Monthly Archives: February 2013

Inspection- Is America a Republic or a Democracy?

by Ken Carman

 Trick question.
 It’s both.
 This was inspired by a Facebook posting that pops up every once in a while. The assumption is that everyone on the Left thinks it’s just a Democracy, while those on the Right know the real truth: America is just a Republic. The argument certainly qualifies as bit of a strawman: ironically of all my time yappin it up with my Leftie peeps I’ve never had one claim America’s “only a Democracy.” Yet all too often someone I know who leans heavily to the right stuffs his boogieman scarecrow with, “Those stupid, evil, Liberals think we’re just a democracy” straw and then posts it somewhere as proof of how smart they think they are. For a while it qualified as more “spam” than all those sometimes funny Monty Python blatherings about the more traditional kind of spam.
 Honestly, guys? Really? This whole Snoresville Republic vs. Democracy commentary is more than a bit of a canard.
 But, if we must, let’s forge forth and examine actual definitions, shall we?
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Don’t Say Squirrel

Written by Mart Allen for Adirondack Express

mart allenYou cannot say squirrel around our house without causing pandemonium. We have two dogs that are fine tuned to pursuing the swift little acrobats of the animal world. I swear their thoughts are focused on them every waking moment and asleep as well. They are hunters first and foremost and never let us forget it.

Dutch and Eika are our two wire-haired pointing griffon household pets. I call them household pets because that is what they are in every sense of the word. No place is sacrosanct in our household in their opinion. I was brought up in a household were if an animal was allowed in the house at all it was in a well-defined place. Usually behind the old wood fired cook stove in the kitchen. That tradition like many of the other time honored customs I was raised surrounded and bound by has passed into antiquity.

We have a window seat on one end of our home facing our woods sided yard that is the dog’s favorite perch. They lie there by the hour intently fixated on throngs of red squirrels and chipmunks who make the woods their home and our yard their playground. To be fair to the squirrels, they do find some inducement to trespass on our lawn due to the bird feeder hanging from our eaves.

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The Bush Years And What A “Lapdog” Press Really Looked Like

Former president George W. Bush. (photo: Getty Images)

Former president George W. Bush. (photo: Getty Images)

Written by Eric Boelert

Perpetually fuming about President Obama, Sean Hannity widened his rant Wednesday night on Fox News and condemned the “lapdog, kiss ass media” that allegedly lets Obama have his way. Echoing the same attack, Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week that Mr. Obama is a once-in-a-generation demagogue with a compliant press corps,” while the anti-Obama Daily Caller pushed the headline, “Lapdog Media Seeking Lap To Lie In.”

Complaining about the “liberal media,” has been a running, four-decade story for conservative activists. But what we’re hearing more of lately is the specific allegation that the press has purposefully laid down for the Democratic president, and that it’s all part of a master media plan to help Democrats foil Republicans.

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You Can’t Wash Away Fracking’s Effects

Written by Walter Brasch

BraschJosé Lara just wanted a job.

A company working in the natural gas fields needed a man to power wash wastewater tanks.

Clean off the debris. Make them shining again.

And so José Lara became a power washer for the Rain for Rent Co.

“The chemicals, the smell was so bad. Once I got out, I couldn’t stop throwing up. I couldn’t even talk,” Lara said in his deposition, translated from Spanish.

The company that had hired him didn’t provide him a respirator or protective clothing. That’s not unusual in the natural gas fields.

José Lara did his job until he no longer could work.

At the age of 42, he died from pancreatic and liver cancer.

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Snow What

A few days ago I wrote about the tantalizing signs of spring’s approach; today winter is puffing its chest to prove it still has things to accomplish. The morning broke with temperatures in the teens and heavy white flakes falling fast. The cat has chosen to watch the world from the table under the picture window, angry that the birds are also staying snug in their bush houses. Winter and summer the hedges are filled with wrens and sparrows, so that seemingly empty hedges twitter and tweet as you walk by.
Tired of the cold I finally put a small heater in my room to use during the day when I am the only one here. We keep the thermostat down to 55F most of the time which leaves me too tempted to stay curled up under a blanket reading.

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