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Like the retail Christmas season, the election cycle seems to start earlier and earlier. Hope persists that maybe this time we can vote the right people in and all will be well and good. However, our electoral system seems to continually produce elected officials who are more naughty than nice. Is it possible that the very structure of our system is at fault.

Imagine an electoral process where representation was alphabetical and not ideological. For instance, people whose names were in the range of Gardner thru Gorecki voted for a congressman to “represent” them. Such a system would be silly, arbitrary, and a poor method for people to express their political will. However, it would in certain ways be superior to what we have now. At least it would be pretty hard to dole out pork barrel projects according to where folks were located in the phone book.


When the World Trade Center crumbled to the ground on September 11, 2001, it took with it any illusions Americans might have harbored about the nation’s invincibility, leaving many feeling vulnerable, scared and angry. Yet in that moment of weakness, while most of us were still reeling from the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of some 3,000 Americans, we managed to draw strength from and comfort each other.

Suddenly, the news was full of stories of strangers helping strangers and communities pulling together. Even the politicians put aside their partisan pride and bickering and held hands on the steps of the Capitol, singing “God Bless America.”


One on One with D. G. Martin

Ten years ago, what were we thinking?

Here is what I wrote in September 2001:

War. War. War.


Hurricanes prompt a strange human response.

As the storms near land, everyone in their potential path is riveted. Fear of physical or financial harm, awe at the power of nature, curiosity about the situation's unpredictability all enter into the equation.

Then the hurricane comes and exacts its toll.


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