LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY: Stop the huge California insurance rate hikes!

Dear Californian,

Blue Shield stunned Californians with yet another round of health insurance rate hikes -- its third increase in six months -- totaling 59 percent for some customers.

These kind of rate increases started long before the passage of new federal health laws. Last year, Anthem Blue Cross tried to raise rates as much as 39 percent for about 700,000 California customers. The public uproar ultimately saved these customers real money.

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COMMENTARY: In celebration of birthdays and Roe v. Wade

January 22 was my birthday, which interests me greatly, being that I love birthdays — still. But, understandably, few folks noticed it.

January 22 was also the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that resulted in legalized abortion in the United States. But, unfortunately, few folks noticed it.

COMMENTARY: U.S. wastes $193 million to enforce DADT from 2004 to 2009

Talk about wasteful spending in government.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released an audit that shows that the military spent $193.3 million from 2004 to 2009 to fire and replace 3,360 service members under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

It cost taxpayers $52,800 to discharge a service member over DADT.

Here are the statistics:

- 1,458 held critical occupations

- 57% were honorably discharged

- 28% were uncharacterized discharges

- 10% were general discharges

- 3% were other than honorable discharges

- 2% were unknown or not applicable discharges

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COMMENTARY: Why we should invest in California infrastructure jobs today

The depressed construction industry has contributed to our state's higher unemployment rate of 12.4 percent.

From 1993 to 2006, good-paying construction jobs helped fuel our state's economy. But since 2006, when the housing industry peaked, California lost nearly 400,000 construction jobs.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: MLK and justice for black LGBT families

Dear Friends,

In 1955, only a few days after Rosa Parks took action and refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in the pulpit at the Holt Street Baptist Church. That evening, thousands had gathered in preparation to take action and launch the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is widely recognized as the first, successful non-violent mass mobilization of people of color in the United States.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this 25th anniversary of the creation of this day as a federal holiday.

We observe this day as a memorial to a transformational leader, but we also remember all people who have felt the sting of discrimination because of the color of their skin, the accent with which they speak, where they were born, where they worship, or even who they love.

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The White House Blog: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy

Editor's note: On Monday, Jan. 17, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and other administration officials will honor Dr. Martin Luther King by participating in a National Day of Service .

On Monday, our nation will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a man whose service and sacrifice touched the lives of all Americans.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Task Force commemorates life and legacy of MLK

Today we honor and reflect on the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who courageously and tenaciously bent the arc of history toward racial and economic justice.

Dr. King’s unwavering message of hope continues to serve as a beacon for so many of us, as does his enduring vision of an America that embraces equality over injustice. His powerful words — “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — continue to resonate deeply across our country and the world.

COMMENTARY: Is evangelical Christianity having a great gay awakening?

Some of my dearest friends are gay.

Most of my dearest friends are Christians.

And more than a few of my dearest friends are gay Christians.

As an evangelical, that last part is not something that, traditionally and culturally, I'm supposed to say out loud. For most of my life, I've been taught that it's impossible to be both openly gay and authentically Christian.

When a number of my friends "came out" shortly after our graduation from Wheaton College in the early '90s, first I panicked and then I prayed.

What would Jesus do? I asked myself (and God).

Spreading lies: World Net Daily signs on to Nazis-were-gays tall tale

World Net Daily (WND) is generally known for its right-wing and conspiracy-oriented bent. However, along with its long-time support for birther arguments and dark warnings about the Federal Reserve, the site also is thick with hard-line anti-gay propagandizing.

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