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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|

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|

Getting a Step Ahead of the Running Boom

Where were the real Camptown Races? This version making its own history. I grew up in Camptown, PA, and was there when this strange concept of people running through the woods for several miles was devised as the theme around which to build a community event and fund-raiser. When I say I was there, I should point out I was just a kid, but like everyone else in the village I had a job to do. It [...]

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By |2021-08-25T20:05:36+00:00August 25, 2021|Camptown Races, Community Spirit, Running|

A Night of Ultimate Sacrifice at the Plum Farm

Uncle Sam’s call became more of a challenge during the Vietnam War. Frederick Richard “Rick” Ohler’s name is just one of about 58,000, mostly men and barely old enough to be treated as adults had they avoided military service. They are all dead. Rick, at 24, was one of the older soldiers in the 519th MI Battalion and, like many of us, he was an intelligence analyst. Our compound was in a rather rural place known as [...]

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By |2021-08-11T16:55:52+00:00August 11, 2021|Bravery, Sacrifice, Uncategorized, Vietnam, War|

Wildcats and Panthers and Wolves, Oh My!

“I told you we shouldn’t be out here after dark!” We seem to have entered a weird time of make-believe where stuff is made up by people who I’m not going to mention, because they wish things hadn’t turned out the way they did. That’s the way it is today. If we don’t like the way things are, we just pretend they aren’t and move on believing what we want to believe. I mean who would have [...]

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By |2020-12-30T18:57:09+00:00December 30, 2020|2020, COVID-19, History, Mortality, Public Health, Uncategorized|

The Pros and Cons of Going to Extremes

Cautionary warnings about extremism continue to resonate as years fly by. —One of the advantages of having written hundreds of weekly newspaper columns over a span of 40 years for two different newspapers is an archives of your personal views over time. Some age well and some don’t.  Some are serious and some are silly, and few were completed without at least one attempt at humor. The following was written as a newspaper column more than five [...]

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By |2020-11-18T21:35:28+00:00November 18, 2020|American History, Campaign Rhetoric, Christians, Extremes, Immigrants, Muslims, Terrorism|

Looking for Dirty Harry to Make Our Day

If only we could go back to the days when a guy was master of his own man cave. Last week’s blog was supposed to be a take-off of a Dr. Seuss children’s story— “Marvin K. Mooney Won’t You Please Go Now!”— and the talents the president supposedly has that could carry him on to another career and continued fame. Playing off the “please go now” was obviously a satirical device about the upcoming election and, yes, [...]

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By |2020-10-07T17:57:38+00:00October 7, 2020|COVID-19, Dirty Harry, Donald Trump, Extremes, Fact Checking, Wild West|

Fair and Square Voting Critical for All of Us

Mail-in ballots: Failure of both parties to step up and make everyone's vote count would be election dereliction. From what I remember from my high school social studies and history classes, voting is more of a privilege than a right. That’s how it came across to me anyway. The truth is that it was both: a right under our Constitution and a privilege because, as the world’s most respected Democracy at the time, every adult citizen allegedly [...]

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By |2020-08-26T19:54:59+00:00August 26, 2020|American History, Democracy, Elections, Mail, Politics, Presidency, Protest, Voter Fraud, Voting|

Public Service or Public Deception?

“Trust me! Next time I’ll get something done.” Riddle: Name one issue, unpopular among members of both political parties in the U. S. Congress, for which both Presidents Trump and Obama have declared support. Answer: Term limits for members of the Senate and House. If you are tiring of all the dissension, distortion and disparagement in politics, this is the one issue we can all get behind. Most of us anyway, because it’s something a clear majority [...]

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Modern Superheroes Still Wear Masks

Why all the complaints about wearing masks? It’s creating a new industry. Masks, for some, have become a symbol of individualism and a reason to resist and proclaim their Constitution rights. What about the rights of people who don’t want to be exposed to bare-faced people? It’s not about your right to wear one. It’s about our right to get through this with as few casualties as possible. Masks, in comic book America, denote bravery and heroism. [...]

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By |2020-05-20T20:28:04+00:00May 20, 2020|1918, Masks, Pandemics, Politics, Science|
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