a temporary administrative rule that would dramatically expand the area in the Willamette Valley where canola can be grown: from a few hundred acres to 300,000 acres. This short-sighted ruling, which would invite canola, including GE canola, into the protected zone of the Willamette Valley, could mean the ruination of the specialty seed industry.
TOM CARTER – Over the last month, heavily armed â€œdomestic terrorismâ€ units of the FBI used battering rams and stun grenades to conduct early-morning raids on the homes of political protesters in Seattle and Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon. On July 25, three homes were raided in Portland alone and, since July 10, as many as six homes have been raided.
These raids are only the latest in an emerging pattern of similar raids conducted by the Obama administration in order to terrorize, suppress and chill political dissent, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU – â€œStars Earn Stripesâ€ is not just another reality show. Hosted by retired four-star general Wesley Clark, the program pairs minor celebrities with US military personnel and puts them through simulated military training, including some live fire drills and helicopter drops. The official NBC website for the show touts â€œthe fast-paced competitionâ€ as â€œpay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-responder services.â€
HAKIM and KATHY KELLY – Abdulhai remembers his father being killed by the Taliban. â€œAnyone who takes up a weapon in revenge, whether the Talib or any other, is acting like the Talibs who murdered my father,â€ he says, in a matter of fact way. â€œThe solution does not lie in taking revenge, but in people coming together like the people of Egypt to defend themselves in a nonviolent way.â€
MICHAEL MINCH – Can anything be said in the wake of the most recent murderous eruption, this time in Aurora, Colorado? On one hand, many people jump forward quickly with new laments, calls for greater gun control, appeals against such control, and frankly, everything weâ€™ve heard so many times before. Others, on the other hand, are offended by the very idea that we would try to answer the question of why such violence occurs. To suggest that explanations might exist, seems, for them, a move toward affixing blame somewhere close to their own values, interests, and lifestyles. They are people who tell us that murderers alone are to blame for murders. Period. This view is a preemptive strike against calls for, and criteria of, accountability and moral maturity.
NICKOLAS C. ARGUIMBAU – This is a response to Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article, “Warming’s Terrifying New Math: Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is,” Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math. Bill McKibben has once again put his heart and soul into an attempt to stop global warming. That’s more than most of us can say, and I’m afraid much more than I can say. Remember that. He is, like every living, breathing being on this earth, our friend. The stunningly well-written call to arms has apparently at this time already been read 450,000 times on-line and received 3105 written comments.
JOSHUA J. MCELWEE – Three Catholics broke into a guarded nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee on Saturday in an act of civil disobedience and made their way outside of its most secure facilities before they were arrested. The three, an 82-year-old religious sister and two middle-aged men connected with the Catholic Worker movement, were able to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge early Saturday before a guard found them outside the complex’s storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.
MARK CLAYTON – The United States is posting rapid growth in the waste of natural gas in new oil fields where the fuel is either burned or vented into the atmosphere. Experts say the process damages the environment and fails to maximize the return to investors.
ROBERT JENSEN – In 2005, I preached on the ecological crisis in a sermon I titled â€œHope is for the Weak: The Challenge of a Broken World.â€ Looking back, I realize that I had been far too upbeat and optimistic, probably trying too hard to be liked. Today I want to correct that. Hence, my updated title: â€œHope is for the Lazy: The Challenge of Our Dead World.â€
DR. ROBERT DODGE – This week marks the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the combined initial death toll of approximately 200,000 and thousands more in the years that followed. As Albert Einstein famously said, â€œWith the dawn of the nuclear age everything changed save [except] our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”
JOHN LAFORGE – James Holmes was in court Mon., July 30, in Aurora, Colorado, charged with 142 counts of murder, etc. The whole world knows of this initial hearing for the alleged murderer/terrorist because every detail of Holmesâ€™ life is now regularly put at the top of TV and radio news shows and above the fold in every newspaper. Someone kills a lot of people and the media swarms.Not so if your action was a peaceful attempt to prevent massacres.
JANINE DI GIOVANNI – What does it feel like when a war begins? When does life as you know it implode? How do you know when it is time to pack up your home and your family and leave your country? Or if you decide not to, why? For ordinary people, war starts with a jolt: one day you are busy with dentist appointments or arranging ballet lessons for your daughter, and then the curtain drops. One moment the daily routine grinds on; A.T.M.â€™s work and cellphones function. Then, suddenly, everything stops.
REBECCA GRIFFIN – Last week, the House of Representatives took a small but important step toward reining in Pentagon spending. Thank you to all of you who responded to our call to tell your representative to support amendments to cut the military budget and end the war in Afghanistan.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – On some issues, there is a serious disconnect between candidates for public office and the public they are hoping to represent. Take the case of Mitt Romney and military spending.