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Lacking integrity

One would have to be naïve, deaf or blind to not know that Donald J. Trump has said and done some crazy, juvenile, unpresidential and even treasonous things. The most serious was what he did on Jan. 6, 2021, waging war on our democracy. I mean, the guy definitely is not fit to be president! He does not have an ounce of decency, humility or integrity in his whole body.

But still, a great majority of folks out there still support this guy, including some prominent GOP politicians and our Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. And a greater majority of us are like, gasping, “What — are we in a twilight zone or something?”

Mr. Alex Butterfield, the deputy assistant to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973, testified honestly about the Nixon White House tapes. Fifty years later, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson, a young 25-year-old political staffer, found herself in a similar position, testifying about former President Trump’s treasonous attempt to stay in power. Fearing retribution from Trump, Cassidy is assured by Mr. Butterfield that revealing the truth was the right thing to do, that doing the right thing is the very definition of integrity.

Hmm — maybe that’s what’s wrong with this new breed of MAGA GOP’ers? They have abandoned the previous label of being the party of “law and order” and morphed into one that lacks integrity? Hoo-boy.

Italo J. Zarate


Learning to work

I have to thank my parents for guiding me on a path to avoid homelessness by keeping me busy during a summer-break. While I was in the sixth grade my father told me, there was an old man a block away who hired kids to take the nails out off shipping crates and it was not about the pay but the responsibility to hold a job. Pay is important but my father said accountability is the golden rule to secure your job and it will keep you from being bored at the same time.

I walked a block to the man’s home one warm summer day and I still remember him to this day; he was an African American man in his 60s, picking up crates and moving with such calm and motion that it mimicked the natural movement of the wind moving the tall grass around him. If I ever learn to paint, I would paint that picture; it is amazing what an impression a young kid can get at that age. I watched him work for a moment to see the type of work required before I had the courage to ask for a job. I had my doubts about having the strength to pull the nails out, but I did finally ask if he needed help taking the nails out and by doing so, I pretty much threw my hat over the fence and committed to go forward.

He did hire me, at one cent per nail. He started me with the small nails first, showing me how to use the claw of the hammer to catch the head of the nail and the proper way of pulling it out without bending it, getting it out as straight as possible so it could be used again. It was an art for me and opened a new world.

I felt so proud to be part of the workforce and learning responsibility. It was not the money I was interested in but the learning that moved me to new levels.

My journey in life began there, with a teacher whom I will never forget. May he rest in peace

Rafael Madrigal


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