The Bigger Picture
Oddly specific. Universally applicable.

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On asking the right questions, salvaging our democracy, and coming together as human beings

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(Photo by Brandon Couch on Unsplash)

For 19 years of my life, I lived in a little town in Wisconsin with a population of just barely over 5,000. I’m 22 now. Most of the people there are good, though by reading what’s to follow, you probably won’t agree.

My brother told me people were wrapped in a line down the block, maskless, waving confederate flags and American flags side-by-side, proudly wearing their MAGA hats.

From what I’ve read, our president did a “victory lap” around our local fairground racetrack to the raucous applause and screams of an elated crowd before speaking.

Some Facebook friends have posted pictures of themselves with the GOP politicians running in Wisconsin who also attended the event. …


How my conversations with ‘Righties’ and ‘Lefties’ helped

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(Source: https://unsplash.com/@mohammadmetri)

Over the past few months, I’ve had several conversations with those on both sides of the political aisle and in all of them those on the left felt those on the right were the problem and those on the right felt those on the left were the problem. And as I tried to point out how I saw a large part of the problem as that very way of thinking I began to notice two patterns on both sides of the aisle.

The first was how they both used the same reasoning to try and justify their ‘us vs. …


An “expert” opinion not backed by evidence is just an opinion

The word truth with a magnifying glass shining on it, revealing the word Lies in the details
The word truth with a magnifying glass shining on it, revealing the word Lies in the details
(Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay)

“Facts are the air of scientists. Without them, you can never fly.” -Linus Pauling

This morning, I received a text message from my brother, who is a doctor, urging me and my other six siblings to read and share The Great Barrington Declaration.

My brother touted the credentials of the authors and other health professionals who co-signed the declaration. In fact, he stated, “I’ll guarantee you that the three scientists leading this initiative are very smart…”

While I respect my brother and consider him to be intelligent, I found his comment to be quite stupid. …


Optimism for each day of the week

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“You are being tested, my darling, and being tested makes you stronger.” — Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)

Autumn…the crisp hint of winter in the air. As the year begins to wind down, we all begin to dream of the holidays to come.

But this year is different. This year can’t wind down fast enough.

Many of us are bracing for fall like we are leaning into a punch. Too many experts predict COVID will come back strong hand in hand with the flu, and politics will only get uglier and more overwhelming as tensions rise in a nation increasingly divided.

Negativity pops up on our phones 24/7 and it’s hard to keep up….taxes, debates, the Supreme Court. According to my husband Saul, we are about to enter a darkly dystopian phase of our country’s history that will make The Handmaid’s Tale look like a romantic comedy. …


He might not be the angel you think he is.

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(Image by heblo from Pixabay)

I’m aware that what I’m about to say isn’t going to be popular with many.

“Save America at all costs.”

“Donald Trump is the worst president in American history.”

“Throw him out by any means necessary.”

America today has arrived at a stage where, forget Biden, you could have nominated almost anyone to stand against Trump and they would have won the hearts of the masses. Not because they’re anything special, but because that’s how bad things have gotten.

I’m not going to deny America’s need to remove a president from office who is a staunch advocate for white supremacy, misinformation and political interference in the judiciary. …


The Reflective Eclectic

And what it’s like to be a bat

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(Image: Steve Bourne / CC BY-SA )

You could make a meal of a moth, hang upside down and sleep, flap your arms and try to fly, and close your eyes and navigate by sound; but you will never, never really know what it’s like to be a bat.

For starters, even if you were able to choke down a moth and fall asleep while hanging upside down, I don’t think you’ll succeed in flying. …


(Serious question)

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(Source: Rolling Stone)

I’m really curious what people think about this. I’m assuming the answer is yes, but I’m really not sure. However, I would like to believe that if a common threat was impacting humanity’s survival, we would all work together to thwart it.

Now, assuming this is the case, why wouldn’t we work together to solve other issues that are equally detrimental to the planet? Things like climate change and COVID? Why, instead of combining forces and attacking the source, do we attack each other? I believe the answer is because of yet another common enemy, which is big business.

Before you flip your wig, I’m not a socialist or anti-capitalist or anti- anything related to money. Money is good, entrepreneurship is good, and anyone who tells you otherwise can f*ck right off. …


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I know, you are thinking, “It’s poll watcher, dummy. Poll watcher.” Well, I know that now. And I can tell you that if I’d known it before, the election might have turned out differently.

But I thought the dude who recruited me was talking about poles, which he said he wanted me to spend the day keeping an eye on.

I couldn’t see the sense of it. But he said he’d pay me fifty dollars, cash, in advance, and that I could watch any poles I wanted. …


Finding purpose, kindness, and meaning without God

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(Photo: Aaron Burden/Unsplash/CC BY-SA 4.0)

I grew up in a fairly secular household. While my parents and grandparents had their own ideas about religion and God, the topic was never discussed in our house. There was never a moment in my childhood when my parents approached me about faith. I was never instructed on the sermons or rituals of Judaism (mother’s family) or Christianity (father’s family). I suspect that such topics were out of place in the Soviet Union, especially for the Jewish population.

After coming to America, many of my family members attended synagogue for the first time. In fact, I have extended family that became practicing Orthodox Jews. My immediate family, however, was barely religious. The extent of my participation in Judaism was the Shabbat service on Fridays for several years. Over time, I limited my attendance to just the holy holidays, and, eventually, I ceased attending service altogether. …


Just because she’s a Supreme Court Justice doesn’t mean she can’t also be a job creator

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Photo by Victoria Pickering via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Newly minted Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett is extremely cognizant of the high unemployment numbers brought on by the pandemic. However, unlike her notoriously lax predecessor, this legit legal lady is interested in getting Americans back to work.

And just like how her mentor, President Trump, brought dying jobs such as coal miner and wind turbine deconstructionist back from the abyss, Justice Barrett will also revive long forgotten vocations. Here are just some of the jobs she — and her mighty 6–3 majority — plans to resuscitate for the betterment of our country.

Back-alley abortionist

This niche medical position has been all but defunct since the 1960s. But demand for back alley surgeons have increased over the past few decades as legislation in the south and Midwest has become more stringent. However, these jobs won’t become a necessity until after Barrett repeals Roe v. …

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