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December 16, 2015

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PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015 BY DR. MARVIN FOLKERTSMA In "The Myth of Sisyphus," Albert Camus's ex- ploration of the role of suicide in the modern world, the philosopher of the Absurd states, "That uni- versal reason, practical or ethical, that determin- ism, those categories that explain everything are enough to make a decent man laugh." Camus was making reference to philosophical giants of west- ern civilization whose task was to justify a uni- verse seemingly indifferent to humanity's yearning for meaning. All of which Camus dismissed with a rhetorical flip of his hand and a whiff of disdain; he believed magisterial cathedrals of thought were irrelevant to enlightening individuals' souls about the most important thing in their lives. Quite the contrary, their hubris induces mirth, as his cold 'analysis in "Sisyphus" made clear. So what relevance do Camus's words have for American politics in the wake of the terrorist at- tack in San Bernardino? Delving into Donald Trump's recommendations about prohibiting ad- ditional Muslim immigration provides an answer. Indeed, everybody, Republicans and Democrats alike, wanted to strut their stuff, beginning with President Obama's address about treating Mus- lims with respect, followed by Trump's speech. Certainly, Trump's address ignited volleys of cen- sure from New Jersey to Nevada. Lindsey Graham said Trump "has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric," while Jeb Bush commented that Trump is unhinged and his proposals cannot be taken seriously. Marco Rubio declared, "I disagree with Donald Trump's latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and out- landish statements will not bring Americans to- gether." John Kasich declared Trump "entirely unsuited to lead," and Carly Fiorina concluded that Trump's prescription was an "overreaction." Hillary Clinton said, "This is reprehensible, preju- diced and divisive." And Brent Bozell's Media Re- search Center Alert is stuffed with a cornucopia of media's denunciations of Trump. Of course Trump has his defenders, none more able than National Review's David French, who provided a trenchant analysis of America's (and the world's) Muslim terrorism problem in an es- say with a title that says it all: "Dispelling the Few Extremists Myth--the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate." Consulting polls displaying data that are devastating to politically correct views about Muslims, French maintains that, "To understand the Muslim edifice of hate, imagine it as a pyra- mid-with broadly-shared bigotry at the bottom, followed by stair steps of escalating radicalism-- culminating in jihadist armies that in some in- stances represent a greater share of their respec- tive populations than does the active-duty military in the United States." Further, Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator reviewed Frankhn Roosevelt's wartime actions involving Germans, Italians, and Japanese, concluding that FDR made Donald Trump look like a "nerdy weakling." These are just two examples, of course; an abundance of commen- taries continue to pour forth from Trump's detrac- tors and allies as this is being written. The question' is what one is supposed to make of all this? Two main points stand out. First, Trump's critics and supporters are talking about different things, actually, with the former concerned about America's inclusiveness, "that's not who we are," while his supporters probe into the characteristics of radical Islam. Second, the debate over Muslim immigration demonstrates the chasm between many of America's opinion leaders, pundits, and intelligentsia, on the one hand, and a huge hunk of the country's rank and file, on the other. This is where a Camus analogy comes in. Like the West's philosophical luminaries Camus had in mind, America's self-appointed opinion over- seers--Republicans and Democrats alike--have by Glenn Mollette When I was a child I remember my grandfa- ther suffering chest pains. He kept putting nitro- glycerin tablets under his tongue to help with the pain. My mother and I along with grandma and a couple of others sat with grandpa in the family dining room area. After his heart pain subsided he sighed, "I'll probably never live to see another Christmas." Looking back I remember that he did have one more Christmas. After grandpa and mamaw died Christmases were never quiet the same. During those special times together we thought they would never pass. It seemed that life and Christmas were frozen in time. To a child Christmas had always been this way and I could never imagine Christmas being any different. We can never comprehend tomorrow. We hope and wish for tomorrow but we don't fully under- stand all the changes that tomorrow will bring. We hope for good jobs, paid off mortgages, graduation from school, retirement security and on and on. However as one Christmas after another rolls by so do the years and so does life's scenery and the people around us. Some people this year will spend their first Christmas in a nursing home. Some this year will spend their first Christmas without a parent or a spouse. Some will try to get through this season without them. Others will try to make it through the season t/nemployed or with a recent terminal health diagnosis. My wife and I were talking tonight but how bet- ter it would be if her father and my parents and others that we loved were still alive, Christmas without them is different. I don't know what you are going through today. Our nation is dealing with a lot. We have terrorism, financial struggles, and people experiencing lots of stress. Many American families are hoping to just sur- vive the Christmas season and make it to January 1. Hopefully you and I will have one more Christ- mas. If we do let's savor each moment. Whatever and whoever you have in your life please take the time to embrace them and love them. Next year could be very different. Take the time to personally enjoy Christmas. I realize Christmas is about giving. We want to see our loved ones smile. However, in the days ahead recharge your battery a little. Read some Christ- mas stories. Watch some Christmas movies. Re- flect on the message of peace and love delivered to the world in the baby Jesus through a peasant couple in Bethlehem. Visit some people in the nursing home, the jail, or those who are aged and lonely. Also connect with some people through vis- its or just the telephone and say Merry Christmas. It will do them and you a lot of good. May you have many more Christmases, but at least one more, and may it be one of your best ever. Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or me- dia source. Find out more at tter to Editor, The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off and Auction has come and gone once again. The auction was successfully held on De- cember 4. It was the second most profitable chili supper and auction ever held by this organization. The proceeds are divided equally between the Flo- rala Historical Society and the Tri-Cities Cham- ber of Commerce. Every cent of this money stays in the tri-cities and is used to promote businesses and the area. Tremendous appreciation and thanks go to the many businesses and individuals in the tri-cities area who contributed over a hundred auction items to this event. The citizens who showed their support by attending the event are always appre- ciated. Please join us in supporting these businesses who support the tri-cities by shopping locally first and show your appreciation for the businesses. Tri-Cities /s/Pat Strickland Secretary Chamber of Commerce LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The Florala News welcomes Letters to the Editor All letters will be published at the discretion of the editor/publisher. No letter will be published that does not bear the actual name of the writer and their city or town of residence. A contact number or e-mail address is required but will not be published. Letters cannot be returned. The FIorala News : constructed rhetorical edifices celebrating their own righteousness and moral superiority, which in their minds bestow on them the right to tell cit- izens what to think and what to do. Indeed, our avatars of civic virtue preach to the peasants below about threats none of the avatars will personally ever have to confront themselves. All of which as Camus points out, would be downright amusing, if the subject matter weren't so serious. Except this time the peasants are having none of it. Although Americans certainly don't want to wage war against Islam, they are also smart enough to know that the San Bernardino massacre wasn't committed by a bevy of disgruatled Bap- tists, and that a culture based on Sharia is anti- thetical to American constitutionalism. So, they're clinging to their guns, and religion, and many of them, to the only person who has demonstrated the guts to excoriate the elite's view of America. This is not an argument for or against Donald Trump, about whom we all have our own opinions. It is to say, however, that his supporters are enraged about America's elite endlessly spouting their ir- relevant and scolding pieties, which are enough to make many American citizens deeply unsettled. - Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a retired professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest re- lease is a high-energy novel titled "The Thirteenth Commandment." i .............................................. Want The Best .,i Deal On TV $1t 19S ~ar~g at & Internet? , Call Now and Ask How! Where available 1-800-318-5121 .... .... -, - -. .............................. (l Sll :n StatePoint Media THEME: THE HOLIDAY 7. International Labor Or- ganization ACROSS 8, Taste for fine objects of 1. Post-employment insur- art ance 9. Like Jimi Hendrix' Lady 6. T-cell killer 10. "Put a lid !" 9. Many focuses 11. Ghana monetary unit 13. Finno- language 12, Found on a list 14. Cassius Clay 15. Golden Horde member 15. Noted Impressionist 20. Newspaper notices 16. Russian pancakes 22. Octopus' fluid 17. And not 24. Do like Pinocchio 18. Oxygen-containing 25. *One "chubby and compound plump, a right jolly old elf' 19. *Spiked holiday libation 26. "Encore!" 21. *a.k.a. Timothy Cratchit 27. Former Greek coin 23. Not a regular teacher 29. Flighty person 24. Animal waste 31. Aaron Rodgers' move 25. __ y pimienta 32. Community spirit 28. *Hanukkah dreidel has 33. Popular cook-off dish Hebrew letter on each one 34. *Macaulay Culkin's 30. 1/100th of a ruble character 35." to perfection" 36. *Look for a good one 37. Habitual twitches on Black Friday 39. Wood turning device 38. " good 40. Back of neck example" 41. Like the north face?42. Mushroom caps 43. Inmate's weapon 45. Hose attachment 44. Nashville player 49. India's smallest state 46. Edible tubes 51. Aerie baby 47. Prima donna's numbers 54. Like Forrest Gump or 48. Not digital C-3PO? 50. Wide river valley 56. Not these 52. Break a commandment 57. Wounded Mas- 53. No parking __ sacre 55. *Done during Christ-58. Hit this when tired? mas dinner 59. Tiny piece of anything 57. *Pan-African celebra- 60. Takes a siesta tion 61. Like TV's famous 61. *Festival of ranger 64. Relating to birth 62. *Marines' holiday 65. Knot-tying words donees 67. Shoelace bunny ears 63. Dick and Jane's dog 69. Skip the big wedding 66. *Boxing __ 70. Jean-Claude 68. Melissa McCarthy's Damme 2015 role 71. Bar, legally 72. Familiar deciduous last week's solution trees 73. Hurricane center 74. Easily irritated DOWN 1. Chicago baseballer 2. Check out 3. Place for mutinous sailor 4. Saturn's feature, pl. 5. Just one of acini 6. *Done to ornaments =,~ m=,.Jm~ .=m.J== mm,. ~=,~