The subject of a border wall, which has polarized this nation, needs to be looked at in a sensible manner from both sides. There presently exists a wall in a lot of locations. It defines the border but will it keep people from breaching it? Probably not but yet it symbolizes that this is our border and you need to go to a point of entry to get into this country. Someone many years ago deemed it necessary to keep foreigners out and the questions is, do we continue with it or just tear it all down and leave the borders open? Think about that for a minute.
Much has been said lately about whether or not a wall should be built along our southern border. Most of the discussion seems to favor a wall built from steel, constructing it over a distance of hundreds of miles, making it about 20 feet high and having it cost about $5 billion. Not much has been said about maintaining the wall once it's built. Since much of it will be located in a river valley which will be damp, at least in the morning, and the fact that steel rusts, it seems fair to wonder how long it will be before the wall needs to be painted.
Civility—that thing we all remember from back in the olden days when we had a society that cared about others and in which we dealt with each other pleasantly in social situations. It is the basis of the word civilization. How have we let it all slip away so easily? Sunday night my wife and I went to the 12th Night concert as we often have done in the past. This time there was an overflow crowd and a real sense of togetherness as we enjoyed some beautiful music from within the community. Civility had descended on the audience and performers and we were all grateful for it.
Minnesota has a greenhouse gas reduction goal of reducing carbon by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. A study funded by the McKnight Foundation shows that this goal is achievable by increasing the use of electric energy while relying on 65 percent wind and solar. According to Kate Wolford, president of the McKnight Foundation, this "will not only allow us to tackle climate change, but will significantly reduce air pollution, increase human health, and boost our economy by tripling the number of energy sector jobs..." The price of electricity is also expected to decrease.
VRBO has become a popular way to rent vacation and other properties over the last decade. Typically, a property owner utilizes a website to advertise and rent their property. In Crow Wing County, it is estimated that over 1,000 properties are offered as VRBO. As the practice has grown, so has the resistance. Municipalities are restricting, or banning altogether the use of VRBOs in their communities. These are businesses operating on private property, taking revenue from legitimate resorts. Renters don't have a vested interest in the property or surrounding environment.
It seems to me that the Republicans, with few exception, are directly responsible for the chaos that is prevalent in the nation's capital. They have forgone their oath of office to represent their constituents. Most of them have allowed the man in the White House to tell them how to think, how to vote and to bow to him, regardless of some of the dangerous policies that he has enacted.
As of Jan. 10, there has been a partial government shutdown, or what should really be described as a gap in government funding, since most activities are not actually shutdown and the duties of essential government go forward, lasting 20 days. A great deal of noise is being made over this gap of funding because the legislative branch and executive branch can't come to an agreement on funding of projects to fill this gap.
"Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make everything new.'" Rev 21:5a. Happy New Year! And what a way to start it! I thought my car needed ice skates the other morning! Wow! I don't mind ice on lakes or in drinks but not on roads, thank you! I always ask for prayer for America and sometimes something comes along to show just how much it's needed. A congresswoman who used an x-rated word to describe President Trump to say she was going to impeach him. I like what a talk show host said, "Does she speak to her son that way?"
Last Sunday evening the Brainerd community celebrated the 16th annual 12th Night of Christmas Concert at First Congregational UCC Church. It wasn't just a concert, it was a happening! Those in attendance were treated to music by a host of star-studded local musicians whose performances were outstanding! All donated their time and talents and the community responded with a generous free will offering which will go to enhance the music program at the Brainerd HIgh School.
Most environmental problems come from the free will group activity of humans, compounded by the numbers of mankind. We live in the Anthropocene Epoch, the age of man's control of our God given planet. We have the responsibility of free will to give the Earth and all of its inhabitants our loving attention. Status quo comes from following the herd. Progress comes from following your heart. Jon Pierson Deerwood