25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion

The tensions in the Korean peninsula are like a jar of kimchi that has been fermenting way past its expiration date. It's been six decades since the signing of the Korean War “police action” cease fire. The divisions between the two Koreas have only intensified with time and are far wider than the demilitarized zone that separates the North and South near the 38th parallel. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the Americans and Russians decided that Korea would be divided in half under the control of the two super powers. The Koreans didn't get the memo and weren't consulted on the deal, but have been living with the consequences ever since.

Both the U.S. and Soviet Union orchestrated the establishment of “cooperative” governments in their respective “spheres of influence.” The Russian army is long gone, but our military is still there with around 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea serving as a trip wire to bring us “back to the future” in the Korean War part two.

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According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, a staggering 6.4 million American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whose key symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity—characteristics that most would consider typically childish behavior. High school boys, an age group particularly prone to childish antics and drifting attention spans, are particularly prone to being labeled as ADHD, with one out of every five high school boys diagnosed with the disorder.

Presently, we’re at an all-time high of 11 percent of all school-aged children in America who have been classified as mentally ill. Why? Because they “suffer” from several of the following symptoms: They are distracted, fidget, lose things, daydream, talk nonstop, touch everything in sight, have trouble sitting still during dinner, are constantly in motion, are impatient, interrupt conversations, show their emotions without restraint, act without regard for consequences, and have difficulty waiting their turn.

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Some people can go their entire lives without having to learn the true meaning of a tragedy, without ever having to experience the gut wrenching pain it causes. My family was not fortunate enough to be spared from the experience.

About a month ago, my dad started having knee pains. Working two jobs, he couldn't afford to take off to rest, and with no health insurance, he had no other option but to work through the pain. He took a couple of ibuprofen, and kept working. In a few days, dad's knee pain turned to stomach pain, so he took a few more ibuprofen. He started to get sick. He couldn't eat anything, and would throw up everything. But he kept working, because he had no other choice.

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I was in college making a late-night run to a grocery store near campus collecting the materials necessary for a social gathering that was to be recorded in the archives of history. As we turned into the only open register, I recognized the tired face of a young mother. The cashier was explaining something to her and her husband, and then they shared a heavy sigh. I knew this family. They were not unlike many others that I knew – a classmate who could play little league baseball, but doesn’t. The family you don’t often see in church, except first in line when a free meal is offered. Growing up in rural North Carolina, you know many families such as the young family standing in front of me at the cash register. But it was on this night that I realized this circumstance had a name.

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