The Mink and the Squirrel. Jeny and I are at the stages in our lives that we are making sure everything is in order when we die. A will, power of attorney, etc. are all in proper order. We are giving serious thought to who gets what.

One of Jeny’s concerns was a stole her mother bequeathed her. It needed repair before she could feel good about leaving it for anyone. It was taken to a furrier for analysis. It could be repaired, but the big shock was — the stole her mother called “her mink,” turned out to be “her squirrel.” it will not be left to anyone.

Protest 1. In Iran protests against the ruling government have been held in recent weeks. The protests first focused on the state-mandated hijab for women and the death of a woman in custody but quickly grew into calls for the downfall of Iran’s theocracy.  At least 270 people have been killed and 14,000 have been arrested in the protests that have swept over 125 Iranian cities, according to the group Human Rights Activists in Iran.

I, for one, do not think a theocracy is a good way to govern and certainly support the protestors.

Protest 2. In the Czech Republic another protest occurred. Thousands objected to being in the EU and in NATO. As I previously noted, during our visit to Prague we were surprised to learn some (I stress some not all) Czech people opposed capitalism and preferred communism under Tito.

The point worth thinking about is the move to capitalism and democracy meant more freedom but a reduction in the middle class. Some people are richer than before but many are worse off. It does not take a genius to see why people who are worse off prefer the previous system.

I see the protests as a reminder to support policies that build a strong middle class. We seem to be creating a larger separation between the executives and the employees. Too big a divide between the haves and the have nots will not help the stability of our nation.

Election Time. In a previous blog I mentioned a Republican friend who was deeply concerned about people rejecting elections. He had been the election commissioner for a county in Oklahoma. He was on the front lines and understood the checks against fraud.

I was reminded of his concern when I came across the following article.

A Republican election commissioner in North Carolina is being attacked for possible election fraud by outside agitators and locals in a county that voted 70% for Trump. The article is worth reading. The situation is a good example of the concern shared by my friend in Oklahoma

Computers in Elections. In a thoughtful response to my previous blog, one reader expressed concern about using computers for elections for several reasons.

My thoughts about computers in elections are straight forward: First, people may have legitimate concerns about many aspects of voting procedures. However, as for computerized voting machines—as long as the paper ballots are kept for a recount, I do not have a concern for that part of the election process. In the last election, any recount found the paper results matched the computer results. Having the paper ballots for a recount is protection enough for me. If there are no paper ballots, then more safeguards are needed.

My second thought is — I am trusting my money and investments to be held and manipulated in computer systems. I am more concerned about the integrity of those systems against attacks by outside forces than my vote on a paper ballot that is recorded by a machine.

The Other Side of the Coin: Many of you have expressed concern about illegal votes that should not be counted. The other side of that coin is everyone who is eligible to vote should be allowed to vote. Both are important issues. If you are wondering why people would be worried about voting rights, I recommend you read an excellent article by John Archibald in

Why stripping the Alabama Constitution of racist language is a joke –

On the ballot in Alabama is a motion to remove racist language from the Alabama constitution. John Archibald points out we need to do more. To begin to understand the concern, he gave a quote by John Knox, who was the president of the 1901 Alabama Constitutional Convention.

 “The menace of Negro rule still exists, and will continue to exist, as long as there are 180,000 ignorant Negro voters who are legally entitled, as much as you and I, to exercise the right of suffrage.” 

Think about the mark that attitude left on our history. It helps me understand why some people deeply care that we need to be as diligent in seeing that legal votes are counted as seeing that illegal votes are not counted. Both are important.

Please exercise your right to vote

Good news


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