Opinion

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Smart enough to take yes for an answer?

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Here’s the fail-safe test for whether a political party is growing and strengthening or shrinking in size and prospects: Is that party spending its time, energy and effort seeking, recruiting and welcoming converts to its ranks, or is that party instead hunting down heretics within its ranks and, in the name of political purity, banishing them to some outer darkness?Because American politics is always a matter of addition, not subtraction, the convert-seeking and convert-welcoming party is healthier and almost always has the better prospects of winning the November general election. Republicans understood that well in 1980 when the GOP presidential nominee openly courted and embraced converts, even giving them very own designation as Reagan Democrats. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the future Democratic nominee told the nation: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America.” Thus did Barack Obama become the first Democrat in 12 presidential elections to win 53% of the national Vote.
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Did I or didn’t I have COVID-19? Blundering through unknowable truths

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Few things are more terrifying than the unknown, as we are discovering as we struggle to navigate, avoid and (if we fail to avoid) survive a mysterious new virus. That goes double when reliable information is hard to come by; it is unquantifiably worse without credible leadership. “Who ya gonna believe,” Chico Marx asked, “me or your own eyes?” More than other cultures of which I am aware, Americans are acculturated to ignore their instincts and the truth of their observations. A smoker might wake up coughing up phlegm every morning for decades, yet he only begins to internalize that tobacco is dangerous to his health after a surgeon general he has never met issues a report. You might live in the same house for years on end but discount your observation of the fact that it used to snow but now it doesn’t; global warming only becomes official when hundreds of climate scientists certify what you already knew.
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Dear Annie

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Dear Annie: Most people have not experienced the loss of a loved one from the COVID-19 virus. However, my father died Friday night after fighting weeks for his life. The situation was agonizing and yet our friends’ reactions to it have been a bit surreal. Here are some tips on supporting the bereaved based on what we have experienced:
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So much for the shelter in place orders

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andemics are public Phealth emergencies; they aren’t supposed to be political. Yet, the American people have been subjected to Draconian lockdowns for months that have stripped our Constitutional rights — to assemble, worship or even to leave our homes to go to work — to prevent the spread of the coronavirus we’ve been told by government and health officials alike is extremely contagious and would kill scores if we didn’t comply.