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Participatory democracy - are you a team player?

Posted: Friday, Sep 19th, 2014
Nov. 4 is D, Day (Democracy Day) in an off-year (not a Presidential election year) election. Though no less important than a presidential election year, off-year elections tend to have a lower voter turnout because voters are not as engaged. This phenomenon runs counter to my way of thinking regarding one's ability to influence the outcome of local elections.

Pow! Oouff! Take that, strawman

Posted: Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014
In rhetoric, "A strawman is a common type of argument… based on the misrepresentation of an opponent's argument". (R1) Another rhetorical device involves unleashing strings of assertions without any evidence to support them. Both devices were on display in a recent (Aug. 20) column by Mr. Fonzi railing against the reality of human-driven climate change and its consequences.

I never really liked Kool-Aid

Posted: Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014
As a kid, I never really liked Kool-Aid; as an adult, I like it even less. The adult version is the drink of choice for the modern-day equivalent of the lemming, a furry creature caricatured for its tendency to unthinkingly follow the herd over a cliff to its watery demise. I speak of course of the "Church of Environmentalism," the

Reputation of a city is hard to restore

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 10th, 2014
The Bible's book of Proverbs tells us "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches" (Prov. 22:1). "Reputation is fragile; once it's damaged, it's hard to restore" (RBC Ministries, 9/4/2014). It's simple wisdom but wholly applicable to Atascadero.
I remember a number of years ago, right after the Carlton Hotel re-opened, LA Times travel-writers visited Atascadero, staying

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