BELL VIEW-While Trump angles for war anywhere he can find it, many of his supporters are asking for peace. We need a reasonable debate, they say. We need to pull together as Americans. Mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas will only stop, they say, when we stop the hate. Can’t we all just get along? 

MY TURN-Having just had a birthday, I must admit I am considered chronologically old. At this stage in life, we are happy to still celebrate birthdays but they seem to come around a lot faster than they used to. But I don't feel old! And therein lies the problem. Gail Sheehey wrote in her book, "Passages," that all of us are ten to fifteen years younger than our parents were at the same age. 

GUEST WORDS--I haven’t stepped foot on a playground in decades, but a recent conversation revived that sinking feeling I used to get every time I was near a dome climber. All the other kids seemed to rise to the top with ease, but I always struggled to make it only halfway up. 

GUEST WORDS-It never ceases to surprise me how the mere suggestion that our current global capitalistic system is not the best humanity can do for itself, is so often met with virulent hostility. One would think that when we are still recovering from the economic crisis of 2007-2008 (and many economists see an even worse crisis on the horizon), when inequality has been steadily rising since the neoliberal turn of the early 1980s, when real wages have remained virtually stagnant, and the list goes on – one would think that perhaps we would keep an open mind regarding alternatives; instead of buying the tired old argument that anything else must either lead to totalitarianism, or be incurably utopian.

ALPERN AT LARGE--Man, there's a lot of things we didn't ask for, but we're getting, anyway.  On the other hand, we NEED some McDonald's Szechuan sauce.  You know, from the McDonald's promotion of the 1990's Disney Mulan movie?  That was AWESOME, and what do we do when we don't have Rick Sanchez's ability to go back in time to GET that awesome Szechuan sauce! 

TRUMP WATCH-An elderly elephant with a blond pompadour inhabits the Oval Office. The elephant is not the physical being of Donald Trump but rather his unbalanced mental health. Trump is mentally unstable in a fashion and to a degree which is properly characterized as mentally ill. As often occurs with elephants in the room, the nation has refused to deal with this looming nightmare. An intervention is long overdue.

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