Art Should Reveal Uncomfortable Truths

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

by Oletta Branstiter Should art be created to make us feel comfortable? The school district in Biloxi, Mississippi recently decided to eliminate To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, from the 8th-grade reading list. The reason? “Language in the book makes some people uncomfortable.” Was the complaint based on the historical and contextual use of the word “nigger”? Or was it more insidious? Do the objections reflect the same lack of understanding that led to the banning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain?…

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Donald Trump And Mitch McConnell’s Lie About Tax Reform – The Myth Of Corporate Tax Rates

video still of President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at Rose Garden press briefing

by Richard Cameron “Tax Reform” and the myth of the corporate tax rate Donald Trump, together with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,  participated in a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday – a Q and A preceded by one of Trump’s excessive, rambling, largely incomprehensible word salads.  It was, as we have come to expect –  riddled with false statements and devoid of factual data. The scope of the questions and answers was too broad to deal with in their entirety here, but one topic that came up…

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Trump’s Malignant Normality And The Historical Precursors

photo of Trump rally attendees

by Tony Wyman Malignant Normality and the rise of Donald Trump The effect of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States has been to create a state of what Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, psychiatrist and author of studies on the psychological effects of war and political violence, calls “malignant normality.” We’ve seen, over the period that Mr. Trump has maintained his position of prominence on the American stage, a gradual and begrudging acceptance of the president’s crude and belligerent treatment of others, from foreign leaders to fellow Americans,…

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National Unity Rests On Pillars Of Principle

Pillars representing five styles of architecture

by Oletta Branstiter Unity rests on the strength of our Principles. When I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to 5th and 6th graders, I create a huge graphic on a Library wall that includes metaphorical representations of our Republic. My purpose is to portray our nation’s government founded on solid ground and strong ideological support. My hope is that these lessons will inspire unity on those principles so that the next generation will work to restore our Constitutional Republic.   The bottom layer of Bedrock represents the Natural Law of our…

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Situational Ethics and the Hypocrisy of Judgment in the Last Election

By Janice Barlow We are faced with choices every day. We hear all the time that we should not judge; it is up to God to judge. That’s not the case. It’s up to God to impose judgment, but we discern many times daily. We should, however, not change how we feel about something based on the situation. That is called “situational ethics, “ and it turns us into people who have no solid core values or beliefs. We have become a nation of moral relativists. Some examples will illustrate…

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Danger Ahead! The Runaway Tractor Trailer Rig – Trump’s Presidency

by Richard Cameron Trump’s Runaway Presidency The standard metaphor for anything that is going “south”, that is to say, badly wrong, is a speeding train hopping the rails – an impending train wreck. Since it is so overworked and such a cliché, perhaps we should opt for another analogy to the Donald Trump presidency – the runaway semi-tractor trailer. In this one, the president is the owner-operator of the bigly rig and the rig is the Office of the Presidency and the contents of the trailer is the stability and…

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Girls Just Wanna Be Scouts

Cub Scouts with the U.S. flag

by Oletta Branstiter Girls in Boy Scouts The Boy Scouts of America organization has announced that young girls will be allowed to join Cub Scout packs and are planning to accept older girls into a program to earn the Eagle rank – the highest Boy Scout award. This should come as no surprise. As far back as the late 1990’s girls have been participating in Boy Scout adventures as part of the Explorer program. My son went on a co-ed trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. He…

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Trump’s Ethnic Nationalism is Not the Same as Reagan’s Civic Nationalism

US_Navy Aerial_view_of_the_Washington_Monument

by Tony Wyman Trump’s Ethnic Nationalism America’s last nationalist president was Ronald Reagan, but there was a stark difference between the nationalism of the country’s 40th and 45th presidents. In 1980, when the country elected Ronald Reagan president by a 51% to 41% margin, America was reeling from the failures of the Carter Administration. Soaring unemployment, the humiliation of the Iranian hostage crisis and the resultant military catastrophe during our attempt to rescue them, the decline in American prestige around the world and an overarching sense of pessimism about the…

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Why Did Christopher Columbus Set Sail in 1492? Perhaps Because He Was A Jew.

by Oletta Branstiter Indigenous People’s Day Congratulations, Denver, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and dozens of other cities. You’ve jumped onto the politically correct bandwagon and replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Would these city council members have preferred that explorers just stay home? Do they wish Columbus and his entourage had stayed in Spain? By focusing on the negative narratives of “New World” discoveries, these cities are furthering a narrative that continues a history of prejudice, in more ways than one. Italian Americans have expressed their opposition to…

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Credible News Sources Versus Incredible Sensationalism: Getting at the Truth

By Janice Barlow In recent days, America has been deluged with seemingly endless tragedies, both individual and massive. Hurricanes, earthquakes, a mass shooting in Las Vegas, raging fires in California, and the deaths of celebrities have and are bombarding our newsfeeds.  (I do say, America, because Puerto Rico is a Territory of the U.S. and Mexico is part of the American continent). All sources want to be first. But who gets it right? Although we should never become jaded, inured to the horrors that seem to be occurring with increased frequency and magnitude,…

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