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America v America ad infinitum
8/12/2020 3:24:55 PM

‘All the news that’s that’s fit to—hey quick, look over there!’ By L Ron Brooks   THE HEARTLAND—I thought this week’s column would be my last for a while (that column is already mostly finished—“in the can,” in the vernacular) and I’d be able to return to chainsaw juggling on the Venice boardwalk full-time.   But my conscience wouldn’t permit me to have this forum and not go on record about one other important thing all that damnably political researching revealed. Here it is: What was...

Persevere
8/12/2020 3:22:24 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   The last few months have been a very difficult time for so many of us. I repeat here this “Request for Transfer” by an unknown author that has gotten me through some dark times when I’ve wanted to give up. I wanted to share it to help keep spurring us forward today.   “Request for Transfer”   To: Commander-in-Chief From: Battlefield Soldier Subject: Request for Transfer   Dear Lord, I’m writing this to You to request a transfer to...

Are homemade cookies addictive?
8/12/2020 3:15:14 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Some people say we are living in the "new normal." I'm not sure exactly what they mean, and I don't have the time to ask, nor the desire. If the "new normal" is what I have been experiencing in the parsonage for the last several months, I'm all for it. Let it continue. Everybody should be able to live their own normal. Because of being limited, as far as traveling is concerned and going shopping or whatever, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have spent a lot of time at home enjoying our time...

Savvy Senior - Financial Help for Retirees Affected by COVID-19
8/6/2020 2:34:04 PM

Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any financial assistance programs you can refer me to? The coronavirus pandemic has cost me my part-time retirement job and has shrunk my measly IRA account. —Needy Retiree   Dear Needy, Absolutely! In addition to the $1,200 federal coronavirus stimulus check that was distributed in April and May, there are many other financial-assistance programs (both public and private) that can help struggling retirees, as well as give relief to family members who help provide financial support for their loved ones. To find out what types...

I love a mystery when it's a mystery
8/6/2020 2:25:41 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Because of the situation we are in these days, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have spent some significant time watching mysteries. We enjoy a mystery movie. I have always loved mysteries. I have read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I have read the Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton. And, don’t forget Agatha Christie with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. What wonderful mysteries created by these authors, and I have enjoyed reading the books as well as watching the movies based on these books. I...

Lessons from Geese: Standing by each other in difficult times
7/30/2020 11:33:26 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we human beings had as much sense of community as geese? During an Outward Bound experience in Maine, participants read these lessons we humans can learn from geese that bear repeating, considering and sharing in these trying times.   Lessons from Geese   Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if...

Savvy Senior - Can I stop Social Security if I go back to work?
7/30/2020 11:31:42 AM

Dear Savvy Senior, I lost my job last month because of the coronavirus crisis. With little savings, I’ve been thinking about starting my Social Security benefits early to help me get by. But my question is, if I find a new job can I stop my Social Security benefits and restart them at a later date so they can continue to grow?    —Almost 63   Dear Almost, Yes, there are actually two ways you can stop your Social Security retirement benefits (once you’ve started collecting them) and restart them at a later date, which would boost your...

It’s my birthday I’ll lie if I want to
7/30/2020 11:28:29 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   I’m not a proponent of lying. I don't like it when people lie. If they lie once, how do you know they're not lying again? Lately, I've been thinking about what the definition of a lie really is. Is there some time when telling a lie is the best to do? And, is every lie a non-truth? The reason I've been having these thoughts is that I just celebrated my birthday. It always sneaks up on me, and I'm not sure why because it happens every year. It was like when I was in school, we always had a test on Friday, and it always...

I’m married to a college chick
7/29/2020 3:23:08 PM

By Chris Frost chris@tricountysentry.com       Oxnard-- Life continues to be a mystery, and the J-Train is now a college freshman. After years of schlock jobs, she enrolled in school and is chasing her newly found passion.   I understand and support that position 100 percent of the time. I, too, remade myself at age 49, went back to school, relearned what I studied in college 29 years earlier, and now I am an old newsman who tells the story no matter who I piss off.  I'm told I have a knack and natural talent for pissing people off....

Connor Cooks Pico de Gallo
7/23/2020 3:03:26 PM

I am not sure when my love for Pico de Gallo started, but I’m pretty sure it was before I can remember. As a kid, my parents would put a limit on how many chips and salsa I was allowed to eat. Or else I would eat all of it, every time. If I were stranded on a desert island and I was allowed only one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would be chips and salsa. So, the point is, salsa is life. My favorite salsa variety is Pico de Gallo. Not that I don’t love them all, but Pico stands above the rest. Fresh, bright, and just the right spice. Let me show you how I make...