A lot of recent attention has been given the issue of immigration; however, most of the media coverage only seems to report negative stories. I have heard people say, "if they ain't American, then they just need to get out." None of us had a choice in being born American, born of a specific race, or of a particular economic status.
We recently celebrated the 4th of July, a holiday that celebrates being an American. What does it mean to be an American? What are the values of being an American?
As a child, I remember learning about the American spirit. I grew up internalizing what I thought was the American spirit, the spirit to never give up. With hard work and determination I could overcome adversity and be successful. I did not just believe this because I watched Rocky beat the giant Russian, or learn this from American history. I learned from watching my family, who are immigrants from another country. They were not born in America, yet they chose to become Americans and lived their lives with American spirit.
I have come to realize that one is not simply born with the American spirit, but must actively choose to live it. I know of many immigrants who choose to be American, and in many ways are more "American" than natural-born citizens. When we struggle or fail, we often choose to blame others. I remember one of my first lessons learned in kindergarten -- when you point the finger at others, remember that you have three other fingers pointing back at you.
From the "lost in the moment of another issue so we didn't see this coming again" department:
"A sharply divided Supreme Court on Thursday preserved a key tool used for more than four decades to fight housing discrimination, handing a surprising victory to the Obama administration and civil rights activists The justices ruled 5-4 that federal housing law allows people to challenge lending rules, zoning laws and other housing practices that have a harmful impact on minority groups, even if there is no proof that companies or government agencies intended to discriminate."
"Even if there is no proof of discrimination"? You know, the Democrats forced banks and mortgage companies to forgo sound lending practices about having the ability to make good on loans, and it collapsed the banking and housing markets, and pretty well "tanked" our economy, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that a second round of forgoing sound business practices needs to be the law of the land. Do you think the court doesn't understand that their lifetime jobs are good only if our current Constitution and the American people survive? Does the Supreme Court believe it would have equal standing with a rewritten constitution of a despot form of government? Heaven help us
I would like to express my support to the Friends of Phenix City Schools organization and to Phenix City School Superintendent Mr. Randy Wilkes for the fundraising program they launched recently to create a state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Center in Phenix City. Mr. Wilkes and his team are aware that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are the very subjects that will motivate and captivate middle schoolers.
The Phenix City STEM education project has been launched with deliverables coming online as early as the fall of this year. Phase I will reorient teachers to lead discussions aimed at developing students' higher order thinking skills. Sixth grade students will be able to apply for the STEM Academy and take advantage of accelerated STEM course offerings. These students will have access to iPad Air to take home containing electronic textbooks, educational apps, and desktop publishing capabilities.
During Phase II, beginning in the fall of 2016, STEM labs will open in Phenix City Intermediate School (grades 6 and 7) and South Girard School (grade 8). Labs under consideration are digital media, 3-D printing, computer coding and robotics. Other projects involved are the expanded athletic facilities for Central High School and the Central Freshman Academy.
To reach middle schoolers in such exciting ways requires funding. This is why all Phenix City residents are cordially invited to donate generously to make this dream comes true.
Why is there such a problem with trash and recycling in this city? I fully support once per week pick-up, but let's get it done.
Months ago my recycling bin was worn out and I needed another. It took three calls to 311, an e-mail to public works which never got answered and a trip to the recycling plant where I was able to pick up a bin.
Now, with glass no longer being picked up, I have four bins, of which three are never used. I guess I can make planters out of them. Fourth of July week trash was picked up a day before our regularly scheduled day. Pick-up has never been pushed up a day, that's crazy. Come on, city leaders; let's get your act together.