Thanks to volunteers

for Flagler cleanup

Since Hurricane Irma, the walk along Flagler Drive has not been as beautiful, especially around Summa Beach. It has been littered with all kinds of debris: stray chunks of wood from destroyed docks, bobbing coconuts and lots of other trash floating around.

Early one morning last week, dozens of beach clean-up volunteers converged on the area. Within a few hours, the little beach was transformed into a pristine, inviting area for walkers, joggers and fishermen to again enjoy.

A giant thank you to the beach clean-up volunteers who gave their time during the busy Christmas season to make Flagler beautiful again.



Valet parking at VA

not good decision

As a veteran, I have had only positive things to say about the VA facility in Riviera Beach. When one considers the magnitude of services that are presented to our men and women who have worn the uniform, it can only be described as amazing.

However, now I must voice an opinion about what I consider to be a very poor decision recently made by the powers-that-be. The VA has instituted valet parking. On top of that, the process has been privatized.

Even if advertised as “complimentary,” we all know that gratuities are expected. Perhaps some of our veterans could better use the few dollars for other needs rather than giving a tip for a service that was forced on them.

Those same powers-that-be might counter by saying that there are other parking areas available. Of course, they just happen to be at a much greater distance.

I would be willing to wager that if a simple yes-or-no survey were to be taken of veterans, valet parking that now disallows the entire main parking area would be unanimously unpopular.



Explaining Trump’s new

seven deadly words

George Carlin, where are you now that we need you? Your famous seven deadly words have become passé, but the current occupant of the White House has graciously replaced them for us.

For those of us without the knowledge of the “best words,” Carlin could have explained them to us. I am no George Carlin, but in his sorely missed absence, I would like to give it a try.

The first word is “vulnerable.” In Republican-speak, it means anyone below the $500,000 income line. Those citizens that live below that poverty line must be taught a lesson on their failure. A carrot of a small tax will be held up, and while they blissfully chew on it they will be vulnerable to the stick that is coming.

Next is “diversity.” Which simply means that different lifestyles and opinions will from this day forward cease to exist.

This is followed by “entitlement.” Entitlement will no longer be recognized as the insurance policy it was designed to be. While we will continue to pay for this policy, the money will now belong to the government, which will dole it out to us after deducting what they need to deflect the increasing deficit created to the latest gift to our moneyed class.

Now, this next one is a real thigh-slapper. It is “fetus.” A fetus is a potential person-in-waiting. It must be protected in spite of how it was created or any dangers allowing it to come to term. This, of course, is balanced by the complete lack of attention once the fetus becomes a person. At that time it will be stripped of health care, needed nutrition and, of course, education.

Then comes “transgender.” If they can’t decide what they are, they should wear Depends until they do. Until then, stay out of our bathrooms.

The last two words are basically the same: “science-based” and “evidence-based.” Our government does not believe in science like climate change and denies the truth on all matters, in spite of solid evidence to the contrary. This, of course, includes evidence of Russian collusion. It’s like a script by George Orwell.

George Carlin could have said it much better than I, but you get the picture.



Obvious connections

in women’s issues

Hadley Heath Manning, in her recent commentary, warns against the “politicization” (meaning a left-leaning push) of #MeToo’s efforts to fight sexual assault and harassment, stating that we should not confound these issues with the gender gap in power and money in our society. (“#MeToo isn’t the right answer to sexual misconduct,” Wednesday)

Does Manning not see the obvious connections between and among those issues? This is not to say that no progress can be made on the former without solving the latter, but if Manning does not see that every battle for women’s empowerment is also a battle against sexual exploitation, she is living in a more compartmentalized world than history, and reality, require.



Looking ahead, hoping

for better 2018

I’m sick and tired of all the 2017 Year in Review programs. Who needs to be reminded of a presidential election which stunned us all, too many terrorist massacres, sexual assaults by big-name celebrities, hurricanes that brought havoc to so many and an unstable North Korean leader?

With a little luck, 2018 just might turn out a little better, we hope.



Put politics in hands

of voters, not plutocrats

The tax bill highlights a frightening change in the Republican Party. While in the past it had a substantial donor base of rank-and-file members, the GOP is now totally reliant on the deep pockets donors such as Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. Thus it must push causes that enrich them to the detriment of the country.

Democrats have extremely wealthy donors, but also hundreds of thousands of the rank and file who donate $3, $5 or $10 and more to the party and its candidates.

We need a two-party system that is supported by the voters, not by plutocrats.



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