Will there be a Madman in the Whitehouse?

Will there be a Madman in the Whitehouse?

Nobody knows!

Ted Folkert

The speculation, prediction and uneasiness are rampant here in the US and around the world regarding the anticipated economic and political effects of a Trump presidency. The problem is that “nobody knows.”

The players on Wall Street, many of whom were nervous due to Trump’s idle threats to crush the criminals on Wall Street, are now licking their chops after he quickly appointed a few of their most vicious fraudsters to cabinet posts, particularly the Department of Treasury. That’s where the money is, you know. Willy Sutton said that was the reason he robbed banks, that’s where the money is.

Trump has tried to soften his tone, which was violent rhetoric while he was feeding red meat to his right-wing pit bulls during the election campaign. Then we began to breathe a little easier with his more mellow tone to the news media and to his Twitter followers after the election. That is, until he started making cabinet appointments. Now it looks like we will have the most far-right-wing government in many decades. Elizabeth Warren stated: “the president-elect has doubled down on racism and bigotry since his victory.”

Trump’s appointments to run the government will tell the story:

He appointed for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who served as his campaign finance chairman, a former Goldman Sachs executive with deep roots in Hollywood and no government experience.

This is the guy described by Elizabeth Warren as a man who “had actually been one of the people who helped do all of those lousy mortgages that not only broke the economy, but broke millions of families. And then after the crash, a guy who turned around and bought a bank that then became infamous for how hard it squeezed families that had already been cheated and was the foreclosure machine following that.” “What Donald Trump is doing is he’s literally handing the keys to the Treasury over to a Wall Street banker who helped cause the crash,” she said.

He appointed for Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, the former Labor secretary under President George W. Bush, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fixture of the Republican establishment in Washington.

He appointed for Health & Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia and orthopedic surgeon who has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Price has said the law interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions.

For Commerce Secretary he has appointed Wilbur Ross, an investor whose fortune is estimated by Forbes to be $2.9 billion. Mr. Ross has said the United States must free itself from the “bondage” of “bad trade agreements,” and has advocated threats to impose steep tariffs on China. It seems that some type of agreements worked out okay of Mr. Ross while he was amassing his fortune.

For Education Secretary he has appointed Betsy DeVos, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and an education activist who is a passionate believer in school choice, as his nominee. “School choice” is a nice word for privatization, and the elimination of, public schools.

For United Nations Ambassador he has appointed Nikki R. Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as his nominee. The daughter of immigrants from India, she was a prominent and frequent critic of Mr. Trump early in his run and backed Ted Cruz. She is an opponent of abortion rights.

For C.I.A Director he has appointed Mike Pompeo, Representative of Kansas and a former Army officer as his nominee. Mr. Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and was a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

For Attorney General he has appointed Jeff Sessions. A Senator of Alabama, who is a strong proponent of strict immigration enforcement, reduced spending and tough-on-crime measures. His nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 was rejected because of racially charged comments and actions.

For National Security Advisor he has appointed Michael T. Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. General Flynn has been outspoken about his view of the threat posed by Islamist militancy.

For White House Chief of Staff he has appointed Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Reince Priebus told Fox News that climate science denial is Trump’s ‘default position.’

 For Chief Strategist he has appointed Stephen K. Bannon, a right-wing media executive and the chairman of the president-elect’s campaign. Many have denounced the move, warning that Mr. Bannon represents racist views.

Of course, there are many more to be selected, but we can see how it is going. Not good for “we the people” and not good for our allies around the world. Not good for “being thy brother’s keeper”, not good for the working class, not good for minorities, not good for educating our children, not good for the health and welfare of those in need of a helping hand, not good for elderly healthcare, not good for retirement funds, including Social Security. And the list goes on!

I think it will be good for Donald Trump and all the other mega-rich people that he says he doesn’t even like but keeps appointing to key governmental positions.

It will be an interesting couple of years until we get a shot at the Senate and House in the midterm elections. That is our only hope right now for returning our leadership to an attitude of “we the people.” Maybe that threat will be a mellowing agent for tempering their apparent attack on the general welfare and the strengthening of the aristocracy which our governing policies have allowed to fester and become dominant in our distribution of, and lack of redistribution of, the income and wealth of the country.

Think about it!

Life & Death on Planet Earth

Life & Death on Planet Earth

Ted Folkert

“ …… I’ve seen the future and it is murder” – Leonard Cohen

Do we know how we fit into the universal picture? No, not Universal Studios, which is exciting, but the universe of celestial bodies wherein we reside, which is not very exciting. And, do we know where we stand with the ability of the resources of the planet to sustain the population we have amassed and the way of life we have created with our ability to invent, design, and manufacture comfort, pleasure, and longevity?

I don’t think so!

The scientists tell us that Earth is a little over 4.5 billion years old. That cannot be confirmed by any living humans. Not only is no one that old, not even Methuselah, but we are told that there was no life on the planet initially and that life on Earth began about 3.8 billion years ago, initially with single-celled creatures, such as bacteria. Later, over a billion years later, multicellular life evolved.

All the evidence upon which we rely in this aging process is derived by carbon dating of fossils found in archeological and anthropological explorations.

It is only in the last 570 million years that the kind of life forms we are familiar with began to evolve, starting with arthropods, followed by fish 530 million years ago, land plants 475 million years ago, and forests 385 million years ago. Mammals didn’t evolve until 200 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Our own species, homo sapiens, evolved only 200,000 years ago. So, we humanoids haven’t been around for very long. 200,000 years out of 4,800,000,000 years. Merely a tiny fraction of the age of the planet.

Estimates from our scientific community for the evolution of the planet:

  • 4.5 billion years ago – Age of Earth
  • 3.8 billion years ago – Life on Earth
  • 570 million years ago – Familiar life forms
  • 530 million years ago – Fish
  • 475 million years ago – Plants
  • 385 million years ago – Forests
  • 50 million years ago – Lemur fossil
  • 30 million years ago – Ape-like fossil
  • 20 million years ago – Anthropoid apes
  • 14 million years ago – Fossil with flat teeth
  • 5 million years ago – Relatives of man
  • 200 thousand years ago – Homo sapiens

Note: These estimated ages may differ with different sources, however, they serve to support the context of this discussion.

If you drew a line 12” long representing the age of the Earth, early life forms would have taken place about 2 inches from the start of the line and all other life forms would have taken place in the last inch of the line, with homo sapiens showing up at the very end of the 12” line. So, although we have been around for 200,000 years, it is an infinitesimal fraction of the existence of the planet.

It seems that establishing exact ages of evolutionary events is not crucial to an understanding of what transpired in the evolution of humans, but the time from the existence of the planet until the existence of humans emphasizes the thousands of archeological and chemical events that led to our existence.

So, if these figures are correct, the planet was here 4,799,800,000 years before we showed up to rule the world and consume all the life-sustaining minerals and natural resources created during these billions of years. And to do it in slightly more than 200,000 years is quite an impressive feat in the world of planetary achievements.

So, the Earth survived almost 4.8 billion years without humans and since then we have grown from a few migratory hunters and gatherers to more than 7 billion people all looking for a better life. We have gone from a land area of millions of acres per person to probably less than 5 acres per person. Considering that much of the land on Earth is not arable land, we have less than 8 billion acres, little more than one acre per person of arable land. Considering that perhaps half of that acreage is used for roads, highways, airports, railroads, parks, cemeteries, commercial buildings, factories, homes, golf courses, etc., then we probably have one-half acre per person to use for producing enough food required for adequate nourishment. That amounts to about 20,000 square feet each.

Can you raise enough crops and animals on one-half acre to provide adequate nourishment for one person? Two or three meals per day, 365 days per year?

I don’t think so!

Maybe people who live near to ocean could live on fish for their protein but still it seems like a stretch to feed everyone on Earth on a few billion acres of arable land. And the problem with that scenario is that the oceans are being over-fished at a faster depletion rate than the repletion rate.

And a further problem with this exercise is that the world population is still growing. In 1800 we had 1 billion people on Earth. By 2000, 200 years later, it was 6 billion. Now it is 7 billion. And it is projected to reach 8 billion people by 2030, 14 years from now, and 9 billion by 2050, just 34 years from now.

So, this causes a problem that perhaps Leonard Cohen was contemplating in a poetic comment in one of his songs: “….. I’ve seen the future and it is murder.”

There is little solace to be offered in this dilemma. We just elected a president who thinks this is all a hoax. Why does he think that?

Answer: probably because he fears the adverse effect on his business enterprises if we believe this stuff and demand action to change course, which is probably the only logical reason that he and other supposedly intelligent people subscribe to climate change denial. No concern for the future, which would seem to some of us our duty.  The climate change deniers only concern is for the here and now and sustaining personal pleasure and comfort.

How much personal pleasure can one absorb? Therein lies the hoax.

Think about it!

Masters of Soulful Poetry

Masters of Soulful Poetry

Maya Angelou & Leonard Cohen

We lost two of the great soulful and expressive poets of our lifetime of late – Maya Angelou in 2014 and Leonard Cohen just last week. Their politically-conveying messages, lessons, and thought-inspiring contributions to us are deserving of our gratitude. No tribute could give worthy credit to the works of art they created for our enjoyment and solace.

Maya Angelou’s mastery included this life’s lesson, brought to our attention by Pat Hininger, in view of the white, Anglo-Saxon, bigot to whom we just handed the reins of our government:

STILL I RISE – Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter twisted lies
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words.
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness.
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise?
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of huts of history’s shame
I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide.
Walling and swelling I bear in the tide,
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

Leonard Cohen, in his unique mastery of soulful and playful poetry gave us this life’s lesson:

EVERY KNOWS – Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Just one example of each of their life’s work. There are lots more equivalent contributions of their legacies.

 

Times they are a changing

As Bob Dylan sang to us many years ago and still today: ” … times they are a changing.”

As was stated yesterday, “now we get to see which philosophy dominates the American psyche.”

Now we know!

What was it someone once said? “We don’t always get the leaders we need, sometimes we get the leaders we deserve,” or something like that. Now we have an interesting two years or four years ahead. Let’s hope it isn’t as non-democratic as some of us predicted. Trigger happy is a dangerous military stance in this world now and abuse of presidential power could be a polarizing and paralyzing governance.

Our hope now should be that our new president will forget all the statements and policy stances that he campaigned on and govern with more intelligence, foresight, and compassion. And let’s hope that he will get over his gender bias and insulting demeanor and do the right thing for the country.

President Obama’s talk this morning provided the right message. He had complete transition cooperation from the George W Bush administration when he took office and his administration will provide the same to our new president.

We may not all like the changes forthcoming, but we elected new governance. Our only path to policy change is at the polls again in two years and four years. In the meantime we will have to live with the changes forthcoming.

Before the Fatal Flood

Before the Fatal Flood

Ted Folkert

November 3, 2016

Donald Trump likes to start rumors by saying: “some people are saying that …… blah blah blah”. Of course, what he should say is: “I would like you to believe that …… blah blah blah” – to support my incessant fabrications, exaggerations, innuendos, and outright lies and my sacrificial and benevolent willingness to single-handedly make this country great again.

What about our environment and the future condition of our planet? You won’t hear about this from Trump, he thinks global warming is all a hoax, but a lot of people are saying troubling things about the survival of Planet Earth to continue supporting human life. That may sound like a stretch, but if you believe 97% of our scientists, it isn’t a stretch at all, but a situation we must correct and reverse or it could soon be too late.

The troubling terms we hear and read about include:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Climate change
  • Coral reef depletion
  • Degraded planet
  • Devastating droughts
  • Devastation of living conditions
  • Extreme weather
  • Fossil fuel dependency
  • Glacier melting
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Thin atmosphere

Lots of terms that we hear and that should be of concern. Let’s see if we can put this list of potential and real Earthly maladies together to make one sentence which will describe to fix we are in:

Our way of life, which requires massive use of energy sources, causes us to have a fossil fuel dependency, which causes us to constantly mine and drill and produce massive amounts of coal, oil and natural gas to burn to power our addictions, such as electricity, cars, heat, air conditioning, stuff, things, etc., virtually everything we do, which produces excessive carbon dioxide emissions in the thin atmosphere surrounding this molten rock we inhabit, which creates a greenhouse effect, which causes global warming, which causes climate change, which causes devastating droughts, which causes extreme weather, which causes rising ocean temperatures, which causes depletion of coral reefs, which threatens ocean life, and glacier melting, which causes rising sea levels, which is causing and will continue to cause devastation of living conditions in many parts of the world and, if allowed to continue unabated, will make the planet unable to support human life.

So, the message is clear. We have a fatalistic problem.

What have we done and what can we do about it?

Unfortunately, to date, we all seem reluctant to take necessary measures to correct or change the course of these activities to save the planet to support life for future generations. Although 97% of our scientific community agrees that this devastation is eminent, we just can’t agree to deal with the problem head-on immediately, while, if we act now, we can likely reverse the calamity.

Those who are concerned about this rapidly upcoming disaster for numerous parts of our planet should watch “Before the Flood”, a film produced from a worldwide exploration of this startling demise by Leonardo DiCaprio and his environmental experts from around the world. The film shows in detail just what is taking place, the causes, the devastation, and possible steps we can take to reverse the explosion of maladies with which we are now, or will soon be, confronted.

The film addresses such environmental damaging activities for fossil fuel recovery as: mountain top removal, fracking, and offshore drilling, all of which do extreme damage to our planet. These truths are poo-pooed by the corporations who prosper from the activities and are accepted by the rest of us as simply harmless collateral damage in supplying us with the drugs to feed our addiction – fossil fuels – the basis of our entire economy.

The film discusses and illustrates the prediction that Greenland is melting away and may entirely disappear, a climate station in the Artic exhibits the melting of fifty feet of ice, all of which melted into the ocean, South Florida could be washed away, stable temperatures of 12,000 years are now moving toward 4 degrees of warming which will exacerbate the time table of the predictions of demise.

It discusses the fact that Germany now uses 30% renewable energy, Denmark uses 100% renewable energy, Sweden is moving toward 100% renewable energy, in Paris 195 countries committed to do everything possible to change the trend but no penalties or enforcement provisions were put in place.

This should be mandatory viewing for all inhabitants of the planet, without exception. It should encourage and mandate immediate action for every country to achieve 100% renewable energy and save the planet.

This is an unavoidable challenge for our youth. They are well-educated, intelligent, energetic, and have the most to lose by allowing our leaders to ignore the fatalistic problem and vote as directed by the hand that feeds them, our corporations engaged in such practices as mentioned above.

Think about it!

Trump’s Hit List

Trump’s Hit List

Ted Folkert

October 26, 2016

Be careful what you say about Donald Trump, the proud owner of a falsely inflated ego, the guy who gives a whole new meaning to the term “sociopath”, the guy who is going to be sooooooooo busy suing everyone who insulted him by saying or printing the truth about him.

Here is a partial list of those that he has announced that he will sue, provided by Ryan Grim and published in Huffington Post:

New York Times, America, Women who accuse him of sexual assault, Ted Cruz, The Republican National Committee, Tony Swartz, The Washington Post, People Magazine, An anti-Trump shirt maker, A British student nightclub, Univision, Jose Andres, Club for Growth, A British artist, The Associated Press, John Kasich, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Bill Maher.

And Trump’s list could go on and on and on. He hasn’t begun to scratch of the surface of the thousands who have intentionally insulted him by speaking or printing the truth about his childish ego-maniacal behavior. Poking fun at his ignorance, his impudence, his imprudence, his denigration of anyone in his path, his disrespect for women, minorities, Latinos, Muslims and war heroes, his ignorance of world affairs, his protectionist views, his proposed trade warfare with other nations, his complimentary statements about and intended coziness with the Soviet leader who seems to agitate the other world powers and support autocratic rulers who cozy up to him, his disdain for immigrants and plans for brutal actions against his purported enemies once he is elected …… and this list goes on and on and on.

If we all reacted to criticism like the Donald, we would have a courthouse on every corner and every fifth person would have to be a judge or juror. Maybe that is one of his plans for reaching full employment once he is elected.

So, be careful what you say. You could be next on his list. And, of course, once he is elected he will immediately change the laws to require anyone he sues to prove they didn’t do it instead of him proving they did. That is what dictators do you know.

Think about it!

The Choice is Obvious.

The Choice is Obvious.

Ted Folkert

October 10, 2016

Yes, the choice is obvious. It reminds me of what my mom used to say when I couldn’t find something: “If it was a snake, it would bite you.”

What to do, what to do. Who to vote for to lead our nation. Not a simple matter and plenty of reason for indecision.

Some say they just can’t support Donald Trump. Some say they just can’t support Hillary Clinton. Some say they just can’t support either one. Some say they will vote for the Libertarian candidate. Some say they will write in Bernie Sanders. Some say they will just not vote because they don’t like any of the candidates.

All of these choices are understandable. There is plenty to not like about any of them if you look at all of their beliefs, actions and claims of how they will govern if elected.

But we can’t afford to sit out the election or vote against any candidate. The only reasonable option is to vote for one of the candidates who can possibly win the election at this point – Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

The Libertarian candidate seems like a nice guy although seems to lack knowledge about the world he lives in. But regardless of his lack of worldly knowledge, he doesn’t have nearly enough support to be a possible winner and time has run out.

Bernie Sanders was the favorite candidate of many of us and preached the message that many of us found inspiring, but he couldn’t possibly get enough write-ins to be elected and time has run out.

Donald Trump has proven over and over again that he is irresponsible, erratic, unforgiving, self-centered, untruthful, impatient, unrealistic, rude, prejudicial, unrelenting, deceptive, dishonest, uninformed, uneducated about foreign matters – a dangerous narcissist – in other words, totally unqualified to be president of the United States. Not only unqualified but too dangerous and unpredictable to have any governing power of any nature, let alone that of one of the most powerful leaders of the free world.

This stuff wasn’t just made up recently. You can read it in most any publication in the country and hear it on many news media outlets at any given time. He is being ignored by most of the leading Republican campaign contributors in the country and that list grows on a daily basis. He is being continually disclaimed and rejected by many leaders of his own party. He is beyond the hold-your-nose-and-vote stage as a viable candidate.

One of Trump’s ways of accusing an opponent of something starts out with “some people are saying”. Boy is he right about that. They are saying plenty and the conversation is about his ineptness for holding political office.

So, although many of us were not early supporters of Hillary, she remains the only reasonable choice. She has more experience in governmental affairs and US interaction with foreign countries than any candidate or elected official that I can remember. She has been accused of dishonesty but not in matters that would disqualify her from leading the country. Any dishonesty that she could be guilty of would seem like child play when compared to the scam artist that she is running against. She has relationships with hundreds of leaders in government that date back for several decades. The pronounced actions she would take as the leader of the country are mostly favorable to the majority of the population.

It seems the safest choice, the most palatable choice and obviously the choice with the best promise to lead the country in a democratic and equitable manner while maintaining a responsible relationship with all the other industrial nations. Her decades of efforts to improve childhood education is commendable. If she can stay away from Wall Street and team up with the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, perhaps we can continue the great progress we have made in the last few years in spite of an obstructionist congress controlled by simple minded Republicans whose only concern for eight years has been to regain power over the US Treasury.

Think about it!

 

Eric Gormly – Veteran’s Assistant

Perhaps we could take a moment from our busy lives in our professions of moving money from someone’s pocket into ours and acknowledge someone who opted to follow a path of selfless assistance to those who get too little assistance and recognition for their personal sacrifices in protecting us from harm – our veterans. This article came to me from a friend and is being published herein without the permission of this young man’s proud grandmother, Roz Webb.

University News

Appalachian State University

By Kesha Williams

BOONE—Appalachian State University is ranked seventh among regional universities in the South as a “Best College for Veterans” by U.S. News and World Report. That ranking could be one more reason veterans and active-duty military members select Appalachian.

eric-gormley

Eric Gormly, Appalachian’s new coordinator of Student Veteran Services, knows full well veterans are searching for outstanding universities. In the years he has spent serving with and working with veterans, he has had many conversations about the topic. A goal shared by most veterans, according to Gormly, is to earn degrees that will elevate them on their current career paths or to lead them to new, more desirable careers.

Gormly served in the U.S. Marines for six years, which included two tours of duty in Iraq. He worked previously as a veterans services assistant and a certifying official at Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, Kansas) for five years. There, he assisted with training and managing Veterans Administration work-study student employees, implementing the Military & Veteran Student Resource Center and coordinating “Veterans Week” to raise awareness of student veteran presence on campus. He formerly served as the certifying official and enrollment services coordinator at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

At Appalachian, Gormly serves as the single point-of-contact for student veterans and oversees programs and policies that will meet the unique needs of student veterans. Additionally, he works to foster the growth and success of student veterans by developing activities that facilitate the transition from the military to the campus and Boone community.

Gormly explained that the 276 self-identified veterans and active-duty military members enrolled at Appalachian distinctly differ from the university’s traditional first-year and transfer students. Many veteran students have families who depend upon them for financial support, and arrive with additional needs and responsibilities that impact their class and study schedules.

“A lot of veterans stack courses in the morning or the evening and go to work,” Gormly said. Those who are returning from assignments abroad or military bases located in different states bring vastly different experiences and perspectives to the classroom than their non-military classmates.

“When you live that military life, it’s a different culture. A lot is dependent on your brothers and sisters in arms. College is different and it can be stressful coming in. It’s good to have someone to answer your questions and to understand your past experiences,” Gormly explained. Gormly said he noticed a nationwide push about five years ago to get veterans more involved on college campuses. Appalachian’s Student Veteran Resource Center, which will open in November, will offer ways to get involved, as well as additional resources and support for student veterans and their families. “There is a lot of support and excitement for veterans at Appalachian,” Gormly said.

The new Student Veteran Resource Center will be located on the second floor of the Plemmons Student Union (PSU), and will open with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception in PSU Room 226 (Linville Falls) on Veterans Day: Friday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m.

Since 2010, Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has awarded Appalachian the designation of Military Friendly School®. The designation places Appalachian in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

Appalachian maintains a website for veterans and military service members considering enrolling at the university. In addition to its chapter of the Student Veterans Association, the university also has veteran counselors or advisors on staff, a veteran-specific page on the university’s financial aid website, and assists veterans with career placement. The university also offers in-state tuition without residency requirements for military students who are in the N.C. National Guard or on active duty at a military base within North Carolina.

For more information about resources for military students at Appalachian, visit http://militarystudents.appstate.edu.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

My Vote By Roger Angell

Thanks to Lonnie Shalton for forwarding this compelling article. It should be a must-read for everyone voting in the upcoming election, an election that Roger Angell considers it the most important election in his lifetime. His lifetime has been 96 years and 18 previous presidential ballots. He is  a senior editor and a staff writer, and has contributed to The New Yorker since 1944.

Some excerpts from the New Yorker Magazine article: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/my-nineteenth-presidential-election-and-the-most-important

My Vote By Roger Angell

September 24, 2016

“I am late weighing in on this election—late in more ways than one. Monday brought my ninety-sixth birthday, and, come November, I will be casting my nineteenth ballot in a Presidential election. My first came in 1944, when I voted for a fourth term for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, my Commander-in-Chief, with a mail-in ballot from the Central Pacific, where I was a sergeant in the Army Air Force. It was a thrilling moment for me, but not as significant as my vote on November 8th this year, the most important one of my lifetime. My country faces a danger unmatched in our history since the Cuban missile crisis, in 1962, or perhaps since 1943, when the Axis powers held most of Continental Europe, and Imperial Japan controlled the Pacific Rim, from the Aleutians to the Solomon Islands, with the outcome of that war still unknown.”

……. ” I will cast my own vote for Hillary Clinton with alacrity and confidence. From the beginning, her life has been devoted to public service and to improving the lives of children and the disadvantaged. She is intelligent, strong, profoundly informed, and extraordinarily experienced in the challenges and risks of our lurching, restlessly altering world and wholly committed to the global commonality. Her well-established connections to minorities may bring some better understanding of our urban and suburban police crisis. ”

“Ms. Clinton will make a strong and resolute President—at last, a female leader of our own—and, in the end, perhaps a unifying one.”

“The Trump campaign has been like no other—a tumultuous and near-irresistible reality-TV show, in which Mr. Trump plays the pouty, despicable, but riveting central character. “I can’t stand him,” people are saying, “but you know, wow, he never stops.”’

“Mr. Trump was born in 1946, just after this cataclysmic event of our century, and came of age in the nineteen-sixties, when the implications and harshness of war were being debated as never before, but little or none of this seems to have penetrated for him—a candidate who wants to give nuclear arms to Japan and South Korea and wishes to remain unclear about his own inclinations as commander of our nuclear triad. This makes me deeply doubt his avowed concern for our veterans or that he has any sense of their sufferings.”

“Mr. Trump has other drawbacks I haven’t mentioned: his weird fondness for Vladimir Putin; his destruction of the lives and hopes of small investors and contractors unlucky enough to have been involved in his business dealings; his bonkers five-year “birther” campaign, now withdrawn, though without accountability—but never mind all this, for now.”

Read the article: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/my-nineteenth-presidential-election-and-the-most-important

Think about it!