Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11E

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This is the third of four known letters authored by Rev. John McLeish (my three times great-grandfather) on his journey from Massachusetts to California during the gold rush of 1849. This letter was published in The Boston Olive Branch on December 15, 1849. Continue reading


Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11C

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This past week Wartburg College Professor of History, Terrence J. Lindell, contacted me through my WordPress account. While conducting research for a course he teaches on the gold rush of 1849, Professor Lindell discovered four letters my three times great-grandfather Rev. John McLeish wrote while on his trip from Melrose, Massachusetts to the gold mines outside Sacramento, California in 1849. Professor Lindell was kind enough to share the letters with me. Continue reading

Senator Merkley on DREAMers

This week I got an email from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. I want to share it with you.

Dear Alan,

Right now, the futures of 800,000 young DREAMers are hanging by a thread, waiting for Congress to step up and do the right thing. I am calling for immediate action on the DREAM Act to ensure these young leaders can keep contributing to the nation they love.

Today I met Juan from Salem. He loses his job tomorrow because his DACA permit is expiring.     Continue reading

Understanding Privilege

As we pass through yet another period of increased racial tension in our nation’s history, we hear a lot of conversation around the idea of “privilege.” Privilege is understood differently by different people. For the purpose of this essay, privilege is the set of blessings we enjoy, which are not a result of our own hard work or our personal choices.

YouTube has several videos centered on privilege, some much better than others. Recently I came across a video published by Creator Studios on October 11, 2017. I will share the link below, but first I would like to share some thoughts with you.

Unfair race

When the Second Continental Congress voted for independence in 1776, they proclaimed, “All men are created equal.” But are we? Continue reading

Have it Your Way: Whopper Jr. vs. High School Jr.

Burger King has a must-see video on YouTube. It has earned nearly four million hits in less than a month. You’re going to want to see it, but before you do, please read…

Burger King employees filmed an experiment in one of their restaurants where they bullied a Whopper Jr. and they bullied a high school junior. They wanted to see which one would garner the most complaints.

Bully Jr Picture

In full view of real adult customers, a group of high school students bullied another student—both verbally and physically. At the same time, they served hamburgers to adults which had been bullied (smashed) by employees. 

Can you predict the percentages? Continue reading

Julia Ioffe: Modern Day American Refugee

Julia Ioffe is an American journalist who covers national security and foreign policy topics for The Atlantic.

On January 29, 2017, she published an article entitled, “This is What It’s Like to Come to the United States as a Refugee.”

Julia Ioffe

The piece is a first-person essay that brings to light the very personal emotions Ioffe faced as a refugee immigrant to this nation, immigrating here from the Soviet Union. Her words slice through political policy and help us understand the heart-wrenching feelings refugees endure. Continue reading

Don’t Reject Immigrants; We Need Them, They Enrich Us

During an American Naturalization Ceremony in 1984, the keynote speaker gave the following speech:

“Fifty million immigrants came to this country in the last 200 years. Some of the most recent have crawled over walls and under barbed wire and through mine fields, and some of them risked their lives in makeshift boats.

“And all of them have added to the sum total of what your new country is. They gave us their traditions. They gave us their words. They enlivened the national life with new ideas and new blood…

“We don’t reject them. We need them. They enrich us.”

Who was this progressive sympathizer who so strongly supported immigration and naturalization?

Naturalization Ceremony

Continue reading