Los Angeles is in a bit of a shock these days, so if you visit here – forgive us if we seem distracted. It’s not because some major movie star has just walked by, or because the Dodgers are still own first place in August. The reason is William Bratton: the best chief in this city’s history has just told everyone he’s stepping down.
Henry John “Harry” Patch, who at 111 was said to be Britain’s last survivor of World War I, spent the last few years of his life condemning the futility of war and noting, as The New York Times put it in an appreciation today “the common humanity of soldiers who meet as enemies on the battlefield.”
The Puerto Rican flag is hanging on the front of my porch today to celebrate the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. I must confess the guilty pleasure of watching conservatives find ways to denounce her. My personal favorite is watching Lou Dobbs display his not so thinly veiled nativism, the sense of entitlement that comes from the “we were here first” mentality. This is especially rich when nativists are holding forth in places like Los Angeles, San Antonio, Florida, or other places with Anglo names. First? Ever heard of Junipero Serra? Ponce de Leon?
It's always interesting to see a a self-proclaimed sceptic change his ro her mind to the positive, as is the case of Jesuit priest George Boyle, who is the executive director of a gang-intervention program in Los Angeles. Early on, he was wary of the new police chief, William Bratton, formerly of New York City. After 7+ years in Los Angeles,Bratton just announced that he's heading to a private sector job based in New York City.
Today, according to Father Boyle: “He’s the best chief the city has ever known,” Boyle said.
On this day in history, in the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay took off from the island of Tinian and headed north by northwest toward Japan. The bomber's primary target was the city of Hiroshima, located on the deltas of southwestern Honshu Island facing the Inland Sea. Hiroshima had a civilian population of almost 300,000 and was an important military center, containing about 43,000 soldiers.
A US delegation in Honduras, sponsored by the Quixote Center, has heard numerous reports of human rights violations, and has sent the following to the U.S. Ambassador in that country:
“Given the most recent example of state-sponsored repression in San Pedro Sula on Monday, and in light of the clear illegality and unconstitutionality of the coup government, it is essential that the United States Government formally and unequivocally name this a coup d'etat.
Bill Donahue is on a rampage--again. The president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is usually busy blasting "anti-Catholicism," which he defines as the views of anyone who disagrees with his conservative view of the church. Now he's going broader. In "Secular Sabotage," his new book to be released Sept. 2 by FaithWorks, Donahue accuses extremist liberals of "destroying religion and culture in America," as the book's subtitle accuses.
Although today, August 5, 2009, is the 42nd anniversary of my entering my religious community of the Daughters of St. Paul, it’s not the commemoration of “the call” that brought me here. I got my vocation on the 4th of July, 1967, right after lunch, at the Del Mar County Fair in San Diego.