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I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

I’ve always wondered how people going through an upheaval actually emotionally dealt with the hardship of seeing their world as they knew it collapse and assume there was nothing they could do but hold on and ride the waves. Sort of how it feels now.   We have two unstable national leaders playing a game of chicken. We have a Congress that seems to forget who put them there. We have a series of natural events coming fast and furious with hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires needing attention. We have a huge segment of our population who is hiding as much as they can, not earning a living, because they are on a list to be removed and sent away. We have Germany perhaps having their first elected fascists since the destruction of the Third Reich coming this weekend. We have Britain’s Prime Minister trying to delay the departure from the European Union because since the vote more people know it’s a bad idea. We have the US involved in wars We the People know little about. We have military veterans coming home in emotional states that clearly show that war is hell and they were not prepared for it. We have a segment of our population who seem to think they are above average while they line up with the rest of the sheep to support the 1%. We have two major political parties that are dysfunctional and do not remember that this nation’s Constitution begins with “We the People.” I could go on and on. So, I have always loved to read and reading fictionalized or nonfiction accounts... read more
“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”:  by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”: by Neil deGrasse Tyson

‘We might not recover’: Neil deGrasse Tyson gets emotional and sounds the alarm. All the alarms. –by Jen Hayden Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joined CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to discuss the massive, record-setting hurricanes that have been pummeling Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in recent weeks and he is sounding the alarm. All the climate change alarms, even wondering if we’ve reached the point now where we might not be able to recover. It’s a sobering interview that all should see. The full interview an transcript are below. The time to act is right now.ZAKARIA: So what role did climate change play in the ferocious strength of hurricane Irma and the intense flooding caused by Irma and Harvey? Well, on Monday, U.S. Homeland Security adviser refused to say whether climate change had been a factor or Irma’s strength at all. The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has told CNN in advance of Irma’s landfall that it was insensitive to talk about climate change right now. How should we think about an event like this and the broader issue of science and public policy? To help me understand the impact of all of this, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins me. He is, of course, the author of the best-seller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and much, much more. Neil, you’re not a climate scientist but you’re a very distinguished scientist and astrophysicist. What do you think about when people say, look, this is not settled science, there are still questions about Einstein’s theories that led to nuclear fission but we still know that there are nuclear power plants do operate... read more
QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

“Well, our brilliant leader (no one is smarter than him, he said so) has begun cavalierly calling this man with his finger on the trigger in North Korea and total control over the use of monstrous weapons, “Rocket” Man like a child in the schoolyard trying to provoke a fight. If conflict ensues it will not be this draft-dodger or his pampered children who are placed in danger and sent in harm’s way to a far-flung war zone to engage. We are talking about the deaths of literally thousands and tens of thousands of people-maybe even millions-many of them sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even grandparents that are Americans. To treat the threat of a horrible war with such a thoughtless approach-as though it is no big deal-something to be joked about and belittled shows the depth of this-and I’m choking on it-president’s ignorance, arrogance, and lack of feeling for his fellow man. Is there no end to this madness? Is there no balm in Gilead for those of us seeking a return to sanity?” –Pat Jones   “This is the final paragraph of an article I just read in answer to a friend who asked his Black friends to provide examples of white privilege. (I would like to note that more accurately, his statement should be “white, straight, male privilege”) This woman wrote an extensive, sensitive response to his request which is quite long. This last paragraph is good instruction for everyone: “As to you ‘being part of the problem,’ trust me, nobody is mad at you for being white. Nobody. Just like nobody should be... read more
CONVERSATION ON CRITICISM AND ABORTION by Editor and Reader

CONVERSATION ON CRITICISM AND ABORTION by Editor and Reader

[The following mostly unedited conversation appeared in the E-edition of the Herald-Dispatch in August, 2017. Explanatory notes placed appropriately; otherwise, it appears as originally printed. The exchange was brought on by the editor’s response to a column in the H-D by a local columnist, who shall remain unnamed. The subject of the original column was anti-abortion and the body of the exchange, after a bit of back and forth on criticism, is on the subject of abortion.] BILL: Milt, as you so often say when facing criticism regarding what you write in your own column, this is the opinion section. What’s good for the goose? MILT: So it is. And so, I expressed my opinion above, as I generally do when I disagree with comments about my own columns. Also, it irks me and many others that [unnamed whose column was on the subject of “abortion”] never comes here to defend, explain, comment on criticisms, or expand on his thinking, etc., etc. Sometimes, he writes like he’s the voice of God, and anyone who disagrees with him (especially us liberals) is bound for the lowest levels of hell. Balderdash! I’m certainly neither goose nor gander, so what’s your point Bill? BILL: My point, Milt, is that you lash out at people who criticize you on your column seemingly using the defense that it’s your opinion, therefore immune from criticism. And here you are lashing out at [unnamed] for his opinions. Seems rather hypocritical. MILT: Bill, sometimes I’m hypocritical. What’s so strange about that? Most people are from time to time. Actually, it’s not hypocritical to be aggravated by responses... read more
DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL by J. William St. Clair

DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL by J. William St. Clair

I attended the University of Virginia (1982-1986). One summer, I worked at a restaurant about a block from the park where the clashes occurred last Saturday morning. My memories do not match what I witnessed on the television screen. It was surreal to watch people yelling and taunting each other, lobbing and being hit by bottles, spraying and being sprayed by mace and then engaging in random fistfights in an area I recall as being quiet and bucolic. What caught my attention is that those engaging in the violence were doing so voluntarily. They were mutual combatants. Certainly the young woman killed by a car was not part of the melee that I saw. Her death was an act of evil. And, I would place in the evil category (albeit a lesser category) the mutual combatants I witnessed fighting in the street. They were both returning evil for evil.   The public outcry in the wake of the street skirmishes apparently did not witness what I saw on the news. Government officials and media pundits generally focused on the white supremacists, Klan members and neo-Nazis (bigots) - their wrongdoing and our public intolerance for their thoughts and beliefs. There was no mention of the beatings I saw some of the bigots received in the streets. The hatred, loathing and disdain heaped upon the bigots in the street and later in the media is exactly what the bigots want the public to feel and then pile upon them. Evil wants to be repaid with evil because even righteous loathing fuels the bigot’s hate-filled rhetoric intellectually and has no connection with... read more
TELL ME I’M NOT WORTHY by Jen Hayden

TELL ME I’M NOT WORTHY by Jen Hayden

Kristin Beck, who spent two decades as a Navy SEAL, has a challenge for Donald Trump in the wake of his morning tweetstorm announcing a ban on transgender service members. From Business Insider: “Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,” Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALSs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.” Beck is a bonafide American hero: Beck is not just your average service member. Born Christopher Beck, she served for 20 years in the Navy with SEAL Teams 1, 5, and, eventually, the elite 6. She deployed 13 times over two decades, including stints in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She received the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat. “I was defending individual liberty,” she said. “I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone.” Beck’s missions in Afghanistan helped take out Osama bin Laden. What an embarrassment to this nation and a stabbing insult to patriots like Beck, who simply want to serve their country. [Article first appeared in Daily Kos, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Reprinted with permission.]... read more