Friday, December 13, 2013
My brother Steven Huston's passing reminds me that his life brought great joy and deep sadness ("Feature Obituary: Steven Huston, 53, passionate advocate for Portland's homeless," Oct. 9). He lived his life on his terms, and from the depths of his perils, rose to greatness in his service to others.
Steven Huston learned from his experiences with alcoholism and homelessness, “and from the depths of his perils, rose to greatness in his service to others,” his brother Richard Huston says.
2011 File Photo/John Patriquin
Steve battled with alcoholism from the age of 12, when he went to live with his alcoholic father. This battle brought him to be homeless many times, and from that knowingness, he helped many people. He served as a voice for the people he met on the streets through advocacy and legislation.
I am reminded of our mother, Ellie, and how her life and Steve's had different approaches, yet parallel themes. She taught us by example.
Ellie helped with the formation of the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, she served as a mentor for Sweetser Children's Home and was active politically. Steve advocated for the homeless, helped his fellow brother and sister in need and was active politically for a cause.
They both loved to paint and draw, and Steve recently started to make it a business.
His jovial nature versus the calls for help.
His smile on his face versus the despair of his drunken stare.
His tie-dyed T-shirt and ballcap versus the begging for money.
His beautiful art versus the stark nature of his belongings.
His welcoming heart versus being homeless.
His roller coaster ride versus dying in his easy chair.
Steve, we will miss you and your passion for doing what you believed in and living life on your terms. Thank you for leading by example. Blessings to you on your next journey.
Obama not to blame for turmoil in Middle East
I read Charles Krauthammer's opinion column on Sept. 21 and felt that while much of what he said is true, his statements only reveal the obvious problems of the present while dismissing the root cause of the problems that he identified ("Obama's foreign policy to blame, not 'Innocence of Muslims'").
He attempts to correlate the anti-Americanism that is spreading across the Muslim world as an indication of our president's poor foreign policies.
I agree that it is ludicrous to believe that a 14-minute video is responsible for the turmoil in these nations, but to imply that the Obama administration is responsible is equally ludicrous.
A more detailed look reveals that our relationship with post-Kissinger Egypt has never been good. The Egyptian government as seen through its citizens was nothing but a puppet for U.S. interests while oppressing its own citizens, especially women, gays and Christians.
Americans need to know that our relationship with Egypt came at a price tag of $1.2 billion per year in American aid. What did that aid actually purchase us?
It kept a fragile peace between Egypt and Israel (which itself receives $1.5 billion a year in aid from the USA). It also allowed for U.S. influence in the Suez Canal, which transports 2.5 percent of the world's oil, keeping oil costs low for large American businesses.
Egypt was also home to three of the 9/11 terrorists, who, along with 15 Saudis (another pro-American nation), crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
What did we do in response? We invaded Iraq, weakening the security of Israel by making Iran even stronger. Access to oil is the root cause, and paid allies are never your friends.
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