Common Sense in the Spirit of Thomas Payne

From the early days of America until today, the Supreme Court has been pivotal in interpreting the Constitution and shaping America’s constitutional republic. Landmark Supreme Court cases have had an impact on our rights as citizens, but they haven’t always provided for the unintended consequences brought about by sweeping change. Continue reading “Common Sense in the Spirit of Thomas Payne”

American Crazy # Gun Violence

The text came midday. “Mom, Ayla’s school is on lockdown. There is a threat of violence. No intruder, according to the news. FBI on the scene. You can text her.” Only two days after the Parkland massacre in Florida! I stared at the tiny screen, a volcano beginning to erupt in my chest. I pictured my tall, skinny, tender thirteen-year-old granddaughter sitting at her desk, locked in her classroom, isolated from anything she would recognize as safe. Our texts back and forth were prosaic—hearts emojis and upbeat clichés about staying focused and calm sent between checking headlines on Google and rallying my other grandchildren to text Ayla as much for diversion as for comfort. (Teenaged boys are not well-versed in comforting sayings.) It was almost 8:00 p.m. before we got the all clear and everyone took a breath. The ‘American Crazy’ had come home.
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With A New Life We Are All Renewed

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Tiny round fists poked up through the sweet-smelling new baby blanket as Declan stretched, curved his body, and turned his head before quickly nestling down again into the soft folds of his faux fur covers. Penetrating, almond-shaped, coal-black eyes opened and my grandson looked at me. I babbled some nonsense, holding his attention until, in a movement that reminded me of the baby robins in the nest under our deck, he began to open his rosebud mouth and root around for his mother’s breast. I looked over to my daughter, who was trying to catch up on her Facebook congratulatory messages. Tevi didn’t return my gaze and Declan, snug and quiet in my arms, closed his eyes and resumed the sleep of angels. I could hold him forever.
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Self-promotion Gets a Bad Rap

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Letter from a fellow new writer:Five years ago, shortly after my husband’s sudden accidental death, I alone fulfilled our dream of living a more instinctual life by moving from San Miguel de Allende to a little fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico—the site of my story, “The Eleventh Hour,” which was published last week in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More. The story is a condensed account of the aftermath of Category 5 Hurricane Patricia, when I met my fairy godmother on the eve of homelessness in late October, 2015.Continue reading “Self-promotion Gets a Bad Rap”

My Thang is Bigger Than Your Thang

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My son-in-law and I are in a TV-size competition to determine who has the biggest flat screen. The situation has gotten so out of hand that I now own a TV practically the size of a movie theater. It dominates my apartment and ruins my eyes (maybe my brain, too) with blue light. Unfortunately, bingeing on Game of Thrones is not any more exciting than it was when I watched it on my old, large, flat screen TV. My son-in-law squandered his Christmas bonus on a (not as large as mine) smart TV, only to suffer buyer’s remorse when he couldn’t go on vacation to Florida with his wife for lack of funds—serving to remind us how infantile our little rivalry is . . . and rather unsound economically.Continue reading “My Thang is Bigger Than Your Thang”

Facts, Lies, and Truth

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It appears that the political right, left, and center are playing fast and loose with the semantics of the meaning of the word fact. A fact is a statement that is true or can be proven with evidence. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability— that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Space travel was once a fiction; it is now a fact. It is true. We have observed it, replicated it and, in some cases, experienced it first-hand. If you don’t believe in space travel, then you are unlikely to believe that anything is true. Continue reading “Facts, Lies, and Truth”

Fracking, Drilling, and Trying to Stay Optimistic

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I hope you all know that this blog is intended to encourage you to read The Fourth Moment or suggest it to a friend. The challenge is getting the word out, but I only have one mailing list. I apologize for that. Nevertheless, I want to use this list to encourage you to follow my blog even as it is intended to promote the book.
I never thought of being a blogger. I do occasionally write letters to the editor but rarely engage on Facebook, especially now that we know half the verbiage on the site isn’t even a legitimate opinion—only propaganda. But my publisher insisted, so I have a blog. Check it out. Love it, hate it— your choice.
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Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

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Take one bright teenager with undeveloped frontal lobes, a victim of early schoolyard bullying that led to anxiety and anger issues, then combine that with video games and indulgent parents to get a recipe for disaster. The drums have been sounding warnings for years, but they get stronger each day as the evidence mounts that we are losing teens to disabling panic attacks (especially when they have to leave their virtual world for the real one) and ambivalence about the future. They are lethargic or, worse, arrogant, entitled, and mean-spirited. This is the virtual generation—not millennials but simulants—and soon, I fear, a lost generation.
The warnings are louder, the answers lost in the tidal wave of social media, new tech, and frightened parents. Parents are blackmailed by fear of self-destructive behavior, drugs, homelessness, and even violence if they make demands, limit, or deny access to the virtual world these young people now inhabit.
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It Must Be Gremlins

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The car was hooked up to computers, looking for all the world like a patient in an examining room. The mechanic looked at me helplessly, his hands held up in a sign of resignation.
But I had heard a funny sound in the engine. The car just didn’t drive right. I knew in my gut that there was something amiss. “Are you sure?” I asked. “You can’t find anything wrong?”
“Gremlins,” he said, a dour expression on his face. “The machines don’t show any problems, and I can’t hear anything out of the ordinary. It’s not a new car, ya know. Must be gremlins.”
“You’re the expert. How much do I owe you?”
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