Recap: Interviewed Dan Schwankl who is a Catholic Worker at the Silk Hope Community in Siler City, North Carolina. In an act of civil disobedience (with a good number of other protesters) several years ago, Schwankl ‘crossed the line’ at the “School of the Americas” in Ft. Benning, Georgia. He was sentenced to prison for six months. It is Schwankl’s belief, as it is the belief of many others, that South American soldiers trained here go back to their countries and engage in torture, and other clandestine military operations. “We must stand up and speak truth to this” even if it means jail, Schwankl told me… We then headed west to Statesville, North Carolina, where I interviewed Jeanine Marsilia who teaches “English as a Second Language” in the school system here. Ms. Marsilia told me there are many illegal immigrants from South America in Statesville, and the children particularly have a hard time learning because they are continually “hungry, or sick, or their teeth are hurting…” There is a “5th Street Ministry” in Statesville with an “Open Door Clinic” that includes a wing for dental. However, I learned only two dentists, out of 32 listed in the Statesville phone book, donate any time (and it’s quite minimal at that) to the Clinic. I told a reporter for the Statesville newspaper that that is a social justice disgrace… We then headed further west to Newport, Tennessee, where a mother of two teenagers (who asked not to be identified) said she was concerned about doctors who think nothing about prescribing pain killers, tranquilizers and other pills with addictive properities to youth — without fully informing a parent about the hazards of the drugs. She said she believes this, in fact, sometimes sets up addictions in youth, and there should be more comprehensive safe guards per: informing both the youth and parents. Note: We spent New Year’s Eve in Knoxville, Tennessee. After the kids went to sleep, Liz and I stayed up and counted down the minutes to the new year in the silence — watching our cell phone clock. Is that the zenith of excitement, or what? Wait until you see what we have planned for the Inaugaral Balls.