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How does one avoid post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD) after ratatat news about devastating hurricanes, frightening, uncontrolled forest fires, flooding that leaves a wakes of deaths and resource-less survivors, refugees and evacuees worldwide, relentless climate change, and pissant politicians?

Some of you may find solace from knitting, wood working, puzzles, yoga meditation, or some liquid excelsior. Since I knit not, my only wood working success was in third grade shop, I lack puzzle patience, my body cannot do yoga stretched, 30 seconds is my meditation max, and I am steadfastly a one-beer-a-day guy, I have found battleground relief elsewhere.

I relish spelunking in history and biography. I luxuriate in past stories of hair-raising tales and generally uplifting outcomes. Reading Peys on London during a horrific 17th century decade makes our current nightmares seem more like Perils of Pauline than PARADISE LOST.

My favorite thumb sucker is David McCullough’s BRAVE COMPANIONS, a marvelous collection of 17 biographic essays ranging from Baron von Humboldt to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Louis (I’ll never look at a fish the same way again’) Agassiz. For me David, who became my friend at age 13, is our American Clio. He is a complete storyteller and, for me, BC is the essence of his quintessence.

When I get pissed at pseudo ‘originality’ Constitutionalists, I bask in Catherine Drinker Bowen’s MIRACLE AT PHILADELPHIA: THE STORY OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a whacking fine account of how our Constitution was crafted. It was a perilous story fraught with do-or-die compromises, For me our Constitution is the most successful political document in all of history. I lament that our current court does not seem supreme.

Individuals store historic cocktails. Without resolving Carlye’s conundrum whether heroes master events or events create heroes, I love to read about noble personalities and knaves. There are many marvelous biographies (Taubman on Khrushchev is a stunner, and Doris Kearns Goodwin and Barbara Tuchman rank high among page-turner biographies). Recently I have re-read Margaret MacMillan’s HISTORY’S PEOPLE: PERSONALITIES AND THE PAST. Professor MacMillan, Canadian born and later at Oxford, provides sparkling, insider accounts ranging from FDR, Hitler, and Stalin to Babur and Samuel de Champlain.

My deepest get-away-from-it-all retreat is Daniel Boorstin’s THE DISCOVERERS, the best of his plethora of superb books. In TD Boorstin describes, in illuminating detail, how the measurement of time evolved, the predecessors to Darwin’s and Wallace’s breakthrough on evolution, the story of writing and the creeping progression to books with punctuation, pages and finally movable type, and much, much more.

On a daily basis my richest reading feast is Heather’s remarkable LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN, which provides a succulent bouillabaisse of which I have previously discussed.

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Fantastic way of dealing with PTSD, from one certified by the VA as off the charts. I very often have to shut down input and rational contemplation completely. The only way to survive sometimes..

May I suggest the philosophy of Stoicism.. it really helps, but as a two-year novice I can't yet turn the battle with only the only the Greeks at my side!

No alcohol, no weed -- this battle is too important to fight while impaired. Nothing to shield the heart from being overwhelmed by current and incipient human suffering at the hands of those who have traded their souls for power.

Keith, you are so right!! When I am not shut down, reading is the way to travel through time and space, a narcotic to get OUT OF HERE for a little while, constructively making me a more enlightened person when I get back. Currently at book book 17 of the 21 book Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, a wonderful read about a 12th century English monk who solves murders, with a lot of middle English history thrown in. I read non fiction as well, such as Kill Switch by Adam Jentleson, the history of the filibuster. All this while fighting for democracy alongside the good guys, until the next shut down.... I do it for my beloved family, for the people who do not understand what is happening, and yes, even for the haters who have joined movement conservative cult.

I am currently looking for The Discoverers, thanks for the tip!

We simply MUST survive, to fight on.

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And humor! And Trees! And Critters! I fight for them, because they give me life....

Did I mention humor?

Two nuns and a lion tamer walk into a bar.....

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Actively playing and engaging with grandchildren. It gets me out of my head. However, I’m keeping a list of all the great reading recommendations. Thanks to LFAA it has grown exponentially.

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Ah, grandkids and a bizarre sense of humor add zest and sparkle—an essential life boat in these turbulent seas!

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Gus, I imagine you’re a much in demand dinner guest. What fun it would be to hang out with you. Thanks

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Non sequitur: You may already know that Ellis Peters is the pseudonym for Edith Mary Pargeter, and I loved her Brother Cadfael Chronicles, and enjoyed the BBC series as well. 👍

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A bit of Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter trivia for you: Pargeter had no children to whom to bequeath the--to her initially unexpected--fruits of her labors, the royalties of which continue to flow with alacrity. So she made the Shropshire Records and Research Centre, in her beloved home town of Shrewsbury and quite near the actual remains of the monastery of SS Peter and Paul (it is now a parish church), the beneficiary, because that is where she did a lot of her research for her books. I am happy to report that the SRRC is one of the best county archives in which to do research in the UK. It was always a good facility (Shropshire is a smallish and wealthy county) but after the Ellis Peters endowment, it went from good to extraordinary. Its education outreach is also fantastic. Another Shrewsbury tidbit: it was the locale for the establishment of the first Unitarian church (across the street from the remains of another historic monastery-turned-parish church) with Joseph Priestly as its minister. I have spent many happy hours in Shrewsbury and Shropshire over the years . . .

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Love your history bits and pieces. Thank you, Linda. By your description, I can picture the place.

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Thanks for this, Linda.

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Fantastic! Very grateful for your tidbits Linda. She had everything in the Chronicles. English history and culture, monastic shenanigans and polity, a whole lot of biology and early medicine, justice, all draped on plot line that I quit trying to solve and just enjoy. When Patrick Tull had to quit narrating before his death I mourned his loss. I couldn't listen to the other narrators, so I circled back and started over again. Eventually I started buying the Kindle versions to finish the series. Can't get started again! Not yet.

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Yes, I know, but you I don't think you can shop on Amazon Kindle using her real name. Didn't catch the TV series. Someday....

Nice to connect with another fan, Just Janice! Edith was my wife's name, and Edith the writer is a genius! Haven't predicted who dunnit so far....

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Recently read "The Premonition" by Michael Lewis. Not only is it true and relevant but it was an actual page turner, maddening and thrilling all at the same time. Like reading Vindman's book, we need to be reminded that behind the scenes and off the front pages, TVs, and social media that there are brilliant, practical, brave, Americans working hard to protect us from the worst of us. Which takes me to Biden. I think this is his moment. He knows this. I think because he is not a smooth talker or a gazzillionaire many people (particularly Republicans)under estimate his strength and intelligence. Joe is on top this - not watching TV all day about himself - not concerned about his re-electability. I'm not worried about him doing the right thing. Slow and methodical. Highly experienced. I'm sleeping better today than I did during Trump despite my over whelming concerns about the future, if we don't get active on climate change and beat back the white supremacists and Texas Taliban. Right must be might. The means must justify the ends. We can not continue to fool ourselves. We know pornography when we see it, we know a lie when we hear one, and we know we need big changes to the way we have been governing ourselves. Lately I've been wondering, what would happen if we got rid of States entirely?

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Totally agree about Biden. It was heartbreaking to read the reactions from the families of the 13 soldiers who were killed in the Afghan withdrawal and their embrace of the authenticity offered by TFG. It suggested to me, even giving credit for the enormous grief they bear, a possible deeper “politicization in the military ranks” issue. I hope I’m very wrong.

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Another way to feel better about all of this? Get into the solution by addressing the root cause of our challenges. Be active in our communities to prevent the root cause of how we ended up in this time when racism is behind every power

move and almost all of us are coping with some form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Join us at www.pacesconnection.com to learn more about preventing and healing trauma, building resilience. Our free series on Historical Trauma in America details how our nation, built on the senseless slaughter of Native Americans and the kidnapping of Africans and their subsequent torture, murder, and being worked to death or to the point of death — among other atrocities committed by our forefathers — created the path to today’s challenges of a pandemic disproportionately affecting minorities and the poor, and environmental racism contributing to mankind’s greed destroying our amazing planet earth. Trauma — visited generation upon generation — makes us sicker, less stable, more divided, weaker, and more vulnerable.

We are a community of communities helping cross-sector initiatives based on the science of positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACEs) to solve our most intractable problems in ways that don’t retraumatize already traumatized people.

Join us! It’s free. Check out the communities tab at the top of the home page and see if there’s a group in your area. If not, start one. We are helping communities track and report on progress encouraging anti-racism, the creation of safe, stable nurturing environments at home and at school, shutting down the kindergarten-to-prison pipeline and more. Our next Historical Trauma in America installment is September 16 when we will focus on historical trauma in the Midwest.

In a moment or two, I will post the link to register. Thank you all. Join us in your community or state.

This is action you can take to help make things better in your community, state, world. Violence, the pursuit of power, and trauma got us here.

Creating safe, stable, nurturing environments for our precious children, shared power, and using shared power to prevent and heal trauma; build resilience in individuals, families and communities will lead us toward a nation where all can thrive.

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Carey, I did check it out, and the work of your organization is impressive. This series is just too close to my abiding weakness, is all. Thanks for what you do, and wishing for successful outcomes in many people who suffer with this trauma. 🙏

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I must say that for me (and only myself, not a broadside aimed at your excellent work), I no protection against the trauma of First American's, or Mexicans killed for land, or humans imported for slavery.

I was taught in my VA PTSD intervention that PTSD is, in part, a loss of immunity to these kinds of stress. They taught us the survival techniques which have kept me alive for my family and congregations. I am so glad that your program works for people, even some veterans, but not all of us can do it. Just being alive in these times, and fighting back helps up to a point, is all I can safely handle. Please tread very carefully with veterans who have higher levels of PTSD, and thank you for all your efforts Carey. I am following your link, in case I misunderstood you. My wife was part Cherokee, my VA instructor is part Sioux, I have a deep connection with Black Americans, and I live in Georgia, where an advanced First People nation was wiped out. I have the history....

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Thank you Gus. I grew up in Georgia, home to McIntosh and Cherokee and yes, they were such advanced nations. We do tread lightly as a resource for information on all manner of resources. With regard to veterans, my heart is full of sadness and hope, knowing the daily estimate of the number of veterans who commit suicide. Is astounding and heartbreaking and I saw the effects in family and friends. I honor your wisdom and concerns, Gus. Thank you for being open to checking out the work we do. Peace.

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My Mom was a huge Brother Cadfield fan. I should, perhaps, dig in and enjoy, since it seems to be a good way out of your head.

I have (I believe) dealt with most of my law enforcement traumas in pretty effective ways, although there are times "things" come to visit. I usually chase them with active participation in music (although I really can't play my tuba at 0300) or word games.

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Ally, my mom was a fan, too. I like reading books she enjoyed; it brings her back to me.

For me, exercise helps a lot - my horses, of course, but yoga is an amazing tool to reduce anxiety. Guided meditation sends me straight to sleep. I think I miss the point of it, but at least I can sleep!

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Yoga and I do not get along well. (There is a cartoon of the Tin Man in a yoga class; everyone has their mat and a bottle of water. He is standing on his mat with his can of oil and says "This is Bull***t". It is me.)

I have listened to Guided Imagery CD's since going through my cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2006 and subsequent surgeries since. I currently listen to one on "Stress Hardiness and Optimization" just about every night; the last two tracks are on deep relaxation and healthful sleep. Works like a charm.

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Oh, Ally, as I’m working to regain strength, I’m finding I now hate yoga. I popped something in my rib cage a few weeks ago during yoga and have been too afraid to get back to it. I’m the Tin Man now, too! That describes perfectly my stiffness and my creakiness!

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I have the flexibility of overcooked pasta and love yoga. And unlike conventional Western-style workouts with lots of jumping up and down, I find it wonderfully stress-reducing.

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Tai Chi might help. It is slower and gentler. There are also "chair yoga" poses that might be more conducive to your healing.

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That Tin Man cartoon is priceless!

Wish it was on a T-shirt. That's me, without the oil!

Hard to do even wheelchair yoga....the instructor is always reversed since we're both facing each other, and my brain can't transpose my body's response to the correct side. By the time I get it right, she is on to the next pose. I really want a Tin Man T-shirt...

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I would deeply appreciate a link to your stress hardiness resource.

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https://www.healthjourneys.com/audio-library?campaignid=1662563948&adgroupid=65846917164&adid=330134078398&gclid=Cj0KCQjwm9yJBhDTARIsABKIcGaB9dCOz-ASQyFIQwxF0QPNCFkx7ejG0i1D21Tmui0i48LGFyQvLuIaAoLEEALw_wcB

I had the chance to go and hear her give a seminar (my wife is a psychologist). I was working graveyard shift, got off at 6, and we drove two hours to Portland. I was questioning the judgement of going to a lecture seminar by the woman who put me to sleep at night. Her "imagery" voice is MUCH different than her speaking voice, and I was engaged the entire time (although I did sleep all the way home...)

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I read the Brother Cadfael books years ago, and loved them. Thanks for the reminder, it may be time for a re-read! I personally find that right now, with all that’s been going on the last five years and including my own personal griefs, I can’t manage anything too new or too challenging. During my cancer treatment and recovery this year, I’ve had Harry Potter, Louise Penny, and Outlander on repeat but maybe it’s time to move on - to another old friend.

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Not a bad idea. Tony Hillerman was my chemo companion.

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William Kent Krueger tells the stories of contemporary Native Americans and their conflicts with neighboring white townspeople to save their sacred forests from the local logging industry. Purgatory Ridge is set in northern Minnesota at Iron Lake near the Ojibwe reservation. The interaction of Natives with Anglos reminds me of Hillerman's stories; in fact, I just learned Krueger was greatly influenced by Hillerman.

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And I just learned that Longmire is coming back for another season, 10 episodes, I believe, starting Nov. 21. : )

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Thanks, I will look into him.

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I recommend his books highly! He's both very knowledgeable and extremely respectful of the Navajo (Dine') culture and beliefs.

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I’ve never read any of his books! I’ll put them on my list. Anything that got you through chemo is worth a look! Thanks.

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I've just about finished reading Anne Perry's "Charlotte & Thomas Pitt" series in order; had read many of them out of order. Set in 1880s/1890s London, the series of mystery stories develops the lives of the main characters over those decades, adding new important continuing characters at various points, and the author includes excellent detailed descriptions of the everyday lives of people across the demographic spectrum. https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/charlotte-thomas-pitt/ Not sure what I'll do next, perhaps go back and begin with Brother Cadfael from the beginning...

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I think they are even better the second time around. Go for it!

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Alex Vindman’s book, Here Right Matters, is also excellent.

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Just finished it. He's not the most eloquent writer, but his story is amazing.

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I found "The Discoverers" available for online purchase at Abe books for $5.00 ($1+$4 for shipping). I've checked out the ebook version from my library.

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Thanks Haydon!

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You're welcome.

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Some of the best writing I experience is on HCR’s comments page. Yours is at the top of the list. It is a pleasure to read not just for the content, but for the literary skill. Thank you for this and for ways to spend my 3 Audible credits!

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Easier said than done Maia! Some of the best in Keith's smorgasbord don't seem to be available on Audible, but Brave Companions is, so I have downloaded it. I will listen to it next after THE MOTHER TREE, a fascinating book by Suzanne Simard which describes how trees and forests think and support each other (no, not whacky at all!). Not strictly about history - yet it is in a way because it is to do with the way that we mismanage nature. Apologies for the aside, but many of the HCR comments wander delightfully away from the main subject in hand.

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I liked the Ents in the Middle Earth Trilogy. I’ve always felt trees have voices of sentinels.

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You might enjoy Braiding Sweetgrass, a Native American POV of non-human people.

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In the cart, Hope. Thank you.

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I read the reviews, and I bought on Audible. Read by the author, I always like that best. Fascinating so far! Got The Discoverers too.

(Not on Audible)

We might have to get a room for a book club!

Are you listening to this Keith?

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Not only not whacky but science is now supporting the importance of the below ground connectivity and communication among trees, not limited to trees of a single species but in a community of trees. Two more excellent books, one fiction and one non-fiction, referenced in this article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mother-trees-are-intelligent-they-learn-and-remember/

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Thank you Keith for your superb history reading list. A screenshot is posted to my notes app for reference. As Winston Churchill's granddaughter Barbara Macmillan had a privileged position to view history and has certainly “earned her chops” with her exceptionally well researched and written offerings. Also worthy of mention perhaps is Will and Ariel Durant’s series for making the panorama of history accessible.

I could not agree more with your praise for HCR. I am eternally grateful for her daily Letters.

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Christian, thanks for the Churchillian tidbit. I wonder if that influenced Professor MacMillan’s cheeky write up of Maggie (“This lady is not for turning”) Thatcher. Perhaps out of ignorance (I did have dinner with Will Durant’s daughter 50 years ago), I do not share your enthusiasm for the Durant’s magnus opus. I greatly prefer J. M. Roberts’ HISTORY OF THE WORLD, which I found outstanding on time periods and the Western and non-Western world.

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Pepys. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Pepys

Carlyle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle False dichotomy. Both statements are true. Also true for villains.

Great reading list.

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Pepys' diary. A treasure.

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I have taken a screen shot of this. Some day maybe, hopefully, God willing, I’ll get all of your recommendations read. What a great list.

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Keith, what an absolutely delightful comment! Thank you for your recommendations and a glimpse into your marvelous library.

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I second, third and fourth your last sentence. You give an appetising selection of fascinating reading material. I just wish for an extra 6 hours in the day so I could read more!

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Keith, Thank you for taking us on a trip through your magical and illuminating book tour. Several of your books were new to me, so the comment is saved for my own travels. Do you, by any chance, have a source of new, unused eyes?

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Fern, I’m delighted that you appreciate some books that truly matter to me. If you discover a source for ‘new, unused eyes,’ I would relish a turnaround for my creeping macular degeneration.I am thinking, before my 88th birthday next month, of going to Jiffy Lube for a full body job.

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Are you taking lutein supplements? They can make a big difference with macular degeneration. Look for at least 18 of whatever the units are, per day. My father had macular. We found out about lutein too late for his eyes. It’s helped a lot of other people, including me. The lutein in the supplements comes from crushed marigold flowers, so you can find vegan versions if that matters to you.

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Joan, thanks for the suggestion. I have been taking ARED 2 faithfully for years. I’ll ask my eye guru next month about lutein.

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This audience member is inspired.

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If only.

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Most certainly ... and, for those of us with stage 4 cataracts (and little to no faith in surgical remedies) ambient soundtracks are a good soundbath for the soul ....

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I can honestly say undergoing cataract surgery was a game changer. I, like Gailee, had implant lense surgery last September. I'd worn glasses for myopia since 1st grade - since the surgery I've never seen better in my life! Look Ma, no glasses!

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I just finished my cataract surgery. I have distance vision for the first time ever. But, because I was so terribly near sighted, I have to have glasses for close reading. Could have been contacts, which I wore for many decades till i turned 40+, but decided glasses were easiest. In fact, had three eye surgeries between December and June—one was retinal repair. I was apprehensive but all three were surprisingly easy and painless.

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Thank goodness - comgratulations!!

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Thank you Daria, I hear that from several people I know - also one who says she now has distance vision, but up close is difficult. I already live with residual pain from head/neck injuries, including associated ongoing extensive dental work - just don't relish the added burden of uncertainty ... maybe once we get through the COVID era and dental work reaches a maintenance plateau - I might consider eye surgery ... beyond that, meditation and music making can continue with or without visual acuity ... I see well enough to navigate - works well enough for now ... thank you for the feedback.

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Just FYI, I wore contacts for years. One long vision. One near vision. My implants are the same. One for distance and one for reading

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That is a huge blessing for you, I am sure, Gailee. Back in the 70's, I used to wear contacts ... driving around the country with a friend, I lost one of the contacts and had to drive from Swarthmore Pa. to Houston Tx with only one - the focus was so bad, I wound up going without and driving nearly blind most of the way ... made it without mishap, thankfully!!

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Yikes! You are braver than I am!

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Kathleen, best wishes for a successful end to your ongoing dental work.

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Thank you Daria! That would be a major blessing!!

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... meow ...

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Daria, my wife had cataract surgery in both eyes last summer. Like you her distance vision cleared almost completely, but she still needs glasses for close up. She often uses my cheaters when her own are not handy. Unfortunately, she still has disruptive floaters which are a result of a car accident 20+ years ago. Surgery can't help those:-(

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Pam, had dreadful floaters prior - they cleared a couple months after surgery. I'm sorry your wife is still troubled by them as they can be maddening!

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Floaters cleared up in my surgical eye, unfortunately the left then went bonkers. I wear one contact for distance in left, the new lens in my right eye gives me okay distance and the ability to read without glasses, and I stick in a contact if driving at night. Pretty much the same as I was before the cataract took over and I just wore the one contact. Hoping surgery for the left will clear some floaters too...

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Me too Daria

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Yessir. Now that I don't see too brightly swift, Amazon Audble books are mostly what I use. Some people hate them, but for anything but a textbook they will do. I will always revere the smell and the paper of real books...

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I love listening to books now! I don't have a lot of time to sit and read but I do have a lot of time that I am on my feet doing mindless menial work. Sometimes the narrator is especially good at different voices and that can add a lot to the experience.

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Have you listened to Valarie Kaur's "SEE NO STRANGER"? She narrates her own story - a clear, engaging look at who America really is beyond the veil of Anglo-European descent ...: https://valariekaur.com/see-no-stranger/

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Same here.

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I love Audible. I have the most boring job on the planet (housewife) and to be able to “read” while I do my endless, mindless, repetitive chores is wonderful!

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Hey Gus - yes, I use Audible - and Kindle works well too as long as I can zoom the font size ... used to be an avid reader - head injuries sidelined that ... oh well!!

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So, at least we're blessed with Audible, right? And if there is a great narrator it really makes it come alive. And I can do for myself while listening...

Sorry for your injuries Kathleen. But the best people I know are the disabled and handicapped who consider themselves "Blessed, and overcoming." I feel sure that you are finding ways to overcome, and I hope you have good support from people who love you! 🙏

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Thank you Gus. Yes, Audible is a real gift - I still can participate in a book discussion group, and love that I am not glued to the screen/page so I can listen/learn as I do chores. And yes, blessed and overcoming in so many ways - though not such an easy person to love - one huge blessing for me has been government support - especially with COVID, seeing people lose income/homes while my check comes in to the bank like clockwork, regardless.

Based on that experience alone, I would love to see support for basic needs available to those who need it - allowing people to devote time/energies to true interests and meaningful occupations ... sure, some will abuse it, but most folks I know (including myself) are not at peace feeling like users/freeloaders, and will use the free time to develop skills that will improve their lives and contribute value to their communities - more than just wearing themselves out at any job they can find just to pay the bills. Some might disdain that as "socialism" - I call it practical and sane - and a path toward a healthier, happier culture all around.

Thank you for your compassion Gus - much appreciated!!

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I had an amazing cataract surgeon in San Diego. New technology. She is who I would miss most after moving to Spain. Blue Cross covered it. I have implant lenses and see 20/20 and don't need reading glasses.

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I am great-full for you Gailee - happy seeing!!

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Coming up on 4 years since I had procedure, life changing, one best things I have done for myself. Helps to have faith in the doctor, though

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Kathleen - I can't urge you strongly enough to overcome that lack of faith and pursue cataract surgery. My parents had it done well over 30, maybe even 35, years ago. I had surgery on one eye in 2001 and the second in 2002 (recommended not to do both at once). With cataracts, driving at night had become very challenging because all lights (headlights, tail lights, street lights, stop lights and advertising lights) were blending together and making it very hard to see clearly.

I had corrective lenses implanted at the same time: distance in the left eye and reading distance in the right eye. I haven't needed reading glasses in 20 years (now 77) and need glasses only for driving because of the right eye reading prescription.

The surgery itself is outpatient and I was even able to drive myself home afterwards. The surgery itself was only about 10-15 minutes, local anesthetic, a tiny slit to one side of the iris for insertion of the ultrasonic(?) probe that shattered the cataract then sucked the fragments out. Same slit was used to insert the implanted lens. You cannot imagine the difference in quality of perception, of colors (the yellow cataract filters out blue) and clarity (like looking through a newly washed window that had had built up dirt on it).

Please give serious consideration to having the surgery. It is time tested. And I definitely recommend separate lens implants for distance (if you're nearsighted) & reading (since almost everyone develops presbyopia as we age). The brain is an amazing thing and adjusts extremely quickly for the two eyes to work together.

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Thank you Judith, I appreciate the encouragement, and will consider it deeply.

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Judith, I concur. I had the left done first then the right a month later. The quality and clarity of vision is astonishing! A most amazing and transformative surgical procedure.

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I just had lens replacement for my right eye, left is not bad enough yet. I’m glad I did. Perhaps revisit?

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Yes, keep an eye (so to speak) on the left. I had cataract surgery 20 years ago for one eye and the other the next year because the cataract was in the worst possible location for focus and was growing. If you need corrective lenses, I recommend distance for one eye (likely what you have?) and reading distance for the other. That's what I had implanted for the second surgery and haven't used reading glasses since 2002. While having two different focal lenses seems counterintuitive, the brain adjusts almost immediately and it's a lot easier than having to keep reading glasses at hand.

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Judith that’s what I have. A contact for distance (until bad enough for surgery) in the left, and the new lens in my right is for reading. Can’t wait for the green light for the second, new floaters are driving me nuts! Getting old ain’t for sissies I guess...

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You would be an amazing guest at the local salon. Cheers to you!

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Thank you for this thoughtful list. I am always looking for personal recommendations. And learning more about history has become a priority, especially since subscribing to LFAA.

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You are so clever.

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Approaching history as a "get-away-from-it-all retreat" doesn't solve the problems we face. One learns from such books, but the key is the action on the part of the reader such reading might motivate.

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Jack, I have experienced a more action-packed life than most. Even during my hairiest times in the Congo or telling the Bank of England that I would not permit Great Britain to issue bonds or commercial paper on the New York market, I was a constant reader of history, biography, and some John Le Carre books. I found that these provided me perspective and balance, which often suffer during frenetic days, weeks, and months.

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Others should be inspired by your accomplishments.

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Keith's objective in posting his list was not to "solve the problems we face" but rather to solve his "PTSD" problem from an overload of bad news. Justifiable basis for criticism is how well writers meets their objective.

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Thank you.

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Thank you

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John Barrasso has a net worth of more than 8 million dollars . he was an orthopedic surgeon in Casper from 1983 -2007. He raked the money in doing surgery that most Americans could not afford until medicare was passed in 1965. He seems to have learned nothing about Christian charity at Catholic high schools in Pennsylvania, two years at Georgetown University and at Georgetown Medical School, if he thinks that the democrats soft infrastructure budget is a socialist plot. He is just another Republican who has no interest in improving the circumstances of those most in need in this country. As to Grover Norquist, there is nothing good that can be said on his behalf.

Your column excellently details how bad gerrymandering is in so many states where each citizens vote really is not counted equally creating this imbalance between the popular vote and representation by party. Once again our Supreme Court under John Roberts has repeatedly shown Its unwillingness to deal with this issue. Until this happens this will continue to be something that annually undermines our democracy

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Have we gotten past the tipping point where Democrats are out-maneuvered and cannot turn things around? Now we're seeing right-wingers telling people to get rid of school board members who do not support their causes. Where will it end?

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this school board thing has been going on since the Scopes trial. we have to get active

at that level.

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Exactly. This is part of what the Cheney, Rove, and Bush crew would likely call their master plan to “dominate locally to dominate nationally.”

It’s worked on so many levels and in so many ways and we need to do what they did with packing the state houses as if our lives depend on it. Because our lives do depend on it.

All politics is local, and in this case, the spoils have been rolling uphill.

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Republicans understand this. Democrats do not (except for the late Tip O'Neill). We all know who our Senators and House Representatives are, but far fewer know who their State House representatives are, and who gets to run for those offices.

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Yes we do.

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Where will it end, you ask? It'll get a lot worse before it gets better...Then it will get a lot better, and the worsers will be under, just when, I don't know. So it's just a matter of timing at this point.

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It's happening in my neighborhood. Parents are pulling out pieces of the Scriptures to defend their Antivax and Anti-mask beliefs. 🥺

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Top dog Republicans (or is that Top Republican Dogs?) know how to hunt money (Did I mention working 30 years on the Street before?). They use every dirty, low-down method at their disposal. And then they devise more.

This preying on the delusions of their Followers is the lowest ever.

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Deep inside, where they dare not go, they are terminally insecure - at risk of being swallowed by an unfathomable void ... the only truth they can see or serve is one they can control ... otherwise, they are in deep trouble ... but, you know, Jesus died for their sins, so they're covered ... right?

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Counter: Do Not Murder

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I listened to the latest podcast of “That Trippi show” where Reed Galen of the Lincoln Project was a guest. Their comment “the Democrats play chess and the Republicans eat the pieces” seems pretty accurate.

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Democrats are not opponents in some chess match. We are people who chose representation to work on our behalf.

Republicans government only work for themselves and their owners. There is no semblance of representing anyone else.

Democrats to not compete with Republicans, we work the people of the U.S.

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I think you missed the point. The Democrats use fair tactics and adhere to the rules and often get nothing done. The Republicans abandon the rules, lie and cheat and have taken over all levers of government, even when the Dems are in control, like the Senate. We need to learn to fight better.

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Your point is well made.I totally agree with you. In fact, because I am a native NYCer, I was among the few to support Mike Bloomberg in his candidacy. Not because of his political experience, but because I sometimes met him and was very impressed with his punch. And he surrounded himself with heavy hitters. Of course, he thought the rich, great. So there's that.

My point was that just fighting back the Republicans is a losing war.

They are only looking to fight (and not govern, I might add). The politicians are willing to take great losses in their fights...because it is their Followers that they sacrifice (think cannon fodder). The Followers are will to die for The Cause (be it Covid, control of women, freedom from and owning the libs...).

Republican Administrations do this both domestically and internationally. Ever notice how their wars work out?

The Republican Czars and their Paymasters profit, sacrificing their Followers, to the detriment of the rest of us.

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😥😰🤢

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Yes we do.

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thank you for this clarity

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Kim, Hi. While reading a piece about writer, Lauren Groff, her books as well as her perspective led me to think of you. The link to the piece is below. I have a digital subscription to the Atlantic, but do not know whether you be able to read the entire piece. PEACE.

https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2021/09/lauren-groff-matrix/619998/

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John Barrasso is the spectral, silent figure always just behind McConnell’s right shoulder at every press conference.

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He spooks me—he wouldn’t miss a photo op with mr turtle

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Here’s an easy one: What do John Roberts and Kevin McCarthy have in common? They both have lost control of their group.

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Agree. I'd like the professor to weigh in on how the court is working (or not working) today compared to other controversial courts. What we're watching unfold is unprecedented in my lifetime. Veteran court-watchers are aghast.

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The whole ‘redistribution of wealth’ trope relies on ignoring where that wealth came from in the first place: the stolen labor of enslaved persons, the underpaid labor of factory workers, the unpaid labor of women at home.

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I try to have this conversation (which I call the "bootstrap fallacy") with my Republiqan friends. They seem to lack the ability to comprehend that without a level playing field (to use a metaphor which they can comprehend) there are no "bootstraps" that are not on the bottom of the boot pointing down.

To tell them that the "great wealth" of this country in the early days was built on slave labor, and continued with all but slave labor in the early industrial age is to be met with either a blank stare, or a carefully crafted "nuh-uh".

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That “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” originally meant to describe the impossible. One cannot pull themselves up by the bootstraps; it is physically impossible. To tell a person to do that puts that person in an impossible, no-win situation. For R’s, that’s the whole point, just like cruelty was the whole point in family separation at the border.

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Democrats "give a (wo)man a hand up". Including immigrant families.

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I applaud you for continuing to try to communicate the idea to them.

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Get better friends or you will never get that boot off your neck.

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These are former coworkers; not people that I call true friends. I have been hopeful that some common sense would enter into their pretty little heads, but have come to the conclusion that they have "drunk the kool-aid" and are now deep into the amygdala-tickling hatred of "other".

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First they extract it from the workers. Then they extract it from their government.

Actually, it's not sequential, it is a simultaneous, ongoing, never-ending Extraction Scheme.

Just follow the money to see where it all goes.

It didn't get there by accident.

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There's also that tone of horror at the very idea of redistributing wealth, meant to be absorbed without discussion. But what is so wrong with some redistribution of wealth? Every religion on the planet tells us to help each other.

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The tone of horror is that Black people might get some. That's horrible to these folks.

And no, there is NO religion in their hearts and minds. That is evident.

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The direction that FDR with leadership from Francis Perkin to establish Social Secuity and safety net policies and programs were pragmatic. They helped stabilize our nation, its workforce and businesses after a crippling depression resulting from degenerating business and economic practices which gambled with our nation as collateral.

The three trillion dollar "soft infrastructure " bill simply modernizes, bringing up to date the New Deal that European nations improved upon after WWII that makes them the envy of anyone who travels there and experiences their high quality of life for most if not all citizens. Europe is not "socialist". They are pragmatic.

We are not going to be great or even survive under the narrow minded, backward unthinking Republican view of the world. We desperately need practical solutions based leadership and citizen support that we have lost. We haven't won a war since WWII. We haven't created anything from scratch equal to the TVA, interstate highway system, landing on the moon, the internet or the New Deal. Our only achievements have been profit driven creations to establish needs ie 24-7 advertising where they don't exist, while letting real needs fester until their unmet demands rot our society. But we have Facebook and FOX.

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Your second paragraph.

Yes, it is now crystal clear that we have sold out to the profiteers. Let's give them what they deserve at the very least: crushing defeat.

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"Our only achievements have been profit driven creations to establish needs ie 24-7 advertising where they don't exist"

Ever notice how much stuff we pay for that isn't stuff?

Just look at the "Subscription Service" business model, where you pay monthly but receive nothing (or close to it).

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Our children and grandchildren are buried in monthly subscription charges that we never had. Eating away at their ability to buy a house, a car, pay for their healthcare, advance their education without tremendous debt, etc. Ironically, three major free access TV networks over an antenna paid for by a modest amount of advertising in the 1950s and 60s was higher quality and less invasive than the infinite subscription choices over a monthly cable subscription.

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The Invisible Subscription continue for a lifetime. Think Microsoft, think the anti-virus software that is required to protect your Microsoft software...

That's a Extraction with Synergy.

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So buy a Mac. Problem solved. I gave up Microsoft software development in 2000 because of all the annual add ons, in addition to having to pay for OS upgrades.

I'm not saying Apple is perfect but I will say "Go Mac and don't look back." Unless you're a real renegade and want to tackle Linux.

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Great suggestion. My comment was referring to All the long-term payments that are extracted from us. Other examples are Hulu, Netflix et al, and my most despised Amazon Prime, where you pay a subscription for the right to buy things and receive Amazon Prime Video that ensnares you with add-on costs. Extraction.

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I just bought a new computer and Microsoft Office is now an annual subscription instead of something you download once and upgrade at your own choice. I've been perfectly happy with MS Office 10 and have never upgraded it!

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Check out "Open Office". It's a free office suite that can support MS Office products. Warning, there is a learning curve. Or consider going Mac where their word processing and spreadsheet apps are included with the OS **which has free updates**.

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I refuse to pay for programs that are reruns that I already paid to see the first time. I have an Antenna and if I want I can rewatch movies I already bought. I was always more the Reading type than TV. And there’s still Libraries.

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Way back when cable, etc., was first coming out, I didn't subscribe because at the time I was watching entirely too much TV, so didn't want to pay for something that would encourage me to watch even more! To this day all we have is antenna. If nothing "good" is on, so be it.

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Oh, don't get me started. I'm calling Xfinity for what it is. I just received a $20.00 increase without prior notice for internet-only service. I thought I was clever in dropping TV and switching to occasional streaming, but now my bill just increased by nearly one-third.

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Right now I’m paying $106.00 for internet and cell phone. Higher than my electric living in Fl.But my electric is as low as it is because I know some good tips.Everything is going up here.

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About the same for me, Marcia.

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Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "...we've been sold out..."?

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I was given a good piece of advice during a period that I was in life-combat with the government. He looked at my situation plainly, as a Black man with his unique life's experience, and counseled:

"This is the government you got when you were't looking".

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An important distinction.

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If Switzerland is “socialist” I’m an extraterrestrial writing in from way beyond Alpha Centauri.

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The entrenched minority. Regardless of political party, our ("so-called") leaders at the local, state and national levels are supposed to represent all of their constituents and not just those who voted for them. I want to see myself represented, reflected and included in our branches of government -- but I also know that I don't want to see just people like me (a gay, jewish, white married man) represented, reflected and included. When I look at the Republican Party -- and I see a sea of white, male older faces who have tried to solidify their grip on how we will be governed for years -- I get sick with worry over our future in terms of healthcare, the environment, the opportunity for equity, education, I could go on. And this is why, those who believe we should all be represented, reflected and included need to band together and press for what's right and against what's archaic, unfair and unjust. As this column is written on the first night of the Jewish New Year, we must work for more Americans and those who are striving to be America to have a sweeter year ahead, filled with opportunities and better health. That won't be possible with the likes of McConnell, DeSantis, Lee, Abbott, Reeves, Barrasso, Paul, Graham, Rubio entrenched in power.

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Happy New Year! When I see a gay, Jewish white married man, I see a fighter, not a victim.

I'm a straight, Christian, white widower -- and i will fight alongside you any day. Not with violence, but brains and force of will for the purity of our cause. We fight for Humans, not power. We don't have to cheat or lie....

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Tonight we eat a new fruit, a symbol of newness. It is a time of inner renewal and divine atonement.

Happy New Year to everyone (even if it's a bit early for folks waiting around for January to start anew).

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Happy New Year, Daniel, and all celebrating “herders” among us!

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Fortunately it is a day of atonement, which I have no need to do, as I try my best in all things.

So that leaves me extra time to read the comments here.

Nice way to prepare for the new year.

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Howard and Gus, I stand along side you both!!

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An unlikely set of Musketeers. The kind of diversity needed to win!

Thank you, and Welcome aboard.

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Happy New Year!

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Enjoy the holiday, Howard.

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Shana Tovah Umituka to you and yours, Howard!

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The percentage of women in state legislatures in 31%. 2/3s of the women are Democrats and 1/3 are Republicans. Only one state - Nevada -- has a majority female legislature (60% women). West Virginia (Joe Manchin's state) is the lowest with just 11.9% women. 26.4% are women of color or 8.2% of all the members of the legislatures. 25 women (25%) serve in the U.S. Senate and 101 women (23.3%) serve in the U.S. House. Women overall are 40% underrepresented.

https://cawp.rutgers.edu/women-state-legislature-2021

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This story was revived yesterday on CBS This Morning. This article was written in 2015. Food for thought. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/aug/16/village-where-men-are-banned-womens-rights-kenya

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Wow. Men who otherwise look down on the women have no trouble raping them, do they.

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Good morning Lynell. What a share for today. I have felt the need to read of women past and present during the last couple weeks. This is perfect.

Thank you.

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I am so bummed out by the whole rape thing - great-full to see women cultivating alternatives ... what gives men the idea they have the right - and how is it that people presume to sell their children, anyway?! I am so great-full I never brought a child into this sick, twisted world!!!!!

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So, ok - on that note, let's bring it home to the here and now - how do we address rape and murder in the "ManCamps" of our oil fields and excavation industries ... since when ...? Before the industrial era? Did it start there, or is this a wave that maninfests in every generation - in the name of 'progress' ...? (... a coopted word - as is 'industry' - derived from roots relating to love ...!?)

What is the root of the wound ... and the wounding ...?

Soul Dis ass ocia tion ... Driving desperation?

How do we heal the wound?

For me, it happens now - comin' back around ...

Raping has to stop - starting with our relation to earth, psyche, universe, cosmos - ourselves and each other ... the energies that power our relations ...

what we choose around all of the above snd so much more ... mind you, I embrace the matter of rape with deep empathy and healing heart ... still, it has to stop.

Does anyone know why people who try to really help the children ... tend to die ...?

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Cathy, I cannot heart your statement. It defies logic. Breaks the heart. Enrages the mind. Empowers the struggle. Thanks for the reminder, with data.

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How many of those women are acting under the guidance of their husbands and male mentors without a whisp of informed conscience?

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How many men are acting under the guidance of their buddies and talk radio without a whisp of informed conscience? Ignorance is genderless.

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Worked in an office like that. I was always "out of the office". My boss probably thought that I was at another job. Just couldn't plumb the depths (I just thought...is plumb the root of plumber, and all that job has to deal with?).

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Quite so Diane - and so, is it not more about electing people of conscience and integrity regardless of gender?

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No. Many qualified women are seeking seats in government in 2022, at local state and federal levels. Let’s get them elected!

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All the more so if qualified, Christine!!

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It’s NOT either or. Women need equal representation. We are oppressed.

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I'll appreciate representation from anyone who shows conscience and integrity, regardless of gender ... look at some of the women in the news today, supporting extremely oppressive policies - do you feel they represent your/our best interests?

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Susan Collins is currently my Senator and disgusts me. That doesn’t stop me from doing everything I can to support Pelosi, Warren, Harris, Abrams, Emily’s List (whose current ex. dir. is also from my home state) etc etc. I repeat we can have both, but I want an equal number of women. You can’t tell me that quality women leaders aren’t out there or that if the patriarchy wasn’t busting their smelly asses to keep them out of leadership we could have more equal representation. Our leadership should reflect us.

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Yes.

Take it.

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Great link Cathy, thank you. Nothing surprises me about the lowest 10, but Nevada and Arizona so close to the top surprises me.

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Nevada is an interesting state politically. We hear more about the right-wing whackos than the real pols there, who are overwhelmingly democratic.

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The Wapo editorial board gets it right. And passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act should be easy. How could any politician oppose "voting rights" and survive in a democracy? Are they threatened by the very idea of all eligible voters participating? Why would that be??? Start with the obvious...

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No person will vote to dilute their political power. Not a Democrat; not a Republican.

Once all the teeth are pulled from the Act, then perhaps there will be a possibility of passing the token Act.

Then everyone can go home and declare that they saved our democracy.

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There will be NO teeth remaining in anything McConnell (ie puppet of Federalist Society) allows to pass into law. Spineless Democrats already blew their chances. With POS like Manchin still breathing, Mitch barely has to break a sweat to have it his way.

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But it's important, too, how many teeth they extract. If there are a few remaining, they will have advanced democracy a little.

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Way to hit it hard, HCR, after the break.🤔🤟🏽.

Our democracy is certainly at stake in this era of crazy cult-of-personality politics. It is clear that the orang is running again. He will be running against MY best hope for the future, Ms. Harris, and we should ALL suit up and show up

and assume the fight is ON.

Now, bitches, now.🤓

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Yes, NOW. Not. Next. Year.

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It sounds like an if not now, when moment for President Biden and the Democrats. If, long before the 2022 elections, they cannot pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and a $2.5+/= human infrastructure bill partially transforming America’s society, I believe that the Dems will lose one or both houses in Congress. Press the pedal and go for the best for the great majority of Americans or hunker down to a dismal final two years for President Biden and the Democrats.

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All or nothing. Go Big!

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The Democrats....that's US, right?

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We’re definitely losing unless drastic changes are made.

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Sometimes you win when you lose.

It's a lesson my dear father gave to me (He was one of the great card players in nyc). The Game is a long one. Some hands you win and some you lose. Some you even lose intentionally. The better player always win the night.

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"Tonight, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that tomorrow he will sign another major voter suppression measure in his state."

(Broadcast Live):

Governor Abbott: "My fellow White Christian Texas, tomorrow I will sign another major voter suppression measure in our Great State of White Christians. And, I might add, f-k the Mexicans, f-k the Jews, but most of all f-k women. F-k 'em all, I say.

Crowd roars.

Guns firing into air.

Crowd goes wild screaming: "F-em"

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If only they would be so forthright!

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Is this your preview in the Ad business or have you been moonlighting?

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Regrettably, it's part of a Documentary.

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“ the Michigan legislature, for example, has a Republican majority although Democrats have won a majority of the popular vote there for a decade”. This is not a representative democracy. Get rid of those who work to further undermine it.

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Our new nonpartisan restructuring commission in Michigan is hard at work. Their first new re-mapping proposal splits my county down the middle and connects it to another which may make the state house seat more likely to be Democrat!

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Headline I'd like to see;

"Grover Norquist Drowns in Bathtub"

Thank you, again, HCR, for the historic background to the current crisis.

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Ralph!

🛁 😂

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“Trump suffers fatal heart attack.”

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Every morning when I open the news, I hope that is the headline!

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Take comfort in the fact that his life is his worst punishment.

Can you even imaging what that is like?

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