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EPISD–educating future citizens

ElPasoSpeak - 1 hour 7 min ago

It has been reported to us that EPISD is considering adding 21 teachers to elementary school staffs that will teach music and art.

We hope that they can do this.


Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 30

El Paso News Organization - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 10:00pm
Here is RumpToons No: 30
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How Not to Fight Trump

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 6:06pm
How Not to Fight Trump

Too much anti-Trump judicial overreach could create a crisis.
Source: How Not to Fight Trump

The New York Times Imm...
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Why ?Mayism? Really Is a Thing

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 6:06pm
Why ?Mayism? Really Is a Thing

Make no mistake, Theresa May proposes a radical repudiation of the Conservative Party?s Thatcherite inheritance.
Source: [url=
Categories: Local Blogs

Planned Gift Contact Form

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 6:06pm
Planned Gift Contact Form

Categories: Local Blogs

Essay:A spiritual crisis can paralyze everything

Diana Washington Valdez - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 12:05pm
A spiritual crisis can paralyze everything

F. Scott Fitzgerald: In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning.

A dark night every day

By Diana Washington Valdez

It is difficult to get back on track with this "memoir" because I am not always sure of whether the past is gone or still present. Our memory records what has already happened, that is certain. But there is another dynamic at work whenever you look back, the effects that the past have on the present and the future.

The term 'dark night of the soul' is described by some as a painful spiritual journey and by others as a spiritual or existential crisis. The best-known expositions of this state can be found in the works of mystics like St. John of the Cross (a 16th Century and to an extent in the writings of Aristotle. In his book "Siddhartha," German author Herman Hesse deftly and beautifully summarizes spiritual conflict through the lives of his protagonist, Siddhartha, and his friends, family and lover Kamala.

Others across the centuries, different countries and cultures share examples in their literature and oral traditions about a journey that we must undertake alone. The aloneness is at once terrifying and necessary. "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is the title of the 1940 book by American author Carson McCullers as well as the name of a popular 1995 American country music song by Reba McEntire. The title of both serve to illustrate a point. The pilgrim's walk is a lonely one; and, sidetracks can take you on the wrong paths.

One may surmise that a spiritual conflict arises from the battle of the soul that is at war with itself, its destiny or with God. The only way out is to get off the path. But the soul that's hungry won't let you stay in the detour. The Divine will not permit it.

The phenomenon of waking up at three in the morning without apparent reason is universal. I used to wake up constantly at this hour, only to go back to sleep after seeing the time on the clock. It happened so often that my curiosity led me to do some research on this experience.

The explanations varied widely: It was the bewitching hour, when people involved in occult practices carried out their rituals and ceremonies and you were a target or simply got swept up in the fallout; and, at the other end of the explanation spectrum, for those who go to bed at normal night hours it is generally the hour at which the body naturally undergoes several physiological adjustments.

Kamala, the character in the Hesse book "Siddhartha," tends to get short-shrifted in the literary critiques that I'm familiar with. Yet, she is the most figure in the book after Siddhartha. Kamala represents where most of us want to stay. The known, the comfortable, the understandable.

Symbolically, she also represents the place where the soul cannot advance on its pilgrimage; that place is a docking, a detour. That's not to say that the customary aspirations of humans, which include emotional bonding and having families, are not legitimate ones. They are valid and necessary for humanity to continue. But in that setting, the soul that is hungry for more will always be restless.

Likewise, the hunt for the ideal romantic partner that McEntire sings about is a futile one because the hunter in the song does not realize that the object of her pursuit is a mistaken one to begin with. Hence, the list of lovers can only grow ever longer while the object of the hunt grows ever more elusive. The soul cannot find in that environment what it is really searching for.

There is a song that fits so well in this discussion: "Is that all there is?" which was made famous by Peggy Lee in 1969. This is the refrain from the haunting melody:

"Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is"

Indeed, if the object of the soul at the end of its quest is not God, and certainly if God does not exist, then the logical conclusions must be nihilism, there is no meaning to life and we need not pretend otherwise, and hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure without restraint because the basis for a moral code is missing.

Job, the principal character in the Old Testament book, who is portrayed as a man of great faith, also reached a point during which he had to wrestle with suffering and the issue of philosophical aloneness. Left to wonder whether God had abandoned him, during his dark night of the soul, Job exclaimed, "Oh, that I knew where I might find Him."

I, too, have entered such a period, suddenly and unexpectedly. It involves an emotional exorcism that is painful and ongoing and so much more. I know the end from the beginning. Yes, I truly know how it will end for myself. I don't know what the rest of the process will include or how long it will last or what will be left untorched. The wrestling began about two months ago, heightened by the deaths of friends and an intense awareness of my own mortality.

The details of this kind of journey are different for everyone, so there is no point in baring them here. It will remain in the background. I am sharing what I can in case it will help anyone else out there. It is likely there will be updates in this chapter. The rest of the memoir, dealing with more earthly matters, will go on sporadically.

My best to everyone in your own life's journey.

[1] Herman Hesse book
[2] Carson McCullers book
[3] St. John of the Cross
[4] Peggy Lee sings
[5] Reba McEntire sings
[6] Job: 23:3 English Standard Version.

Diana Washington Valdez is a member of the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ).

Posted by J.J. Schwartz at 1:41 PM

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Labels: Carson McCullers, Dark Night of the Soul, Herman Hesse, IARJ, International Association of Religion Journalists, Peggy Lee, Philosophy, Reba McEntire, Religion, Siddhartha, Spiritual conflict,St. John of the Cross, Theology
Categories: Local Blogs

Poema: Circuito de Amor

Diana Washington Valdez - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 12:01pm

Circuito de Amor 

De amor en amor,
Pasos falsos sin número,
Derroche de pasiones;
No tiene sentido si todo
Al final sería únicamente
Para encaminarme al pasado,
Al retroceso que tu habitas y 
Que sigue extendiendo su cadena;
Besos, acaricias, noches de delirio,
Miradas cautivadoras que inspirarían
Sonreír a cualquier corazón; 
Nada logra desvanecer la sombra de tú amor,
Que me persigue en cada esquina de la vida
Y hasta en los rincones del tiempo que prosigue;
Cada nuevo amor suele ser un escalón más para
El largo sendero que me has destinado;
Cada vez regreso al punto del inicio
De este circuito de amor martirio.

[Copyright © 2017 Diana Washington Valdez]
Categories: Local Blogs

Poema: Gotas de coñac

Diana Washington Valdez - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 9:59am

Vasos de Marruecos

Gotas de coñac

A través de la noche
se fue cimentando
un gran amor.
Copa tras copa de
agua ardiente
llegó hasta el tope
de mi corazón.
Con vasitos finos de Marruecos,
bebíamos un elíxir rico,
mientras que el llanto
del moro nos llegaba
por la ventana;
El llora por mí y por todos,
por una pasión archivada,
entre libros y antigüedades,
que guardo en un rincón de mi alma.
El momento es frágil, veloz;
se suspende el deseo en una emulsión
de coñac y miel de gardenia;
la noche ansiada se desenvuelve.

[Copyright © Diana Washington Valdez]
 [para r.m.g.]
Categories: Local Blogs

Planned Gift Contact Form

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 6:03am
Planned Gift Contact Form

Categories: Local Blogs

Stanton street status

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 5:00am

This came in from a reader:

I revisited this to make sure the link is still working. Out of curiosity I checked the status of N. Stanton around the trolley construction.  The road is rated 97.57, which is considered excellent, but not perfect. After Glory Road it drops to 48.74, solidly marginal.

It should be noted that many of the streets in Kern Place are rated solidly “marginal”, including the small stretch alongside Mesita Elementary which had major work done on it, but was destroyed shortly after by the renovation of Mesita Elementary. It remains solidly “marginal” today.

How much longer before our nearly perfect stretch of N. Stanton becomes solidly marginal again?

A Weary Traveler

Categories: Local Blogs

Poesia de Amar en La Frontera

Diana Washington Valdez - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 6:23pm
[De la colección Amar en La Frontera © 2017 de Diana Washington Valdez]

Photo by Pexels

Amor de Cantina
La noche está muy movidaHay ambiente de canciónLas botellas se destapan,El cantinero sonriente nosSirve las primeras copas;El murmullo de voces asciende,Se escuchan entre pláticasLas carcajadas recias,Hombres y mujeres presumiendoDe sus conquistas de anoche;Una nube cargada de humoDe cigarro desciende y nosEnvuelve en su estupor;Hoy la banda toca música alegre,Cumbias de Colombia, bailan;Las horas pasan por el reloj lentamente,El alcohol, aunque quema el hígado,No satisface ni con mil tragos;Ya casi no hablamos con claridadBrindamos por cualquier tontería,Hasta que de repente surge una inquietud,Sin una palabra todos y todas callamos, Perdidos en un laberinto de pensamientos;Ya comenzó la sinfonía del dolor,Que llego a llenar este vaso vació,Mi risa frívola se torna en llanto,Fluyen libremente lagrimas ardientes Después de un amor de noche y sin destino;Sigo regresando una y otra vez al mismo lugar,Pues solamente aquí se sostiene la ilusiónQue empieza cuando estamos ebriosY termina cuando él humo se dispersa;Salen uno por uno los compañeros de la noche,El cantinero encierra sus envases de vidrio,Ya terminó este amor de cantina.
El amor romántico es una ilusión que te exige suspender el buen juicio antes de embarcarte en la alfombra mágica. - Diana W. V.
Categories: Local Blogs

Planned Gift Contact Form

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 6:04pm
Planned Gift Contact Form

Categories: Local Blogs

Cory Doctorow on Cyber Warfare, Lawbreaking, and His New Novel 'Walkaway'

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:04pm
Cory Doctorow on Cyber Warfare, Lawbreaking, and His New Novel 'Walkaway'


Cory Doctorow, author of

Shadows and Lies

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:04pm
Shadows and Lies

Source: Shadows and Lies

--Center for Immigration Studies feed.
Categories: Local Blogs

No, Whistlebolower Revelation of MS-13 'Children' Does Not Harm Investigation

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:04pm
No, Whistlebolower Revelation of MS-13 'Children' Does Not Harm Investigation

Source: No, Whistlebolower Revelation of MS-13 'Children' Doe...
Categories: Local Blogs

Overstays Study Suggests Need to Overhaul the Foreign Student Program

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:04pm
Overstays Study Suggests Need to Overhaul the Foreign Student Program

Source: Overstays Study Suggests Need to Overhaul the Foreign Student Pr...
Categories: Local Blogs

Planned Gift Contact Form

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:04pm
Planned Gift Contact Form

Categories: Local Blogs

Power not balanced

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 5:00am

Recently various federal judges have issued orders stopping some presidential orders.

This post is not intended as a discussion over whether we agree or disagree with the orders.

Unfortunately we have reached the point where a single federal judge can stop the president of the United States.

These judges are not elected.  They cannot be fired.  They do not answer to the citizens.

However they have the power to stop action initiated either by congress or the executive.  They have the power to order action that they feel should occur.

I don’t know what the right answer here is.

Maybe for the time being congress should set up a requirement that in cases where local judges issue orders like these the cases are heard for appeal more quickly.

Otherwise presidents and congresses  from all portions of the political spectrum are subject to being paralyzed by a single judge.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Planned Gift Contact Form

US Immigration Reform Forum - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 4:03am
Planned Gift Contact Form

Categories: Local Blogs

Mexico and the Russians

El Paso News Organization - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:00pm
One of the things that bothers me the most about the ongoing antagonism from Donald Trump against México is that Trump would rather antagonize a friend then to hold enemies accountable. Trump has no...
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by Dr. Radut