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Road Terror, Motorcycles, SUVs and the Second Amendment


By Glenn Mollette

Everyone who has watched the news has seen the SUV being attacked by a gang of motorcyclists in Manhattan. We watched a husband, wife and baby surrounded by terror whose lives were seemingly going to end right before our eyes.

Most of us have imagined ourselves in a similar scenario and played out in our minds how we might react.

Such a scenario happened to my wife several years ago as she was traveling on Interstate 75 south of Cincinnati. A group of motorcyclists surrounded her car. Several got in front of her with several others to the side and others behind her car. As the cyclists in front of her drove slower and slower it was obvious to her they were trying to force her to pull off to the side of the road. Gripped with fear she motioned that she was moving forward and floored the accelerator. Fortunately for the cyclists in front of her they had a moment of rational thinking and got out of her way as she sped forward at 85 to 90 mph to get away from them.

glen mollett The highway is no place for games, rage or acts of violence. Cyclists, truckers and automobile drivers should be courteous and share the road. We are all paying taxes on America’s highways and all should be respectful of each other.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionIn the days ahead we will hear from the driver and wife of the SUV. I would have called 911.  Even today, not everyone has a cell phone.   In such cases we all need one to call for help. More and more phones today are capable of taking pictures and videotaping. When you are afraid for your life you do not always have time to be a photographer but criminals and bullies do not want to be photographed. Without the videotape airing across the nation who knows how this story might have been spun.

Finally, what if the family could have pulled a handgun out of the glove box? NYC law makes that very difficult in comparison to most of our country.  However, residents of NYC should make every effort to achieve a legal permit and push every day for second amendment rights. What man or woman would not have begun firing the moment the window of that SUV was crashed? I would have fired away to protect my family if I had a gun.

Obviously, the cyclists could have been armed as well and thus several people could have ended up dead. This brings us back to the extreme necessity that we must all utilize respect and common sense as we travel our highways. There is zero need for violence. We need to be grateful for freedom and the privilege to drive and chill out.

Give people some room. Don’t ride people’s bumpers. Don’t cut people off. Do not use hand gestures with people as this only escalates driving tension. Do not harass people. Do not stop your car to get into a yelling match with someone.

There have been moments that all of us have felt like other motorists on the highway were jerks. Pursuing an altercation leads to nowhere. Try to keep your cool and drive responsibly.

And, in case such a scenario happens to you that happened to the Manhattan family remember your Second Amendment rights.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com  Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette find his books at barnesandnoble.com

 

 

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Sergio Garcia: In Defense of the American Dream


By New America Media

Traducción al español

Editor’s Note: Sergio Garcia, the 36-year-old Chico man whose struggle to practice law was the subject of a California Supreme Court hearing earlier this month, inspired a last-minute bill that passed last week in the state legislature. An undocumented immigrant who has wanted to be a lawyer since the age of 10, Garcia writes that the legislation represents the realization of his American dream.

I must have been no older than 10 years old when I dreamt of one day becoming an attorney. That dream has brought me great satisfaction, but also considerable heartache. At that innocent age I was exposed to the horrors of injustice. I saw innocent people being locked up and kept in jail because they were unable to buy their freedom. Justice should never depend on one’s ability to pay for it. It should apply equally to all.

People say it doesn’t cost anything to dream and I am glad it doesn’t because otherwise I would have never been able to afford such a big dream. In 1987 I lived in Mexico with my mother and four younger siblings. Many times we didn’t even have enough money to eat, much less for clothes or shoes. I recall often going to school hungry and embarrassed by my old torn shoes. With all of this poverty you would think I was an unhappy child, but I wasn’t. Money isn’t everything in this world and you don’t miss what you have never had.

It’s hard to believe that 26 years have gone by since the birth of my dream. I no longer struggle for food or shoes. I have grown, but so have my problems. With a great deal of hard work and sacrifice, not only from me but from all of those around me, I managed to realize my dream and finish my education as an attorney. Sadly, given my lack of status I have been prevented from taking the last step towards the achievement of my dream.

Allow me to explain. My father, who is now a U.S. citizen, applied to have my status adjusted, for me to have a green card. This was 19 years ago and I still don’t have one.

the-hartford-guardian-Opinion

Not having a green card has opened a Pandora’s box for me. I have had to fight for my right to be able to one day fight for others. On Sept. 4, 2013, I reached the highest court in the state of California — perhaps something that to most would seem a lofty goal in their law careers, but not to me, since I was there to fight my own case. And given the limited amount of time provided by the court, I was not even able to say a word. I allowed the grown-ups to do the arguing for me: private counsel, the California State Bar attorney and the attorney for our very own state Attorney General.

They fought with courage. However, a fight can only be won if the opposition is open to engage. Here, the court appeared impotent against a federal law that, based on their reaction, they feel ties their hands and prevents them from allowing me to fulfill my dream and issue me a law license. Even though I was discouraged by their response, I did not take it as a total defeat. I took it as an opportunity to help them help me. As soon as I left the courthouse, I reached out to some of my friends in the California legislature. I knew that passing a law that would free the court’s hands to grant me a license was my last hope to fulfill my dream — short of taking my fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Luckily, my friends had been paying attention to my plight and were quick to step in, in defense of the American dream. Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) was quick to assemble the troops and encourage them to pass a favorable law quickly.

Soon all members of the Latino Legislative Caucus had heeded the call to action and had picked Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to lead the effort. I was ecstatic at their quick response. It made me feel like someone shared my passion for justice. Those who lead by action and not mere words have always been my heroes and it was refreshing to find so many like-minded people all at once.

Once Gonzalez introduced AB 1024 — the bill that could potentially open the door to my dream, and that of many others — my excitement increased exponentially. With less than a week left in this year’s legislative session, the measure was written, debated and passed by the state legislature. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.

Nothing that is truly worthwhile comes without effort or sacrifice, but I am out to prove that the American dream is still out there for the taking.

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Hartford Native Reacts to Chappelle, WNPR


By Rondale Williams

WNPR’s recent show titled, “A New England Kind Racism” missed the mark on discussing race and racism in Connecticut.

The conversation came after an article about Dave Chappelle’s visit to Hartford’s Comcast Theater on Aug. 29. The article shattered the myth that the state don’t have black people and is postracial.

It is beginning to be commonplace for media professionals to bring on a blogger, an academic, and/or political or civil right activist to discuss social rondaleissues. But this show misused someone’s excerpt from a taped interview, a problem that has longed plagued race-based discussions in the media. In this case, that someone was Ann-Marie Adams.

The questions that followed Adams’s excerpts seemed to not be in agreement what she articulated in her Ebony.com article. Her excerpts seemed to try and make notice that Dave Chappelle mistook Hartford for being a predominantly white community filled with racist hecklers. It is not. Her article helped to change the national perception that Connecticut is a liberal an all-white state with mostly rich people.. Therefore, the WNPR host should have asked questions about the article and about how we can inform others as to what the racial climate in Hartford is really like.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionBut instead, the discussion, like many others, becomes lectures on sociology, psychology, and history, which is fine. But Adams’ article was written to change minds, not add information to a textbook.

Why?  That’s because much of Connecticut is thought to be liberal and post-racial. By others, we are also known to be proponents of the abolitionist and civil rights movements. Many people have no idea that Connecticut practices redlining today. Nonetheless, that is an article for a different day.

The issue here is when will we get others to take notice that Connecticut isn’t the Connecticut that they see on television? This image of Connecticut is that of Fairfield County, filled with rich, well-educated people with big homes. And it is an image that is deeply implanted in the minds of people who live in California, Florida, and even our tri-state neighbor New York. I know this because I’ve been to those states, and have heard about what people think about Connecticut.

When he performed in Hartford, Chappelle encountered It is people who usually fear coming into Hartford.  Had he been informed about Hartford and what it is actually like, then maybe he would never have made those statements about Hartford, including a wish that a nuclear bomb drops on Hartford. He would have realized that most people who live in Hartford look like him.

Rondale Williams is a native of Hartford. He lives in New York.

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Kevin Brookman Must Resign HDTC, Now!


Dear Editor:

On June 17, 2013, Kevin Brookman, a Hartford Democratic Town Committee member and spokesperson for the group, published an offensive, incendiary and hurtful blog post that is extremely disturbing to West Indians in the Greater Hartford community.

Read blog post here: Kevin Brookman, Resign Now

His blog, together with his acknowledgement, acceptance and agreement of the bigotry and horribly racist views of his followers, requires that he resign from his position as a Town Committee Member in the 7th district, which has the largest West Indian population in the city.

letterstohartfordguardianThat is why it is our belief that Mr. Brookman is not able to serve the constituents of the 7th district. He has exhibited a point of view so enshrined in racism and bias that he lacks the ability to represent our community.  While Mr. Brookman may not have penned the comment “This is what happens when you have monkeys running crazy in the jungle”, he did in fact approve the post and allow it to remain on his blog for two months.

His subsequent apology two months later “to anyone who may have been offended.” further reflects his inability to acknowledge that such a statement is clearly offensive. In fact, his “apology” suggests that he, in fact, is not deeply offended by the post and this demonstrates his inability to represent a community of color.

We are asking the Town Committee to take action IMMEDIATELY!

Sincerely,

Constituents of Hartford 7th District 

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50 Years Later, Civil Rights Leaders Face Bigger Challenges


By  Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media

The 50th anniversary of the monumental 1963 March on Washington was accompanied by a wave of commemorative events that tried hard to recapture the energy and the spirit of the 1963 March. This was a tall order. The original march, punctuated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s towering “I Have a Dream” speech, acted as a powerful wrecking ball that crumbled the walls of legal segregation and ushered in an era of unbridled opportunities for many blacks. The results are unmistakable today. Blacks are better educated, more prosperous, own more businesses, hold more positions in the professions, and have more elected officials than ever before.

Yet the towering racial improvements since the 1963 March on Washington mask the harsh reality: The challenges 50 years later are, in some ways, more daunting than what King and other civil rights leaders faced.

earl-hutchinsonWhen King marched in 1963, black leaders had already firmly staked out the moral high ground for a powerful and irresistible civil rights movement. It was classic good versus evil. Many white Americans were sickened by the gory news scenes of baton-battering racist Southern sheriffs, fire hoses, police dogs, and Klan violence unleashed against peaceful black protesters. Racial segregation was considered immoral and indefensible, and the civil rights leaders were hailed as martyrs and heroes in the fight for justice.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionAs America unraveled in the 1960s in the anarchy of urban riots, campus takeovers, and anti-war street battles, the civil rights movement and its leaders fell apart, too. Many of them fell victim to their own success and failure. When they broke down the racially restricted doors of corporations, government agencies, and universities, it was middle-class blacks, not the poor, who rushed headlong through them. As King embraced the rhetoric of the militant anti-war movement, he became a political pariah shunned by the White House, as well as mainstream white and black leaders.

King’s murder in 1968 was a turning point for race relations in America. The self-destruction from within and political sabotage from outside of black organizations left the black poor organizationally fragmented and politically rudderless. The black poor, lacking competitive technical skills and professional training, and shunned by many middle-class black leaders, became expendable jail and street and cemetery fodder. Some turned to gangs, guns and drugs to survive.

A Pew study specifically released to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations graphically made the point that the economic and social gaps between whites and African-Americans have widened over the last few decades despite massive spending by federal and state governments, state and federal civil rights laws, and two decades of affirmative action programs. The racial polarization has been endemic between blacks and whites on everything from the George Zimmerman trial to just about every other controversial case that involves black and white perceptions of the workings of the criminal justice system.

A half century later, the task of redeeming King’s dream means confronting the crises of family breakdown, the rash of shamefully failing public schools, racial profiling, urban police violence, the obscene racial disparities in the prison and criminal justice system, and HIV/AIDS. These are beguiling problems that sledgehammer the black poor and these are the problems that King and the civil rights movement of his day only had begun to recognize and address. Civil rights leaders today also have to confront something else that King did not have to face. King had the sympathy and goodwill of millions of whites, politicians, and business leaders in the peak years of the civil rights movement. Much of that goodwill has vanished in the belief that blacks have attained full equality.

Then there’s the reality that race matters in America can no longer be framed exclusively in black and white. Latinos and Asians have become major players in the fight for political and economic empowerment and figure big in the political strategies of Democratic and Republican presidential contenders. Today’s civil rights leaders will have to figure out ways to balance the competing and sometimes contradictory needs of these and other ethnic groups and patch them into a workable coalition for change.

It’s grossly unfair to expect today’s civil rights leaders to be the charismatic, aggressive champions of, and martyrs for, civil rights that King was. Or to think that 50 years later, another March on Washington can solve the seemingly intractable problems of the black poor. The times and circumstances have changed too much for that. Still, civil rights leaders can draw strength from King’s courage, vision and dedication and fight the hardest they can against racial and economic injustices that have hardly disappeared. This is still a significant step toward redeeming King’s dream.

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CC on ‘Starbucks Day’


Dear Editor: Connecticut Carry leadership learned about an event called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Day’ on Aug. 8 at approximately 9:30pm through the opencarry.org Connecticut forum. Connecticut Carry and its leadership has, since November 2010, advised against rallies or events involving firearms at Starbucks locations. This was due to a request from Starbucks to not use their stores as political rally points for the issue of carrying firearms:

We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions.

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue. As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers.

Starbucks Corporate Policy Memo dated March 16, 2010

Connecticut Carry respects the rights of a property owner like Starbucks to ask to not be used as a civil rights battleground. We also appreciate their neutral stance even when they encounter a very vocal minority that requests absurd things like policies against firearms in public businesses.

While we absolutely respect and support the right of every citizen of Connecticut to bear arms in any manner they choose, we must also conduct ourselves in a responsible and respectful manner. Connecticut Carry had no part in organizing or sponsoring this event. Likewise, we were unable to find any organization or person that would take responsibility for organizing this event.

We hope that in the future, the wishes of Starbucks will be respected in accordance to their policy. Firearms carriers who simply carry their firearms as they wish in their daily business and save rallies and events for property that is welcoming will help our cause the most. Respecting the property rights of Starbucks is the best way to show appreciation for a business that has been through a lot of turmoil for not taking a negative stance on our rights.

Rich Burgess
President
Connecticut Carry

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American Politics, Human Failures – Help Available for All


By Glenn Mollette

What do Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, Eliot Spitzer, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and Bill Clinton all have in common?

Think about it. It’s not a political party answer. Obviously we can easily swing right and throw out names like Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich, Larry Craig, Mark Foley and David Petraeus.  There are several answers to this question. One answer – they all had or have a human failure problem.

glen mollett Thomas Jefferson is reported to have had six children with a mistress slave. How would that play out on cable news today? Ralph Abernathy reported in his book that King had a problem with white prostitutes and that a mistress was in the motel the night he was killed in Memphis. John F. Kennedy was reported to have had several affairs including one with Marilyn Monroe. His brother Bobby was also alleged to have been involved with Monroe. Roosevelt was accused of having numerous women in his life including the-hartford-guardian-Opiniona twenty-year affair with his secretary. And then there was Bill Clinton.
Jimmy Carter drew national attention when he admitted to being an adulterer during his Presidential campaign. He said he had committed adultery many times.  He referred to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27 -28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I suppose a new translation of the Bible
 someday may say if a person has lusted after another person. It could work both ways. Carter was further criticized because he gave this interview to Playboy magazine. I think there is a difference between thinking something and actually doing it…but according to Jesus human failure begins in the heart and this is what Carter was talking about.
Sanford admitted to an affair with an Argentinian woman. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being arrested by a policeman at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for lewd conduct. Foley was accused of sending suggestive text and instant messages to male teens.
It seems as if it usually boils down to sex but not always. Richard Nixon was run out of Washington because of Watergate and Ted Kennedy almost lost his political career over the Chappaquiddick car crash that took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne.  In 1922 Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall was found guilty of bribery, fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison in what is remembered as the Teapot Dome Scandal.
 Human failure is rampant in politics, mainly because politicians are human beings prone to fall short.  You may quickly name persons of unblemished service and there would be many but the problem with that is that you never know everything. Every human being is guilty of foul-ups, let downs and human failure.  Even the Bible says all have come short. All means all of us.
People actually talk about the faults and mistakes of others all the time. They talk about them in church prayer meetings under the guise of prayer requests. That usually happens like this: “Please pray for Brother John I understand he hasn’t been making his house payment. Or pray for Jane Doe I understand she has been having an affair.” The prayer request ends up being gossip with religious gunk on it.  We gather in our little circles and make each other feel better as we talk about the faults of others.
Granted you or your neighbor may not be running for public office and therefore you may feel you are exempt from life scrutiny. Just remember these people are human beings with a human nature and human problems and have the ability to fall short of perfection. We all have that nature.  It’s not a political party nature. Today everybody is talking about Weiner and Filner. One time it was Clinton, Craig, Nixon, Foley, Gingrich. Last year it was Herman Cain.
Whew…I’m not slamming either party. This is not about right, left or moderate. Professional help is available and it’s not restricted to a political party.
 
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author of American Issues and nine other books. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollett 
Photo: Getty Image.

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We’re Living In Multicultural America Now


By Glen Mollette

I was eating lunch with a high school friend recently at an Atlanta airport restaurant. He has worked in customs for eight years. He noted, “Everyone working in this restaurant is from someplace else.” We were intrigued and started asking those in the busy restaurant their country of origin. Everyone we asked, and there were several, had moved to the United States within the last six years.

glen mollettMany people could never imagine America changing as much as we have. Freedom allows for change, diversity, new ideas and people with completely different backgrounds. Freedom doesn’t mean that we have to believe what others believe but it does mean we have to respect the liberty of those who believe it.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionAmerica is rapidly changing in her appearance. The white race is becoming the minority. African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos will eventually number in the majority. While Christians are still in the majority fewer and fewer people go to church. Christianity is on the verge of being drowned out by other religious movements because they see America as their mission field.

Hindu, Islam, Buddhism and any religion that has funds to survive in America are permeating our nation. They are changing the landscape of what once was mostly comprised of Catholics and Protestants.

In the center of our changing country we have to remember one relevant fact. This is still the United States of America. We love our freedom. We love our country. We respect the rights of all our citizens who live and work peacefully in our country to make this their home and a good place.

I do not expect every American to look like me, talk like me, think like me or act like me. How boring would it be if we were all the same? We are all different. As other nations flood our country the change is only going to accelerate.

I’ve had the joyous privilege of working with many different people from different countries. I have wonderful friends who are black, white, rich and poor. They are from throughout the United States, and around the world. I would be sad to think that my life relationships would be limited to just a certain cultural group or segment of our population.

America will continue to grow more beautiful and stronger as people come legally and we embrace those who love our country and its opportunities. Those who come to our country must come legally and abide by the same laws every citizen abides by. As we work together we can continue to be the best place in the world.

Glenn Mollette is an American Columnist, Author of American Issues and nine other books. You can hear him on XM radio each Sunday night at 8EST on XM radio 131.  Like his facebook page at   www.facebook.com/glennmolletteContact him at gmollette@aol.com

 

 

 

 

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Hartford Future Leaders Visit Congress


HARTFORD — Future leaders of Hartford and surrounding areas visited  Congressman John Larson (D-01) office in Washington, D.C. last week.

These 10 student leaders (featured picture) participate in an 8-week internship.  Five of the student leaders are from Hartford.  As part of the internship, they have an opportunity to spend a week in Washington DC with 230 other student leaders from across the country.

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Message to Washington: There Is No Room for Failure


El Diario/La Prensa / New America Media

Traducción al español

Editor’s Note: In a united effort, El Diario/LaPrensa, La Opinión, New America Media, Irish Echo, Bangla Patrika, Daily Khabrain, Nowy Dziennik, Primera Hora, The Hartford Guardian and other media are issuing this joint call to Congress.

In the Republican-controlled House, many legislators are positioning themselves to not only resist but also undermine immigration reform. Speaker John Boehner has said that he will not bring a bill to the floor unless a majority of Republicans support it.

Immigration reform has been on hold for more than a decade, leaving 11 million people in a legal limbo. We strongly urge representatives in Washington to instead work on sensible and humane policy solutions that will resolve the plight of families across this nation.

But for legislators who want to usher a bipartisan reform effort into a minefield of backwards amendments, we remind them of the following.

In 2006, immigrants and allies rallied across the country in massive demonstrations. The slogan then was “Today we march, tomorrow we vote.”

It was not an empty promise.

The anti-immigrant attacks from the right had grown so hostile that it drove outraged voters to the polls. They helped cast a Democrat in the White House. This trend continued as Republicans moved to be more inclusive in 2012 but failed to offer a real program for immigration reform. The political implications for those who choose to go to the negotiation table in bad faith are clear.

But more importantly than the political consequences, Congress has a moral obligation to children who should not be separated from their parents. It must bring out of the shadows people who stand ready for full integration and to contribute to our nation’s economy as baby boomers age out.

immigration_reform_320In these weeks, the issue of border security has been allowed to dominate the discourse around reform. We understand that controls at the border are needed. However, the conversation around immigration reform doesn’t begin and end at the border. And this two-step process that many Republicans are obsessed with – that legalization must be conditioned on a military border complex– is the same delay tactic they have been using for years.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionUndocumented persons are willing to pay penalties and meet a host of requirements. But to condemn them to some purgatory in an attempt to seal off the United States from Mexico is a political game because Republicans keep moving the line on what border security means.

We are also aware that Democrats — from President Obama down—promised to deliver comprehensive immigration reform, with a path to legalization and citizenship. This does not translate into an indefinite parking lot for undocumented families until Republicans have all of their items checked off. That’s not compromise – it’s capitulation.

We expect both parties to show leadership for a workable policy solution that sets up immigrants, and in turn, our nation, for success. In the meantime, we stand ready to bring great attention to who leads, and who works against this process.

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