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Sweet Indulgence

On Flower Power

(President Barack Obama, U.S.A.)

The thought of indulging myself in a rewarding cigarette has crossed my mind probably a dozen times a day since I quit smoking on Feb. 5. Despite tempting thoughts - even though it’s not as difficult as others claim it to be - giving up the one thing I have loved since nearly six years is a good thing. I can’t wait for my lungs to repair, skin to flourish and say goodbye to stinking odors.

I was ambivalent about withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey as a heavy smoker raised the expectations (and probability!) of long and dreadful weeks to come. But in the end, I knew it was better for my asthma. Here’s a reminder for all my fellow asthmatics out there: smoking and asthma is a DEADLY combination. But whether you suffer from respiratory problems or not, quitting will give you the miracles of reduced coughing (better described as the sound of death) and increased activeness.

The wackiest thing I’ve experienced was a dream as vivid as the sky on a sunny day. I woke up completely distraught as I rarely remember my dreams ever and couldn’t distinguish reality from reverie. My dream went as follows:

Nonviolence Shows Strength, Not Weakness

On Courtney T Ball

This week we watch as the drama in Ukraine continues to unfold. Russian troops have occupied eastern territories of this sovereign nation, and many (especially Republican) leaders in the U.S. are calling for a buildup of Western allied military forces near Ukraine. It is a recipe with all the ingredients of a civil war backed on one side by the U.S. and the other by Russia.

It’s fine with me if my ten-year-old daughter wants to try out the ridiculous clothes from the 1980s, but I would rather not return to that decade’s foreign policy disasters. The twenty-first century has enough issues of its own without reviving that nonsense, thank you very much.

Yet in today’s paper I read an article describing Obama’s dwindling popularity as he searches for a nonviolent diplomatic response to Russia’s aggressive move into Crimea. For this hesitancy to move immediately to military posturing, our President is called “weak” or “ineffective”.

To the contrary, I believe that Barack Obama has in fact demonstrated his greatest moments of weakness when he does take military action or celebrates the death of our “enemies”.

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