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I only write this column once a week, and with so much going on in our world, you would think that it would be easy to identify a topic to discuss. That's not always the case, maybe because there is so much going on, maybe because I am getting tired of the lying, deceitful claims being made by politicians and pundits, or maybe I'm frustrated by the indifference that so many people exhibit while our world is crumbling around us. With that in mind, I'll continue my rambling; maybe you'll find something entertaining, informative, or useful.

NY Democrats blocked a bill that would have provided several million dollars in tuition assistance to children of Gold Star families. Democrats said they couldn't justify adding to the $2.7 million those kids get, given the $2 billion deficit facing the state of New York. This just after they approved $27 million in tuition assistance for illegal aliens. Any doubt what their priorities are now?

Governor Grisham and her anti-gun cohorts always point to mass shootings as justification for taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. Why don't they ever discuss or acknowledge these stories? Houston TX, three armed men jumped a man as he returned home from work. They forced him inside the house, where two of his children found refuge in a closet. The 21- and 15-year-old girls were soon found by the thieves and were held at gunpoint with their Dad. The mom, son and another sibling returned home; the son realized what was going on, had his gun on him, entered the home and shot the man holding his family at gunpoint. The other two quickly fled without harming anyone. I'd say that's a good outcome; what would MLG say? Probably nothing or she'd call it a Trump conspiracy.

David Wen owned the Happy Times Chinese Restaurant in Larkfield, England. He has now been banned for life from ever owning, managing or working in any food-related business. After 18 months of investigation, visits, citations, Wen was brought up on charges of 'failing to provide food that was of the nature demanded and expected by the purchaser and consumer,' along with multiple violations related to cleanliness and hygiene. Let's just say that the amount of roaches and rats in the kitchen were not the worst violations. But in his defense, Wen told the judge he was doing his best to get rid of the rats; not by cleaning the place but by 'harvesting' the rats for their meat and using them in his dishes. That didn't impress the judge, although Happy Times had a very high rating on Yelp. Which tells you all you need to know about Yelp users.

Howard Schultz, founder and former CEO of Starbucks is still considering a run for President as an independent. If you think he's not a politician, you need to listen to his interview on Fox Business, I think it was Degan McDowell. He has a lot of ideas, such as means testing Social Security and Medicare, but can't provide specifics such as income levels that would disqualify you from receiving the 'benefits' you paid for. That usually means the number he's come up with won't appeal to the voters.

Let me ask you this: if 'white privilege' is still a real thing, why aren't more people trying to be white?

Cory Booker has introduced a bill that will pay reparations to black people for the damage they suffered because of slavery. I'll be interested in the specifics of his plan. For example; how do you decide which black families are actually descendants of slaves and which are descendants of slave owners? Records show that about 2%, at most, of the population in the USA owned slaves; so why do all of us have to pay reparations? Do Democrats have to pay more since they enacted the laws that were discriminatory? Do successful blacks get paid as well? Since my DNA test showed that I have black, African ancestors, do I get a partial payment? Just wondering.

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

Mary Alice tried out a different format for reporting the lengthy County Commission preliminary budget hearing. Instead of traditional narrative sentences, to do it more quickly and efficiently, she put the name of each speaker before a paraphrased version of their comments. Questions were not necessarily asked by the speaker, but they were answered by the one replying. Please let editor@grantcountybeat.com know if you love, hate or are indifferent about the format. It may lead to how some reports are written henceforth in order to get them out in a more timely manner.

Mary Alice is back, but on slow-mo, trying to catch up with all that didn't get done before she had to leave. And doing everything that happened after she got back! Working on it

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