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People need to take responsibility for their actions


Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On my walk to the Post Office and back each day, I glance at the sidewalks, gutters, window sills, and planters along those three blocks. I pick up and discard cans, bottles, cigarette packs, and candy wrappers. Yesterday, I picked up three cans within a half block. Although they litter the sidewalks, I draw the line at cigarette butts. The difficult part is trying to understand why these things are thrown away like that.

Our town provides trash containers hanging on the light poles every block, or maybe even half-block. Why don't some people walk an extra three or four steps off a straight line and deposit their trash in those handy bins? And the streets and yards along the route for the Steam Engine Days Parade were littered with all kinds of waste. It seems to show disrespect for our town, and the people who live in it and look at it.

Our citizens make a real effort to maintain their lawns and yards, and keep their homes well-cared for, but it's hard to notice if there is garbage tossed about.

Have any of you worked with a group who have "adopted" a piece of highway? If so, you know how much waste is discarded along the roads. Some groups have stopped picking up because of the dangerous kinds of wastes to be found: discarded hypodermic needles, used condoms, bottles of urine, and soiled disposable diapers, to name a few. This is in addition to sacks of garbage, worn-out tires, cans and bottles, pizza boxes. Our lovely public parks are often likewise bedecked.

I mentioned lack of respect for our towns. It goes much deeper and farther than that, I think. Many do not grow up having respect for people in general, or for private or public property. At the core of that lack is something even more basic, no respect for ourselves as persons of value and purpose, and therefore, for other people. This triggers not only the littering and vandalism which happens only too frequently, but leads also to the casual violence apparent in many people's actions - to bullying, and to attacks using the internet to destroy people's reputations and self-esteem. There are many ways of trashing people and things.

What to do? How to improve these conditions and responses? There are no simple or quick answers, I'm afraid. Parents, neighbors, and communities need to take time and make efforts to help children grow up with healthy attitudes. When I taught high school, (and it needs to start in infancy) I used to say if we could only teach o .....
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Embarrassed and unfortunate

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Embarrassed

Well, after the party comes the hangover. The Sarah Palin rise to political stardom - beauty queeen, hockey mom, bear shootin', corruption fighting governor - is grinding back to an ugly reality; as vice-president in waiting she's ..... 
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Going back in time

Fri, Sep 26th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Sarah Palin? Really? I get a regular side dish of news from Colbert Report and Jon Stewart because a little bit of humor makes the nonsense go down so I thought this idea was perhaps a new South Park pilot or something but it seems the GOP means it. ..... 
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Politics and prejudice

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

After watching the Democratic and Republican conventions, I realized that the word impartial does not apply to me. I watched the Democrats with what I hoped was a critical eye and liked what I heard and saw. I watched the Republicans with an attempt ..... 
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It's the economy, stupid

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

There are four months to go in the George Bush debacle, perhaps the worst presidency in the history of our country. At this writing, investment bank Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch has been taken over by Bank of America at di ..... 
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You might as well tell the truth

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Well before the two major political parties held their coronations each party put out ads on radio and television touting their candidates' positions and simultaneously offering information about their opponents' positions and programs. Most of us w ..... 
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Is she really the next best?

Fri, Sep 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The selection of Sarah Palin for McCain's running mate was a surprise to almost all the pundits and most of the politicians. Her introduction to the country at the Republican convention was a smashing success according to the media. She did a good j ..... 
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Palin a risky choice for the McCain ticket

Fri, Sep 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

"It was a reckless decision."

"It looks like a hail-Mary pass."

"It's a weird choice."

"It does nothing for the ticket."

These are a few comments I have heard about John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin to be his vic ..... 
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Voting is both a privilege and an obligation - be informed

Fri, Sep 5th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Thomas Jefferson said, "Information is the currency of democracy."

And in an E-mail essay on Winston Churchill's 1947 comment that "Democracy is not perfect, but it's better than any of the other methods that have been tried so far," the co ..... 
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