Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping

We hit the road for our first Cub Scout camping trip, to Westgate River Ranch, an outdoor oasis in the middle of anonymous, sprawling scrubland — a wonderland of vast fields, bulls standing sternly at fences daring you to come just a little closer, a rodeo arena with its dazzling orange dirt, a saloon, all on the wide and wild Kissimmee River. Other than a lesson on the joys of being immersed in the outdoors while with a couple hundred outstanding people, here’s what we learned: Continue reading “Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping”

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Shocked? That’s good. 

The fires, the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the shootings. The calamities have been so repetitive that together they’ve created a numbing rhythm, one reliably following another, like the ticking of a clock.

It’s hard to be shocked these days. Continue reading “Shocked? That’s good. “

Politicize. Yes, please, politicize.

Of all the disgusting, empty, infuriating comments I’ve read about gun control since the Las Vegas massacre, the most frustrating and moronic has been that it’s wrong to ‘politicize’ it.

‘I think it’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this,’ the Senate Majority Leader [Mitch McConnell] said. ‘It just happened in the last day and a half.’

‘…conservatives accused Democrats of politicizing a tragedy: “I just think is disgusting,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said,’ CNN wrote.

How insensitive, they seem to be saying, to discuss a solution to a problem so soon after another example of the problem. But if your 3-year-old drowned in a pool, would it be insensitive to discuss what brand of pool fence to buy to prevent your 2-year-old from drowning, too? Continue reading “Politicize. Yes, please, politicize.”

Hillbilly Elegy, my sister, and the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth

It came out before Trump became president, but the New York Times best-seller Hillbilly Elegy has become a Bible of sorts for trying to understand the plight of poor, white people and their choice for president. I’m one of the perplexed liberals who looked to it for answers, too, even though I’m white and I grew up poor myself. Continue reading “Hillbilly Elegy, my sister, and the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth”

As the Hollywood Hills nursing home residents neared their deaths, was there urgency or apathy?

We don’t really know yet what was happening inside the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, six residents of which dropped dead because the air conditioning stopped working after Irma. Continue reading “As the Hollywood Hills nursing home residents neared their deaths, was there urgency or apathy?”