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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Random Thoughts on America

  • Following a 7-week sabbatical, it's finally back in the saddle time for this old grizzled journalist. Some, I have been told, have missed my weekly ramblings and others probably haven't even noticed it was missing from The Helena World lineup.
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  • Following a 7-week sabbatical, it’s finally back in the saddle time for this old grizzled journalist. Some, I have been told, have missed my weekly ramblings and others probably haven’t even noticed it was missing from The Helena World lineup.
    Double knee replacement surgery is not something I would recommend as a means of getting time off from work. It is, however, an experience I will never forget. Eventually, I will write about how I spent my 2014 summer vacation.
    Surprisingly, I am not going to dwell on the past seven weeks in my return installment of Random Thoughts. However, I thought I might share with you from time to time some experiences and thoughts generated during the healing process.
    One of the more pleasant experiences was latching on to Chicago’s latest CD. No, this is not going to turn into an album review but a brief glance into the changes taking place in America – right now under our noses.
    Of course, regular readers of this column know that Chicago is one of my all-time favorite musical groups. Their debut album “Chicago Transit Authority” was recently inducted into the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame for “Historical Musical Significance” – in other words, a landmark musical achievement.
    The early works of the band dealt with matters of social importance including challenging government stances on war and social inequality. Over the years, Chicago dropped “The Message” music in favor of a more pop-oriented music until the arrival of the CD called “Now.”
     Trumpeter Lee Loughnane penned a powerful tune called “America” that drove home the plight of our country in one brief 4-minute arrangement. Without printing the lyrics in their entirety, in essence the song says Americans are losing their grip on its freedom and rights. The American dream is fading quickly from our sight. It’s up to the people to turn this country back to its roots.
    Loughnane states, “Don’t expect our leaders to show us how! They don’t have a clue what to do.”
    He adds, “The Declaration tells us we’re all free and equal…No one better, no one worse.”
    The song lyric hints that the American people need to unite on the issues and laws that benefit us all and shy away from those that divide.
    The author concludes, “If we work together at a steady pace, we will make the land we love a better place.”
    Amen.
    The message is powerful. It’s time for a change.
    Page 2 of 2 - During the course of my rehabilitation, I have been involved with some very interesting discussions with my local friends. Some expressed some powerful emotions on the status of our country today. They wonder if we have reached the point of no return.
    One expressed his thought that many might consider him one of the most unpatriotic people on the planet. I replied that expressing one’s opinion on the status of our great country is not unpatriotic. A lot of people have died for you and me to be able to express our opinions as to what is wrong with this nation. It is our unalienable rights to express those views.
    There’s no way in such a short space to address all of the ills of our country. However, we must keep our focus and remember that despite all of her faults, this is still the greatest nation on earth, blessed ever so graciously by our loving Heavenly Father.

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