Let's agree on the meaning of these words:
In casual conversation we frequently confuse or conflate the meaning of these words. For our purposes here let us accept these definitions.


From the British Dictionary (second def. - hey, it's the one I like):"The complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power."


From the British Dictionary (4th def. is the one I like): Relating to or excessively devoted to one party, faction, etc; one-sided: partisan control.”

First, let me try to explain where I'm coming from. I believe every citizen has an obligation to their community to be part of the discussion, to contribute to the communal understanding of current events, and to apply his/her experience or expertise to problem-solving when appropriate.

In addition to the above commitment, I feel an additional duty because I continue to be "paid" by my community in the form of NY State Retirement benefits. And, the federal government paid for much of my higher education. Perhaps some of my sense of obligation also stems from the knowledge that damn few folks have or can hope for the security I enjoy.

There is much wrong with our world. It is important we try to help others understand what is happening and how they might engage to improve conditions. Since, ostensibly, we have a democracy, one obligation is to help inform fellow citizens so they may make sound decisions at the ballot box.

Thanks for reading,  Wayne


17 March 2017

Letter to Editor
The Times Journal

Respect must be earned, and disrespect is sometimes deserved. I recently received an email from a friend containing a photo of our President in clown face and bearing the message “Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus.” Sure, it was witty, amusing, and delightfully disrespectful, but not funny. The clown message is representative of something more insidious.

Consider the role of the Rodeo Clown. He exists to distract the Angry Bull and protect the ejected rider. In some sense Donald Trump probably understands he is a distraction (more likely an attraction by his understanding of the universe). It is much more important for citizens to recognize the seemingly irrational, often quite ugly and hateful, pronouncements which issue forth from the White House as less important than the actions of the Republican majority in Congress.

Since January 3rd the majority in Congress has been devilishly disabling government operations. They have been deliberately nullifying EPA and Labor Department rules, among others, all to the benefit of their corporate patrons and distinctly not in service to the interests of constituents. It matters not whether the legislators understand that Mr. Trump is a distraction or they are simply seizing the opportunity he created. They are content knowing he will sign any bill they put on his desk.

Just today our 19th CD Rep. John Faso voted for the atrocious Republican health care plan (in a budget sub-committee vote). Even more disturbing, the Republican budget proposals call for dramatic reductions in funding for a variety of important agencies while increasing appropriations for Military and Homeland Security. This will not serve to improve conditions in America. It will hurt all of us 99% folks!

Citizen Bulls, be distracted no longer, get angry and act! Go to: https://faso.house.gov/contact/ or https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/  And also be sure to join with your neighbors as part of one of the newly formed local Resistance groups.


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