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When the surgeon first confirmed I had cancer, he told me that it wouldn’t shorten my life; actually, he tried to reassure me with that comment on two or three other occasions. I was surprised that he said that, but in spite of all the advances in breast cancer treatment, I guess the first thing a woman might think is, “Am I going to die”? My reaction was, “This is so darned inconvenient.” Maybe that was a thought of denial on my part, but I still feel the same way.
It is inconvenient.
But I mainly wanted to address a phrase that is commonly used to discuss the condition of a person who comes through cancer: Cancer Survivor. Please know that if you know anyone who describes herself that way, I mean no disrespect. We can all choose to see and describe ourselves in multiple ways, but that’s not a term I would use.
As a property manager, I look after beach properties for part-time owners. I received a text from an alarmed Atlanta client, saying that security encountered a strange individual who claimed he paid $2,400 to someone on Craig’s List to rent his home. Police were called and the dude claimed he drove from Michigan to Florida to move in.
He gave two numbers of the person who “rented” the property to the police, both of which were disconnected; clearly a scam. My client was alarmed that the person claimed that he entered into this agreement with someone who had the same last name as the owner, a very unusual last name. They also had a private gate code. So scammers are well at work during the worst worldwide event since World War II – why take a day off?
I’ve checked in with neighbors. It’s March and overly warm here in the Florida Panhandle. While watering my garden, my next-door neighbor received a beautiful bouquet from a delivery van. I hollered at the woman, who staggered to the front door with the huge, heavy vase.
We are at a critical juncture in the history of this country: survival of the Republic is at stake. We can’t afford to try to be comfortable with politics; all the evidence points to more disruption, anger, and chaos, as the Progressives realize they are, for one of the first times in their movement, in serious trouble. Now is not the time for conservatives and Republicans to quibble about differences. The moral high ground is not what you’ve always thought it was. And we need to deal with the shift through the power of our own unity.
Donald Trump has been the scapegoat of our rebellion against social and political change. But instead of throwing up our hands in resignation, or blaming everyone but ourselves for the mire we find ourselves in, we have to face the truth: the Constitution itself is at risk. We have violated it by allowing our children to be taught to disrespect it; we continually see the misuse of the court system; we’ve allowed politicians to distort the Constitution and the rule of law for their own purposes. It’s time to act.
We must unify for the sake of the Republic, to honor our founders and to preserve the Constitution.
“One must have a mind of winter… And have been cold a long time… not to think / Of any misery in the sound of the wind,” the January wind. So says Wallace Stevens in his poem, The Snow Man. Misery and discontent aren’t identical, but a series of small miseries — unrelated to wintry weather — means February snuck up on me this year, almost as if January never happened, so misery must do for my “winter of discontent”. To “the listener, who listens in the snow,” hearing the sound of the wind, the poem promises if he becomes “nothing himself” he’ll “behold / Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” People “cold a long time” can go numb, of course, and numbness is a kind of “nothing” obliterating misery. But numbness seems insufficient for a “mind of winter”.
For our own survival, we see winter’s cold as hostile. Our success as biological beings depends on our sensing discomfort, in order to mitigate risk before it’s too late. Concern for our own comfort is a form of self-regard that isn’t optional, if we care to live. Nonetheless, necessary self-regard is still self-regard. A mind of winter leaves self-regard behind. And so, it sees wintry beauty — the snowy, frozen world lit with “the distant glitter / Of the January sun” — simply because it is there to see, irrespective of what it might mean to the self. Winter in itself isn’t hostile, just indifferent: self-regard makes the indifference seem hostile. A mind of winter is “unselfed”.
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar’s first experience with Americans was during the second Iraq war when a US tank rolled up in front of his house. He shares his incredible story of growing up under Saddam Hussein’s regime, the vaccuum in his neighborhood that was filled by members of Al-Qaeda, blogging against extremism and receiving death threats as a teenager, escaping Iraq, and the ten year journey to becoming an America citizen. He discusses being taken in by a family in Virginia, why he thinks Americans are amazing people, his appreciation of the values America was founded upon – free speech, civil liberties, and freedom of religion – and the importance of the separation of powers. His is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders, a non-profit that seeks to prevent extremism before it takes root by translating and creating content related to the values that make people less likely to be recruited by extremist organizations. And he shares stories of the heroes he works with across the Middle East who are risking their freedom and lives to help translate content covering controversial or banned ideas, from civil rights, to women’s rights, to evolution, and critical thinking.
Full transcript available here: WiW57-FaisalSaeedAlMutar-Transcript
I’ve been doing some history reading lately and I’ve come upon a dilemma I hope some ricochet fishermen might illuminate for me. Consider the Gulf of Mexico with it’s wide and shallow shelves and being stranded there. What kind of tools would be the absolute minimum needed for catching fish? Preview Open
Anyone who visits Ricochet regularly feels drawn to something. I love Ricochet’s podcasts, from the mothership to the latest experiments. I already consider Ricochet the home for the best center-right podcasts on the web. I want to see that family of podcasts thrive.
For a few months I have stared at the progress bar atop the Ricochet homepage and felt vexed that it has not moved far past the midway point. Today I will do my small part to change that by giving three Ricochet memberships to people who are dear to me.
Trump’s support is from a loud, obnoxious and generally unthinking minority of about one-third of those claiming to be Republicans.The other two-thirds don’t like Trump, don’t want Trump and generally, I suspect, detest Trump as an ignorant, lying, con-man. Why do the Trump fans support him when it is clear Trump would lose big in […]
In case you never watched Bear Grylls show, he teaches survival techniques. Survivalists are pushed to extreme mental and physical limits… kinda like America 2009-2017. Preview Open
I’ll try to be brief. This has puzzled me since I started listening to Rush. All the ads for ‘Goldworth’, ‘Goldline’, & others that run on his show, during Beck’s and Levin’s shows—”Are you considering buying gold?”, “Did you buy the right gold?”, have me confused. What good will gold be if things go ‘south’? […]
The short version: It is a lot like the old computer game “Oregon Trail,” being one of survival, hardship, disease, resource management, and morale. Only it is set in a modern city under military siege, so the “milestones” are new locations that become available for exploration/scavenging, and general events that affect the whole city (snow; […]