- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 00:00
- Hits: 410
Most Americans would be hard pressed to explain why the Pilgrims, to many a strange icon of American history to begin with, are so important in our celebration of Thanksgiving. Most of us learned their story in elementary school. We were taught that they were Puritans who fled England in search of religious freedom. On the way to the new world their ship went off course, ended up in cold, distant New England, then a wilderness, and had to make do on their own.
They had little to eat, were ravaged by disease, many died, but through their own tenacity, and the help they received from the Native Americans, things got better. And that became the basis of that wonderful image of the “First Thanksgiving,” when the settlers and the Indians, ate together. It’s an enduring legend.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00
- Hits: 415
The Occupy Wall Street Movement isn’t a headline grabber. They got some initial coverage, but very quickly, coverage of the Occupy movement, rapidly declined. That’s because, simply put, they’re hard to write about. For one thing, while having a range of issues that concern them, they have no agreed-upon agenda. Also, as one participant described their protest, “the movement is purposefully disorganized.” That’s a challenge to anyone who is trying to write a story about them. However, they are, with very few exceptions, peaceful, and if you go to talk to them, as I have in Washington, which, like New York, has been accommodating to the protestors, they’re friendly, good natured, and polite. And make no mistake, they’re serious about their concerns, and what’s more, this is a movement, and a presence in many of our nation’s cities, which months after it began, hasn’t gone away.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
- Hits: 443
It was the early 1860s and the United States of America was in the process of tearing itself apart in a great national crisis. But in the midst of that there was a series of small news stories that appeared in newspapers from time to time that captured a common emotion in both the Confederacy and the Union. It was the passing of the very last of America’s original greatest generation, the veterans of the American Revolution.
Make no mistake, by any generation’s standard, these were very old men. They had fought in a war that had ended 80 years before and as they died, no matter where they were from, newspapers in the North and the South dutifully noted their passing.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 15:45
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 15:45
- Hits: 451
My wife and I recently moved to a new house. It’s got a barn, a little acreage, and room for a couple of horses. It’s a wonderful place and I am slowly learning how to work a tractor and mend fences. But, first we had to move, and we had been in the old house for 22 years. It’s amazing how much “stuff” a family can manage to pack into one modest-sized house. And I am shocked to admit, that when we were packing up, there were even some boxes left over from our move from Reston, over two decades ago, that hadn’t even been opened. They were, in a sense, time capsules. But, I am also a little embarrassed that they had just taken up space for so long, and worst of all that we
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:00
- Hits: 465
It’s a fair question and it’s one that as a former school board member I feel awkward even asking. And that is, “just what is a modern high school degree worth in the 21st century?” I don’t have an answer for that, but for decades, there has been a growing body of evidence that students leaving high school aren’t ready for the workforce, or for that matter, aren’t even adequately prepared, or ready for their post secondary school education.
This doesn’t seem fair. We put a lot of time and energy into our schools, our kids work hard, and we should be
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:48
- Published on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:48
- Hits: 356
If you drive through Montana, Wyoming, or South Dakota, you’ll notice a relatively new addition to the landscape and that’s wind turbines. They look like propellers mounted on tall polls and here and there they’re perched on hillsides, lined up on the open planes, and on some days, when the wind really gets going, their speed controls have to kick in to keep them from turning too fast. On the open prairie the weather is unpredictable, but there is one guarantee, there is always a wind blowing.
The same is true when you get a little closer to home. But in this case, it’s not the open plains of the American