Mark Roland, one of the 6,000 babies born each year with Down syndrome, was a human beacon of unconditional love. Today, the National Down Syndrome Society provides vital resources for those affected by Down syndrome.
Born on March 27, 1970 Mark Roland, a down syndrome child, came into this troubled planet and in the process of his journey of 33 years, before he died of respiratory arrest in 2003, Mark touched countless people with his innocent, joyful and open heart including mine. Even though I had met him only once as a young child, I never forgot his deep knowing and joyful presence for he was indeed an innocent pure new soul whose only purpose was to unconditionally love.
One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition in America. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year. Regardless of the type of Down syndrome a person may have, all have an extra, critical portion of chromosome 21 present in all or some of their cells. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities. Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate but they also have gentle souls and a great capacity to give and receive love — and Mark Roland was the perfect example of that gift.
Another inspiring example of raising a child with Down syndrome is the story of London, a young girl:
American Special Forces are operating at some of the highest levels ever seen. The main difference between a 'black operation' and one that is merely clandestine is that black operations involve a degree of deception. Credit: Author.
America’s clandestine Black Operations (Black Ops) is now fully operational in 105 countries. After more than 10 years of American secret wars, night raids, detentions and assassinations, as well as massive surveillance and billions of wasted dollars, the blowback has been 36 new terror groups as well as one that was born during the illegal American invasion of Iraq, nurtured in an Iraqi prison camp and is now known as the Islamic state of Iraq (ISIS) which just murdered in cold blood a Japanese reporter and Jordanian pilot and controls a huge swath of the Middle East and all under the nose of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
It’s the golden age of Black Ops and it shows no signs of slowing down. American Special Operations Forces are a vivid picture of a dark world of special operations that is being built right before our eyes but, like a stealth bomber, is seldom seen or actually understood by most Americans.
King Tide on San Francisco Embarcadero on Tuesday, January 21, 2015 offers a glimpse into the not too distant future of climate change: Credit: Mike Flippoff/ San Francisco Chronicle
The Earth has a unique method of delivering its innate message of its demand for social cooperation and altruism and global warming and climate change just may be the vehicle for that long overdue message. If we humans do not voluntarily take action to preserve our planet and its occupants we will be dramatically forced to respond and it won’t be painless.
“If we can’t love our one and only home, what can we love? If we’re unwilling to defend what we love, then what are we?”
“This is what San Francisco will look like on an average day in 2050,” said Marina Psaros, co-founder of the Kings Tides Project, an environmental group that studies the phenomenon.“Water levels are higher because the Earth is warmer – there’s nothing theoretical about it, nobody with a real stake in the game, people like city planners and insurance underwriters – is denying global warming anymore.”
Jesus was not a Christian and Buddha was not a Buddhist but their religion was love. Can it really be this simple? That the ultimate religion is love! Perhaps we all need to see what we have settled for in order to fully realize that there is another choice besides war and injustice as well as understanding the full meaning of Lennon’s Merry Christmas (War is Over), which was recorded in 1971 – nine years before Lennon was shot down and killed in December, 1980.
Protesters rallying in Ferguson, Missouri. Credit: The News Commenter
“As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption.” – Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech on March 14, 1968, just three weeks before he was assassinated.
SWAT teams were created in the 1960s to combat hostage-takings, sniper shootings, and violent unrest. But today they’re often used in more controversial police work and with an increased use of military weapons. As Thom Hartmann correctly states, “America’s police forces have become like occupied armies, hyper-militarized for the benefit of our nation’s military industrial complex. All across our country, local cops are kicking in doors, SWAT teams are carrying weapons of war, and warrants are becoming things of the past.”
Ferguson matters because we are finally witnessing the social injustice of our current War on Drugs and growing militarized police state. Here are the facts:
Black people are arrested and incarcerated six times more often than whites.
An African-American male is sentenced to a prison term that is, on average, twenty to fifty times longer than a white male convicted of the same drug crime.
More than 2.3 million men in America are in prison, approximately half of them for drug-related crimes. Seventy percent of all men imprisoned are black or Hispanic. Thirty years ago, before the “War on Drugs” was launched, there were only 300,000 people in the American prison system.
There are 2.7 million children whose fathers or mothers are in prison, on probation, or on parole.
In many urban areas eighty percent of young men have prison records. These convictions will remain on their records permanently, limiting their voting rights and their ability to find employment. Currently, in all but two states, citizens with felony convictions are permanently or temporarily prohibited from voting. The United States is the only country that permits permanent disenfranchisement of felons even after completion of their sentences.
The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, higher than Russia, China, and Iran.
White households have six times the wealth of African-American households.
The 2014 midterm election will change nothing in the United States. This election is set to be the most expensive non-presidential election in US history and unfortunately money buys elections. Not only do politicians do the bidding of the wealthy, they themselves are increasingly numbered among the rich and super-rich and they follow their corporate masters. Social inequality rules in America and the 2014 midterm election has been reduced to Kabuki theater as millionaire Republicans and Democrats rearrange the chairs on the deck of the sinking Republic while the mainstream press tries to convince us that it all really matters.
American military forces participating in Nevada Atomic testing.
I was only eleven years old when The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I remember the moment well for I was sitting across the street at the Thompson Club in Nahant, Massachusetts waiting for my twin brother to join me to play baseball. Suddenly I felt an immense sense of collective loss, and then a short time later my twin brother came running from across the street telling me that we had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. Even at that young age, I somehow sensed we had released an evil, powerful genie that could eventually destroy the planet and ourselves.
Power corrupts. Absolute atomic power absolutely morally corrupts, particularly when it is in the hands of the Military/Industrial complex with the power to control and destroy the world – whereas human life eventually becomes collateral damage as it did with the atomic testing during the sixties in Nevada.
Hundreds of volunteers spell out the obvious to an apathetic world.
Like a relentless, invisible creeping fog, Fukushima’s poisonous presence is already here on the West Coast and it won’t go away. This ongoing ominous radiation threat will be impossible to ignore by 2014 and its effect could double within five years when its life threatening symptoms will begin to fully surface.
The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center and it shows that Fukushima radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the United States are rising and particularly on the West Coast.Every day 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima is flushed into the Pacific Ocean and is building up in our food chain.
“Right now the world faces a terrifying crisis. But are you terrified? Am I? No, we’re not. Perhaps we will be after the fact, sometime between a catastrophic onset and dealing with our own eventual physical decline from exposure.” Harvey Wasserman