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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Issue Date: January 13, 2021

Resolutions...



Maybe it's from all the hot tempers flaring all around the nation over political issues this year, but so far, January 2021 has been among the warmest on record in TIMESLand.

There is not enough snow for snowmobile enthusiasts to enjoy their sport, too little ice in most areas for safe ice fishing, and we're suffering a distinct shortage of snowmen.



NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

Some of us made New Year Resolutions, and a few have even kept them for two weeks.

Among my resolutions are to find something to laugh about, something to learn and something to be thankful for at least once each day throughout the year. Also recently was reminded about random acts of kindness, and resolved to seek out opportunities to do one, and when possible to include in this column reports of random acts someone is caught at, names omitted if the people involved want it that way.

If you see or hear about one of these random acts, please call or send an e-mail to the numbers at the bottom of this column or attention Shirley, news@peshtigotimes.com.

Heard that as a Christmas gift to someone struggling to make ends meet this year, an anonymous person provided the water and sewer bill payment for one household in Coleman and one household in Pound. Now there's a gift Santa would be proud of!

Long ago gave up promising myself to do a better job of keeping house, get healthy exercise regularly, get enough sleep and avoid junk food.

But go for it. You're probably a lot younger, and if you succeed at any of those goals you'll probably get a lot older than you would otherwise.

WHAT'S A "DOOZY"?

Ever hear the old saying, "That's a real doozy"? And if you did, ever wonder where it came from? Webster's on-line dictionary suggests that "doozy" is a derivative of daisy and began to be used in about 1916. A doozy is something extraordinary or one of a kind. However, the Duesenberg automobile is credited with giving the word doozy a boost. These vehicles were known as duesies in the 1920s and 1930s.

ON THE SOAP BOX

GOVERNMENT TURMOIL


Covid-19 concerns and shutdowns continue, despite the fact that vaccines are now being distributed. Whether or not we believe the November election results were influenced by fraud, it appears Joe Biden will have been sworn in as President of the United States of America by this time next week. Inauguration is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20.

A $600 person stimulus payment recently went out, and now we're told by some major news media sources that President-elect Biden is proposing to hand out another $2,000 in stimulus payments in a bill that we're told will cost trillions of dollars. Our national legislators continue to give away money we do not have, and our already disastrous national debt continues to grow. At the end of fiscal year 2019 the national debt was $22.8 trillion dollars. Much of that is owed to Communist China, and that's terrifying. What if they foreclose?

Efforts to get that national debt reduced had begun, and were becoming successful until Covid hit, destroyed the economy, and led to the rounds of deficit spending stimulus checks.

Was glad to get the latest $600 stimulus check, and won't refuse it if another big payment is authorized, but do feel more than a little bit guilty that this debt will be passed along to our children.

Just how much is a billion? How much is a trillion?

A billion seconds ago, it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the stone age.

A billion years ago there was no creature on Earth that walked on two feet.

And, a billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes ago at the rate Washington was spending in 2011. How short would that time span be today?

It takes a thousand billion to make $1 trillion - which spelled out in numerals is $1,000,000,000,000.

Some day, someone will be required to repay the national debt. We won't be around, but our children and grandchildren will. What a proud legacy!

MORE SOAP BOX

SOCALISM


Want to again urge our elected officials not to keep sliding down the slippery slope toward Socialism. Results of the November elections do not necessarily mean the majority of Americans are willing to give up individual hopes, dreams and freedoms in favor of false security provided by a too-powerful government. If the counts were accurate, they might mean only that voters personally disliked President Donald Trump and his sometimes offensive tweets.

Was criticized by a reader last week for expressing fears that misguided national leaders were preparing to become Marxist-style dictators who would force us by guile and fraud into a Communist society. Still have those fears, and want to again warn everyone against Socialism.

Agree with the statement often attributed to Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

OLD, OLD CONCERNS

Recently came across a "letter to a young leftist" from Harper Magazine editor John Fischer that was published in the May, 1966 issue of the Reader's Digest:

In the letter Fischer had said that he understood why the views of older persons seemed incomprehensible to the young man he had met during student demonstrations at Berkley, Calif.

He agreed the older folks seem to "" lack your sense of outrage and urgency about discrimination and injustice. For them, other things have a higher priority: making a living, for one. Worse yet, they seem insensitive to the patches of poverty in our society, the defilement of the landscape, the vulgarity of American opulence.

"You can think of only two possible explanations. Either adults are inherently crass and selfish, or they have been corrupted. You are resolved to avoid such corruption at all costs; your point of view is intensely moral and censorious," the article went on.

"Your motives and commitment seem to me wholly admirable. But you are mistaken, I think, in both your diagnosis and your plan of action. If you really want to understand the behavior of the middle-aged generation you must look first at its history. It has been through two major wars and a depression. Consequently, people of my age don't feel quite as much anxiety as you do about the war in Vietnam, for example. They regard it as deplorable but hardly cataclysmic, since they have been through worse. Many of us had grave doubts about the way it is being conducted. But most of us see it as a necessary evil, on the theory that if we don/t fight a small war now, we very probably will have to fight a bigger one later. This conviction is based on sore experience.

"When I was your age, I edited a college newspaper, and I filled it with editorials denouncing war. I believed that munitions makers were primarily responsible for war. It was axiomatic that any public official who was not an isolationist must be either a corrupt tool of the military-industrial "establishment", or else blind to the follies of 1914-18.

"A little later I was in Germany, just after Hitler had come to power, and I began to suspect that my notions about war were not quite adequate. In the end it dawned on me that most Nazis sincerely through of themselves as idealists; and that they intended, for the good of mankind, to bring the world under the hegemony of their Master Race. This scheme might have been stopped at small cost in bloodshed if the neighboring nations had resisted Hitler's first aggressive moves, into the Rhineland and Austria. But by 1939 nothing could stop him except a major war.

"For me as for millions of other then-young Americans, our change of mind about the war did not come because we were seduced or intimidated by the "power structure." It was produced by concrete, inescapable events; and it was reinforced later by the similar events of the Korean War. Most of us believe that the same lessons applies now to what is happening in Asia.

"You also misread, it seems to me, the attitude of your elders toward the pockmarks on the face of our affluent society. In most cases it sprang from the Depression. The hideousness of those years really can't be conveyed to anyone who didn't live through them. A job - any job - was the most precious thing we could imagine. Consequently, even today, a secure spot inside a Big Organization does not look to us exactly like a spiritual death sentence. Nor are we as eager as you to dismantle a social structure which we have seen change immeasurably for the better in the last 30 years, and which may still have capacities for improvement."

He wrote of a generation's belief that strong labor unions would be the answer, and learning the hard way they were not, and then about the farm program of the New Deal, which he said in many ways was a counterpart of the civil-rights movement of that day - 1966, which was ""intended to rescue one of the most miserable and ill-treated groups in the country, including millions of oppressed Negro sharecroppers in the South. It had the fervid support of all the liberals of that day; and for a while it worked pretty well. But in the end, because it gave the biggest subsidies to the big farmers (as it still does), it speeded up the mechanization of agriculture and squeezed the little farms out of existence. You can see the result now; a river of refugees streaming into the cities in search of unskilled jobs or relief handouts."

He said living through the failures of programs they supported explains why the middle-aged no longer plunge into radial movements with a zeal equal to that of the young, and said, ""they have just gone astray so often on the road to The New Jerusalem that they want to make very sure of the road map before embarking on another march," and have come to suspect that progress can be achieved only by very hard work over a long period of time.

He also cautioned, ""you are going to find out some unpleasant facts about the communists," and advised, "You will find that communists - whether orthodox, Maoists, Trotskyites or Castroites - always try to destroy any organization that they cannot dominate; and that they have no use for democracy, participatory or otherwise. You will soon learn that it is impossible to work with communists unless you are willing to become completely subservient to their directives."



COOKIN' TIME

As a boost to everyone who resolved to lose weight this year, and even those who simply want to eat healthier, here's a reprint of the good old Cabbage Soup Diet.

CABBAGE SOUP DIET

Eat as much soup as you want, whenever you want it. I like to add cut up meat as well. In addition to unlimited soup, the diet itself calls for eating only fruit (except bananas) the first day; only vegetables (except corn, peas and other starchy ones) the second day (but you get to start the day with a baked potato with butter); only non-starchy fruits and vegetables the third day. Only bananas, m ilk and sugar free yogurt on Day 4, only tomatoes and protein foods like fish, meat, or eggs on Day 5, and then only protein and non-starchy veggies on Days 6 and 7. Then you're supposed to return to normal eating for a week or so before starting over if you have more weight to lose. You can keep eating the soup if you want to, but maybe you shouldn't, because you don't want to overdo a good thing.

CABBAGE SOUP RECIPE

Some folks use half V-8 juice in place of half the chicken broth. Others use beef broth instead of chicken. It's all good. I like adding a can of French style green beans, juice and all, sometimes, or frozen tiny whole green beans, and then cook until they're as done as you like them.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup white or yellow onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chicken broth

14 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

teaspoon salt (optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery, onions, bell peppers, and carrots and sauté until slightly tender. Stir in garlic, chicken broth, tomatoes and cabbage. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until cabbage is tender. Stir in oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese before serving.

MINI FRITATAS

Good for breakfast, good for any time. Los carb and relatively low calorie.

8 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces thinly sliced ham, chopped

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Spray 2 mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, and parsley. Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter. Serve immediately.



Thought for the week: As we approach the apparently inevitable inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States of America one short week from now, let us all pray that 2021 will not be the final one for our nation as a free society. Let us all pray that in 2021 enough politicians on both sides of the aisle will abandon partisan preferences and actually work to do what is best for all the citizens of America, no matter what impact that has on them. Please, God, let them realize it is their responsibility to fulfill the wishes of the people they work for - which means all of us, the common, ordinary citizens - not the political big wigs or the business moguls who came pretty close in 2020 to destroying everything our forefathers fought and died for, and are frighteningly close to achieving that goal in 2021. Please God, help us to do what we must, to do what is right, to preserve this as the free nation You meant it to be. Amen.



The Country Cousin



This column is written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.)


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