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Thursday, October 30th, 2014
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Greetings to the new year!


By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

During the holidays my husband and I visited our son, his wife and two sons, 8 and 5 and their little girl, 3, in Cottage Grove. The children never stopped moving except at night when they were sleeping. They figured I was there to play with them. They were puzzled that I didn’t join them in doing backward summersaults off the sofa. The little girl sent her 5 year-old brother to the kitchen in the morning with a request to her father to serve her breakfast in bed! On Christmas she was given her own computer. It was pink, her favorite color.

I celebrated my 80th birthday New Year’s Eve, counting down the last minutes of 2013 with the folks in New York. (80 is the new 60!) Perhaps I should be coming to terms with my own mortality at this point, but I don’t take dying seriously. It’s not part of my plan. It would be like leaving a play before the third act. I want to see what happens next.

Politically, we’ve been wandering in the wilderness since the mid-term election in 2010. Obama supporters who had unrealistic expectations failed to show up to vote. Gleefully “fools rushed in” to fill up the gap. Presently we have members of congress who are still fighting the Civil War. We also have Christian Fundamentalists who look to the Bible when making policy rather than the Constitution and who see Faith superior to Science. They cry loudly that “they are upholding their principles.” The problem is their principles are not accompanied by rational thought. Most remarkably they don’t see the federal government as a means of finding solutions to our problems.

The world has become an infinitely more complex and dangerous place. We need a public that is far more informed. Americans are connected to each other. The threads of our lives are interwoven. The choices we make about education, research, the economy, the environment, energy, immigration and our courts affect us all.

Laying off teachers and closing schools will not improve education. Cutting the number of police and firemen will not make us safer. If we hire more teachers, police and firemen they will buy cars, houses and increase the need for goods and services.

In the last 30 years the inequality, the divide between rich and poor has been growing. The top “2 percent” of corporate America control policy, reinforcing their power and continuing to increase excessive wealth, while average Americans have seen their jobs outsourced to other countries. The “2 percent” then accuse American workers of being “lazy and looking for a hand out!” Corporations spend millions on propaganda and lies. They flood the media with misinformation. Finding tidbits of truth during the daily discourse on television reminds me of watching birds dive down into a pasture searching for bits of grain in the fresh excrement left by the cows.

I have no objection to government being more efficient. I enjoy book reviews on C-Span. “Life Inside the Bubble” written by Dan Bongino sounds interesting. He was a policeman and worked in the secret service. Another on my list “Who Stole the American dream?” by Hedrick Smith: also “Dollarocracy” by Robert McChesney and “Chasing Gideon” by Karen Houppert, a book about the dangerous cuts in financing our court system.

Twice Americans voted for President Obama to lead our country. He is willing and eager to promote legislation to create jobs, improve education, tackle gun control, try to find acceptable solutions to immigration problems, continue his effort to bring affordable healthcare to” all Americans,” protect the environment, make funds available for research, and as far as possible, keep us safe from our enemies and out of war. The present congress has used this administration as a “shooting gallery.” Not allowing proposals to get off the ground. They have obstructed progress, wasted time and money. Is it possible to give the President the support he needs to move the country into the future?

What can we hope for in 2014? He can’t do it without our help!

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