Day: June 7, 2013

Ask questions

The members of the McNary High School class of 2013 who will receive their diplomas at graduation June 7 have probably received more advice, assistance and warnings than they want to  hear. Most of the graduates have made their post-high school plans: summer jobs, summer travel, preparing for college close by or far away. A number of years ago there was a novelty ditty about what graduates could expect and what they should do.  You know, the one that ends “…always use sunscreen.” Of all the advice graduates will receive as they prepare for their journey into the world, the best is to ask questions. It’s simple and easy to do and opens vistas. Graduates, if college is your next step, keep in mind that education is more than what you learn from a book or in a lecture. You can learn so much about the world around you from the people you meet and the experiences you will have. If you accept the notion that your education never ends your post-high school years will be enriched and enhanced by what you learn outside a classroom. Regardless of what interests you, asking questions of those in that field will give you insights. If you are interested in business, ask any person about their business. You can be assured that very few will  not answer you; a successful person is...

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We had a summer job

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ When you are young, say in your early teens, 5 o’clock in the morning seems mighty unGodly. Heck, the sun hasn’t even risen. Countless summer mornings my brothers and I would be rousted out of bed by my parents. It was the time of year to head out into the fields and do what thousands of others our age were doing: picking berries and beans. Like so many other things in life, the anticipation of those mornings was always worse than the actuality. After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and choosing which flavor of Shasta soft drink mom should pack in our sack lunches, we trudged off to the bus stop to be carried off to a strawberry field that seemed miles and miles from home. When we first started our career as pickers, we were the peons. The ‘cool,’ older kids dominated the bus; they ruled from the back of the bus.  As newbies we were relegated to anywhere else except where the cool kids sat. They were neat and cool only because they were a few years older and experienced. They knew what they were heading to; we did not. Though the kids at the back of the bus were barely older than us they always seemed so grown up, so sure of themselves. I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to...

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No caucus for old men

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Last week, Fox News’ Chris Wallace spoon-fed former GOP Sen. Bob Dole one of the media’s favorite questions: Could Ronald Reagan—or Dole—make it in today’s Republican Party? “I doubt it,” Dole answered. “Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Certainly, (Richard) Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.” Thus were born cable news segments, Beltway follow-up pieces and a New York Times editorial titled “The Wisdom of Bob Dole.” What does it say about the news industry when a guy who’s about to turn 90 says the Senate worked better when he was in charge—and that he got respect within his party—and that interview makes news? O media. O mores. Alas, that’s how you make quick-turnaround news these days: by recycling stale myths memorialized on camera. On MSNBC former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe was asked about Dole’s statement. Of course, Snowe answered that the GOP will “have to rethink their approach.” “Rethink their approach” would be yawn-inducing words in a vanilla factory. Yet they rated stories (with video) on Politico’s website and The Huffington Post. What’s wrong with this picture? 1.) It wrongly presumes that Reagan could not win a GOP primary today, presumably because rigid conservatives won’t nominate anyone who can work across the aisle. That reasoning ignores the fact that last year, Republican primary...

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We need a name for our current wars

By GENE H. McINTYRE What’s timely about now?  Would that be the call for a contest?   A contest to Name that War! Back in 2001, after 9/11, George W. Bush announced that the U.S. was engaged in a “Global War on Terrorism.”  That was Bush’s contribution to Name that War! Upon taking over the presidency in 2009, Barack Obama junked Bush’s formulation, as he did the other day in his usual rhetoric form.  Meanwhile, war in the Middle East has continued, largely unabated, but with the on-going promise to stop it…well, sometime soon. What appears to be the case these days is that we now have a nameless war which may soon, in one form or another, big or small by endeavor, secret or open, add Syria to those nations in the Middle East that have been or are now occupied by the United States.  Again, we don’t have a name for the war that will probably soon include Syria. But, it’s argued, it does matter what we choose to call the military enterprise we’ve been waging in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than ten years now.  There are then also the smaller forays by the CIA, and branches of the military, among the nations scattered hither and yon across the Islamic world. So, what should we call this war?  Is it simply to be labeled the “Long...

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