Posted on 13 February 2013.
Posted on 03 December 2012.
With all of the emphasis on national voting in the last year, another set of elections at Chabot College have gone seemingly unannounced and generally unnoticed, those of our student government, our Associated Students of Chabot College. Read the full story
Posted on 10 May 2012.
Posted on 02 December 2010.
Mental Illness. Two of the most isolating words in the English language. When the diagnosis is “cancer,” your friends rally to your side. They cook, they clean, they fundraise. Your family juggles schedules, takes you to appointments, listens to you cry. When that diagnosis is “depression,” “bipolar,” “schizophrenia?” You hear a resounding chorus of crickets. People don’t know how to meet your eyes; friends you once spent hours just chatting with now can’t manage a ten-minute conversation of awkward pauses. Hearing such things about your child is even worse. You don’t know what to think, what to do, where to turn. You wonder what you’ve done wrong – and so do others. Some even voice those worries. Marriages are shaken, family ties frayed. You feel like you’re on a tightrope blindfolded, and someone is shaking the wire. No matter how many times you reassure yourself that, “there are only one set of footprints in the sand,” you long for human arms around you too.
So today I have two things to say. First, if this is you, if I’m telling your story – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am here. I know about the masks, about smiling while you bleed inside. I know the days you will do anything at all to make it stop for just a moment, and the soul tearing guilt when you do. I know about relationships destroyed because the English language does not contain the words to express what you are feeling. I also know that I am not the only one. So I’m begging you – reach out again. Ask for help one more time. Call that crisis line, email your pastor, confide in a teacher. Just don’t hold it in until you break. I get that it’s scary. I understand that you may have been rejected by the people you thought would support you through anything; I was. Refusing to try is laying down to die though.
Second, if this is familiar, but not you – reach out. I know it’s scary, and you may not know what to say. I promise you, “nothing” is the worst thing you could possibly say. You don’t even have to address the illness. Invite someone to go fishing, dancing, dinner, whatever you previously enjoyed together. Take an “extra” plant over for the garden. If they won’t come out, buy groceries and cook dinner for them at their house. Engage them. If they dodge, give them time, and try again. Show them, over and over, that you love them, that you believe in them and think they’re worth it. Buy a silly card and mail it to brighten their day. Let them know that they have not been abandoned.
holiday season as a time to let go of the self-control we have followed throughout the rest of the year.
Maybe consider other ways that you can attain that gratification while being able to help those that are less fortunate. Forgo that gift you were going to splurge on and donate to someone else that needs it.
Whether its food, clothes or the many other things we take for granted, there is always another person out there who could use it more.
With a number of volunteer opportunities around us, there are ways for you to spend some time helping others for the better good.
With 2010 coming to an end, we should also be reminded to not wait for New Year resolutions and instead make the changes now that will improve our wellbeing down the road. Use this time of year to continue the good habits we have formed and drive us to improve ourselves into the next year.
So as the days count down find a way to cut back on your own excess and try to bring cheer to someone’s holiday season. Oh and consider passing on that extra slice of delicious holiday treat, your waistline will thank you!
To find out how to get involved read Justin Tonel’s holiday giving story on page 3.
The stigma will only end when we end it.
Posted on 21 October 2010.
Over the last few months my e-mail has been overwhelmed with messages from both the Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown campaigns. I’ve looked over some of them and they both promise different things. It got me to thinking, “Who will I vote for?”
When I first was introduced to the two candidates I didn’t think either one of them knew what they were doing to be honest. After doing some research I’ve come to the conclusion that the candidate that irritates me the least would have to be Jerry Brown.
As someone who admittedly doesn’t know much about politics, I had to do a little research on both of the candidates. After finding out a little bit about each of the candidates, I would vote for Brown because of his policies and because I don’t think I could ever vote for a republican.
This summer I watched a lot of Whitman’s commercials. All of them were aimed at tearing down Brown, stating all of the things he didn’t do as governor before and how he wouldn’t be a good governor now.
The one thing I noticed about these commercials was that she spent so much time trying to smear Brown that she didn’t really talk about the things she would do as governor.
I looked into some of the things Whitman accused Brown of doing, namely turning a $6 billion surplus into a $1 billion deficit. This just simply wasn’t true.
According to factcheck.org analysis, Brown wasn’t a big spender and attributed California’s deficit to the nation’s recession as well as 1978’s Proposition 13, which Brown opposed.
Meg Whitman promises to bring down California’s high unemployment rate, which remains over 12 percent, by supporting small businesses to create more jobs. However, as CEO of eBay she paid herself $120 million as the company prepared to lay off 10 percent of its employees, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Even Whitman’s hometown newspaper backs Brown. In regards to Whitman’s candidacy, the San Jose Mercury stated that she “utterly lacks the qualifications to be governor,” “has a loose relationship with the truth,” and that “she can’t buy credibility through her misleading ads and herds of consultants.”
Brown promises to overhaul the education system and reduce the high costs of tuition. This is something I would like to see as a student in California who has witnessed the increase in tuition and the cuts to the budget, preventing colleges across California from being able to offer the basic classes students need.
He also promises to bring more jobs to California by cutting through some of the red tape that prevents a lot of small business entrepreneurs from actually starting their business and bringing more manufacturing jobs to California.
I believe that Jerry Brown actually has the “know how” and more importantly the experience needed to run California and truly return the state to its former glory. He is someone who won’t allow himself to be swayed by the special interests groups, unlike Governor Schwarzenegger.
Now that I’ve made my decision I pose the same question to California – on Nov. 2, who will you vote for?
Posted on 20 October 2010.
Rest rooms are really supposed to be restful (as the name connotes) and not restless. It should be a place of convenience where one can quickly freshen up.
Sadly, Chabot restrooms do not meet this standard, being rather an eyesore.
Even during the early days of the week the restrooms in all class buildings are frequently out of paper towels; empty soap and toilet paper dispensers are not uncommon either.
Surprise at the high volume of traffic doesn’t even excuse the matter.
Enrollment is not a secret among staff, and the fact that a great many of the students will use the campus restrooms should not really be that great a shock.
After spending upwards of an hour in a classroom, students have the right to expect a neat, reasonably clean smelling restroom to use before venturing into the next full session; what they actually find more closely resembles the Port-a-Potty at a busy campground over the Fourth of July!
Even the more “public” areas like the cafeteria are not safe!
Although there are two separate restrooms to choose from, they are pretty much equally disgusting, with paper strewn across the floor and hanging from the toilet bowls.
Students do not totally escape blame here, having either not taken the time to understand the high-tech toilets or perhaps just not caring.
Not only is this a horrific state of affairs for the facilities where we buy our food, it also
affects tutoring, which is located in the same building.
If a student is unwise enough or unlucky enough to have not planned ahead and stopped in another building on the way in, they are faced with two options: either brave the toxic environment previously described, or waste precious learning time running to another building in hopes of finding a more sanitary toilet.
It might be tempting to think that this is only a female issue, but sadly it is not. An overheard conversation among several male students referenced not
only an overall level of filth, but also a chronic shortage of paper supplies as well.
Don’t be deceived to think it only in the library of the cafeteria that this is an impounding problem, check buildings 900, 800,500, and list goes on and on. All have rest rooms which needs to be attended to.
This problem is widespread, and is not limited to the newer or older facilities. Salimah Shabezz, a student of the college, commented on the state of the restrooms on campus. “Dirty.
I use the restroom in the 700 building more. 1700 and
900 building restrooms, they are nasty, there is writing everywhere on the wall with graffiti everywhere. CLEAN IT UP.” Obviously, the issue is known through the student body.
More than one thing needs to happen in addressing this issue. Although some responsibility does lie with the administration to improve bathroom cleaning schedules, students also need to act like the adults they are and respect those who follow them by flushing (or making sure the automatic flusher works) and using the trash cans for their paper waste.
Posted on 29 September 2010.
Besides the fact that a huge percentage of Americans, an estimated 16 million, already smoke marijuana illegally, making it legal would do wonders for our economy.
According to economics.about.com, legalizing marijuana “would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expediters on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods.
That’s just per state. I’ll let you do the math nationally, but just think about what California could do with an extra $7.7 billion.
Marijuana also has many medical benefits known to help with the treatment of glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, loss of appetite and patients under palliative or terminal care. Marijuana can provide relief from pain, nausea, spasticity and many other symptoms.
Many Americans have chosen marijuana over alcohol in recent years for various reasons. Most just use the substance for relaxation or socializing.
Marijuana also has a relatively low dependence liability, making it instantly popular with many. Not to mention marijuana is not a lethal drug.
Nobody has ever died from marijuana use. It’s much safer than that of alcohol or tobacco. It’s an established fact that marijuana is in no way toxic to the human body.
The chart below, obtained from drugwarfacts.org, shows just how safe marijuana is in comparison to what else is out there. These numbers show yearly deaths per drug.
|Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity||365,0001|
|Motor Vehicle Crashes||26,3471|
|Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs||32,0002|
|Incidents Involving Firearms||29,0001|
|All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect||17,0001, 5|
|Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin||7,6006|
The greatest risk of using marijuana is that of being arrested. It’s estimated somewhere around 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession yearly.
Arresting someone for marijuana possession makes the justice system more expensive and less efficient by wasting jail space, slowing court systems and taking time away from police and other correction officials that could be going after “real” crimes.
After legalizing marijuana a tax will follow, which will provide needed funding of many important criminal justice and social programs for the state and its residents.
Posted on 16 September 2010.
America has long been a country, like many, that has had its ups and downs with equality. Women weren’t able to vote and people were forbidden to marry because they didn’t have the same skin color. For hundreds of years ignorance has been accepted as normal in a country that boasts equality and freedom.
Yet we have time and time again held a minority down because of a genetic trait they cannot help. We do not choose our gender. We do not get to choose our parents and their background. We cannot choose our sexual identity.
With horrible anti gay and lesbian propaganda so widely accepted you have to ask yourself why anyone would choose to be persecuted in such a way and bring themselves pain. We are singling out a group of people and asking them to not be who they really are, to feel ashamed for something that they can’t change.
Gay and lesbian marriage and getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are not about taking anything away from straight people. Members of the gay and lesbian community are not seeking special treatment. They are merely asking for the same treatment as everyone else.
This is not about religion. It’s about two people no different from you and me wanting to commit to one another, to raise a family and live what everyone else calls a normal life.
We are denying people “the American dream” we are all after simply because their version of that dream is slightly different from what we were taught is “normal.”
How can gay and lesbian marriage weaken an institution that is already on shaky ground? Over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Is this not weakening the institution of marriage?
If we want a fair vote on gay and lesbian marriage, then perhaps we should not allow the people who have already mocked marriage by getting a divorce, cheating on their spouses, or even abusing their spouses to vote on the matter. In reality, since no gay or lesbian individuals have even been allowed to marry, these people are the only ones who have proven to weaken the institution of marriage.
Why shouldn’t gays and lesbians have the same freedom as straight people? Let’s face it, at 50 percent divorce rates we aren’t doing so hot with marriage ourselves.
Why not wish them luck and hope that maybe their love makes it into the 50 percent that do make it? Isn’t that what we should be practicing ourselves and teaching our children; to wish the others well and hope that things are good for them?
Posted on 16 September 2010.
Photography is an art form that has one huge difference from other art. The rights of photography end at the border of the rights of others. That closeness to the rights of others is when photography and the law becomes protagonist vs. antagonist, respectively.
Assuming that the photographer is acting responsibly and with compassion, behavior which I call the “photographer’s heart,” then the need for law is minimal, if needed at all.
A photographer with heart has no need for a law to govern such things as how to photograph children, not to invade someone’s privacy, or to deliberately cause people harm, humiliation, or shame, unless an individual’s shame is caused by his or her own public behavior.
In a case where a person is behaving so uniquely bad in public that it causes him or her shame it is not the photographer’s fault for that person’s humiliation. A law against photography in such an instance is an infringement on the rights of photographers, and a poor answer to the question, “Does the photographer have a right to record the event?”
The most legally, physically, and or financially dangerous people to photography are those who are in law enforcement. They tend to be extremely sensitive to the presence of a photographer and the most willing to break laws to prevent a photographer from recording them.
Yet law enforcement uses photography extensively. This includes cameras on the front of their cars, body cameras, traffic cameras, police photographers, cameras in their buildings, and often wanting the images from private citizens’ cameras that do not have officers in the frame.
To be a photographer you should know your rights, know the local laws and honor the rights of others. You should also know that even though you are legal and proper, you may anger people enough to attack you.
Posted on 09 September 2010.
Sure, I can call myself the F-word! A “feminist” is someone who believes in women having equal rights as men. This includes equality within social, political and economical issues.
Feminists are portrayed as women most of the time; however, men can be feminist too. Men can believe in having equal rights as women. Mass media has a way of misconstruing the definition of feminism.
Often additional misleading characteristics will be associated with feminists, blurring the line between what is real and what is not. It is not about superiority. It is not about anger; and, it is not about hate.
To be honest, I didn’t know I was a feminist until last spring. You could say I’ve been a feminist all my life but didn’t adhere to the label because of the harsh stereotypes. I’ve always felt that women should have the same rights as men.
For a moment I thought we did have equal rights under the law. I thought we were moving onward. This is not the case.
The gender gap became clearer to me as I read more literature. The feminist movement has slowed in pace.
Is this where we want to be ladies and gentlemen? I think it’s time to break stereotypes.
A common stereotype of a feminist is a woman with masculine features who hates men. This is so far from the truth.
Feminists come in every color, nationality, gender, sexuality and creed. They could be any age from any social class. Some wear miniskirts and some don’t.
I have met men feminists who take care of their children, cook, clean, and who are completely capable of taking on domestic roles. On the other hand, I have met men who burn water and have never changed a diaper but still believe men and women should have equal rights.
Ask anyone today if men and women have equal rights and most might say yes. Interestingly enough there is no law that says this is true.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) protects from gender bias throughout the United States and any place under its jurisdiction. It was the next step to follow the 19th Amendment (granting women the right to vote).
In 1972 the ERA passed Congress as well as the House of Representatives but was three states short of becoming the 27th Amendment. It has yet to be written into our Constitution. Are we ready to take the next step?
· June 1, 2013
· Starts at 10 a.m.
· May 24, 2013 through May 31, 2013
· May 27, 2013