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About Wes Skillings

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So far Wes Skillings has created 142 blog entries.

Communication Thrives on the Words We Use

The origins of the words we use are often primitive, but we shouldn’t abandon them too quickly. Every once in a while, I run into a language purist who likes to take issue with stuff I have written as being wrong-headed or just plain wrong. These are people who think you shouldn’t use words like “stuff,” as I just did, because it is lazy. Find the definitive word, they’ll lecture, because stuff means unspecified things. Still, there [...]

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By |2021-12-03T18:51:40+00:00December 3, 2021|Language, Uncategorized, Vocabulary, Words|

Is Patriotism too Fragile to Withstand History

Digging up the past helps us understand who we are as a nation. I fear patriotism is presented as a false choice. It seems that for many, to be patriotic is to remember and celebrate only our nation’s triumphs. To choose otherwise, to choose to remember our failings, is thus somehow anti-American. — Ken Burns Ken Burns, in the introductory quote, was referring to the only National Historic Site in the United States with the word “massacre” [...]

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By |2021-11-28T20:34:55+00:00November 28, 2021|Black Americans, History, Native Americans, Patriotism, Politics, Racism, Slavery|

Constitutional Confusion: What Rights Are Wrong?

The newly-enacted Constitution may have granted the right to own slaves, but it’s worth a lot more than the paper it’s printed on. Got thinking about the U.S. Constitution as I slowly savored my morning snack of two spoonfuls of Smuckers peanut butter along with a handful of baby carrots. You know, with a name like Smuckers it’s got to be good. As I vigorously licked it off the roof of my mouth, a news story caught [...]

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By |2021-11-19T03:55:01+00:00November 19, 2021|Uncategorized|

So This Senator Walks into a Bar…

When it comes to political humor, funny is in the mind of the beholder. It’s been a horrible year. A killer virus won’t go away on the heels of a nonsensical, abrasive campaign and an interminable election process. Next we have a sheltering-in-place Thanksgiving. Right after that comes Black Friday, which seems appropriately named this year.   I wrote the above as an opening for a prospective blog between the 2020 election and Thanksgiving. I spent considerable [...]

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By |2021-11-10T23:34:57+00:00November 10, 2021|Humor, Jokes, Politics, Presidential Humor|

Taking a Giant Step Backward for Optimal Health

Potato alert: Get off the couch to enjoy better health. Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.— Daniel Francois Esprit Auber (1782-18710 I crossed the line on Tuesday of this week. Furthermore, I shamelessly confess that I took a giant step backward at a crucial time in my life. But it’s all good. Sometimes, when it comes to protecting, even regaining, your health against the tide of aging, going back is [...]

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By |2021-11-03T17:26:59+00:00November 3, 2021|Aging, Blood Sugar, Diet, Health, Healthy Weight Loss, Nutrition, Old Age, Overweight|

Facing Up to the Monster Within Us

Sometimes the simplest demands can turn a man into a monster. Because the mask has become so polarizing, the extreme reactions aren’t really about being asked to wear one for an hour. It’s about communicating what side you’re on. — ProPublica, October 7, 2021, “We’re Losing Our Humanity and the Pandemic Is to Blame” In a well-researched October 7 article for ProPublica, Sarah Smith takes a fascinating look at how COVID-19 has turned Americans against each other, [...]

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By |2021-10-27T23:48:15+00:00October 27, 2021|1918, Constitution Rights, COVID-19, Masks, Pandemics, Public Health|

Are YOUR Rights More Important than OUR Rights?

How far away are we from the good of democracy to the evil of fascism?  Events over the last few years have revealed an attitude among an astonishing number of Americans that their individual, a.k.a. personal, rights take precedence over what is best for a majority. That’s what Democracy comes down to — governing via the majority of citizens who are well informed and concerned about the welfare of their neighbors. People have started to equate their [...]

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By |2021-10-20T23:36:52+00:00October 20, 2021|Constitution Rights, Democracy, Fascism, Nationalism, Patriotism|

Escape from Curse of the Maskless Servers

Mask: For some the most obscene four-letter word. My wife, Mary, and I met with a long-time friend and his wife at a familiar meeting place roughly halfway between our home and theirs just outside of Harrisburg. That was in late August. My friend, both of whom Mary and I have known since we were kids, is immunocompromised due to several health issues and his advanced age. He is among the more highly susceptible to COVID, and [...]

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By |2021-10-13T21:21:08+00:00October 13, 2021|Constitution, Coronavirus, Masks, Smallpox, Vaccinations|

Facebook, Joe Camel and Mr. Mucus

Joe Camel: From cool to out in the cold. Washington legislators can’t agree on much of anything anymore when it means crossing party lines, but they do seem to find common ground on one thing. That’s right, something has to be done about Facebook. A Senate Subcommittee heard testimony this week from a Facebook insider who was part of a “misinformation team” intent on stealing the hearts and minds of our youth — and, undoubtedly, a whole [...]

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By |2021-10-06T23:38:04+00:00October 6, 2021|Advertising, Cartoons, Children, Facebook, Humor, Pop Culture, Smoking, Social Media|

Is Our Love Affair with Cars Near Its End?

The worst things about cars are some of the drivers. Here in my car I feel safest of all I can lock all my doors It’s the only way to live in cars Electronic Music impresario Gary Numan remains a one-hit wonder in the U.S. with “Cars,” his Top Ten hit from 1979 quoted above. That song is already a relic as I contemplate the future of the American automobile. The automobile itself is drastically changing. Instead [...]

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By |2021-09-29T22:30:19+00:00September 29, 2021|Cars, Driving, History, Technology, Travel|
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