Proud to be a Bruin despite loss at state

Success is not always measured by the score at the end of a basketball game. Last week in Eugene at the OSAA high school basketball finals, it was measured by the Barlow boys basketball team that came to play, struggled to settle in but never gave up; by the super fans, who showed up by the hundreds, dressed in every combination of blue and gold, to support their team, even in defeat, and demonstrated their pride for Barlow; and by the dozens of parents, administrators and staff who took time off from work, chauffeured kids, rented hotel rooms and stood proudly and loudly, right alongside that sea of blue and gold. Barlow fans outnumbered every other team in the tournament.

Win or lose, I was proud of that team, proud of those fans and proud to be a Bruin!



Book on child soldiers a must read

In my language arts class at Centennial Learning Center, we read the biography 'A Long Way Gone.' It features an ex-child soldier named Ishmael Beah. In it, he recounts his horrific time and experience as a child soldier during the war in Sierra Leone. I want his story to be shared and acknowledge by the public.

Since I read Ishmael Beah's book, it made me realize that having child soldiers is one of the most inhumane things I have ever heard about. Some child soldiers are forced to become child soldiers and some go to survive - they don't have much choice. After that, they are put on drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and a mix of a few more. Most of the child soldiers are very young, and they're sent to the front lines to kill people, some even their own age. Child soldiers are completely desensitized and taught to believe fighting is right. After all, for most of them it's their only chance of survival and the drugs and being young makes it hard for them to know what's even going on. It's absolutely inhumane and needs to be stopped.

I would like to ask people to read 'A Long Way Gone,' since the story needs to be shared, especially since this book was chosen for Multnomah County's Everybody Reads 2008. I also would like to see the issue of child soldiers get more attention from our local newspaper.

I want people to share their feeling on the issue, since everyone should be aware of what's happening in other countries. It's our duty, as people, to bond together and do what we can to stop it.

Chelsea Rahme

Centennial Learning Center Student


Hold telecoms accountable

While there seems to be a lot of discussion about the nature of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) law, it is really a very simple answer when choosing whether or not to grant retroactive immunity.

What we were told as citizens was, 'If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.' OK, I'll accept that, and I think that the same should be true for the telecom industry. I say, 'If they've done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about.' Do not forget that these giant telecom corporations have herds of attorneys on their staffs. They know what is legal and what is illegal. They chose to break the law.

I encourage you to contact U.S. Rep. Blumenauer and Sens. Wyden and Smith to ask them to hold the telecoms accountable for their illegal activities.



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