Opinion

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Dear Annie

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Dear Annie: All my life, since I was a kid, I always got abuse, judgment and blame from my own family. Now, as an adult, I still get all of that. When I got divorced, my family thought it was their right to judge and blame me. And they cut me off like I didn’t exist. It’s like I did some terrible crime so they had to punish me. There have been so many family functions and gatherings over the last few years, but no one invited me, as though I didn’t matter. It was hard, but I tried to deal with it, and slowly moved on with my new normal.
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Biden’s Heartfelt Appeal for Unity Likely to Be Unavailing

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“We must end this uncivil war,” Joe Biden proclaimed shortly after he became the 46th president on Wednesday. Hours earlier, in his last moments as the 45th president, Donald Trump extended “best wishes” to the “new administration.” Graceful words, but accompanied by sharp and, in some cases, deserved attacks. Our presidents since George Washington have come to office through an inevitably adversary process, and while they may inspire “unity” on occasion, that’s more the exception than the rule.
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Dear Annie

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Dear Annie: My daughter, “Emily,” has been dating “Ben” for almost two years. Ben is a great guy, aside from one issue that’s been bugging me: He refuses to drive anywhere and instead has my daughter drive him. He says it’s because a few years ago he was in a car accident and has been scared to drive since. (He was not hurt in the accident.) He has Emily drive him to and from work every day. Emily never complains about it, but it drives me insane because Emily and her kids were also in a car accident a few years back and suffer PTSD from that accident. Ben is aware of this, but doesn’t seem to get it. He thinks it’s no big deal for Emily to get over her fear while avoiding getting over his fear. I want to say something to him so badly, but I haven’t. And every time I say something to my daughter, she gets upset with me. How can I approach the situation without making it worse? -- Miffed Mom
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The Social Media Conundrum

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Washington -- It is a reflection of the vulgarity and even the criminality now stalking our society that social media, as it is called, cannot extricate itself from this awful question of censorship. Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms that are passing judgment on what Americans say today are in the pickle that they are in because the First Amendment freedoms are extended to pornographers, common criminals, political psychopaths and run-of-the-mill conservatives. Soon, if the social media tycoons have their way, their censorship will extend to ordinary liberals, butterfly collectors and, who knows, maybe even stamp collectors.
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A More Perfect and Lasting Union

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It was a long 2020. It featured a pandemic, politics and economic hardships. Many of us are tired of the political polarization and the constant spewing of hate. It’s not just that we don’t want to be hated; we also don’t want to hate. We yearn to get along, to make progress and to work together to make our country better for our children. We’re exhausted, frustrated and feeling helpless. We want to make a difference, and I know we can.
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Get Ready for 4 Years of Media Sycophancy

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On Sunday, Jan. 17, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with Jane Pauley of CBS News “Sunday Morning.” Pauley treated Harris to a full-on journalistic massage. At no point was Harris asked a tough question; at no point was Harris treated as anything other than an idol worthy of worship. Perhaps the most awkward manifestation of this sycophancy came when Harris -- an extraordinarily and transparently manipulative and mechanical politician -- spouted a canned speech about relentlessness. “I was raised to not hear no -- let me be clear about it,” said Harris. “I eat no for breakfast!”
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Dear Annie

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Dear Annie: Throughout the pandemic, I’ve noted some things that make for a successful Zoom or FaceTime call. Perhaps these suggestions will be of use to your readers.