Mother Teresa or Dirty Harry?

by Mike Pyatt

Mike Pyatt

With the Midterms in the rear view mirror, the clamor from the mainstream media and political pundits are focused on whether civility will ever return. Is it only a hollow noun? It’s explicit that the blame rests solely on President Trump’s shoulders. With the House in the hands of the Democrats, and the Senate held by the GOP, one would be wise to keep expectations low. Political rhetoric and rancor are off the chart, we’re told. Which archetype should we be looking to as our champion? Former Secretary of Education, conservative commentator, Bill Bennett, on a Fox News program, was asked about the nation’s harsh tone and incivility, he suggested, “Some times it takes a Mother Teresa, other times, a Dirty Harry.” Why should we insist on political civility? Have we ever had absolute civility? The genie’s out of the bottle. read more

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Well Done’s Better Than Well Said

by Mike Pyatt

Mike Pyatt

That quote, attributed to Ben Franklin, is nearly universally agreed upon as true, but compromised ubiquitously. As one who venerates the wordsmith and defends the majesty of language and eloquence of words, experience reminds this columnist that our human race talks incessantly. Whether it’s in the political arena, or in other realms of one’s life, fewer rarely take a step in the direction of translating words into deeds. A crude bromide captures this principle, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Theologically it’s flawed. But on a practical level it’s hard to refute. One anonymously captured it this way, “You may have a heart of gold-but so does a hard-boiled egg.” Feelings must translate into behavior. The average citizen knows it’s sadly true-people spend more time talking and dreaming than being engaged in action. For those who’ve been ardent supporters of our 45th President, one of Trump’s slogans is “Promises Made-Promises Kept.” His harshest critics admit he has done what he said he would. A rarity in politics. read more

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Playing Cosmic Lottery

by Mike Pyatt

Mike Pyatt

As the Mega Millions jackpot enters uncharted territory to a record $2.2 billion, many previously disinclined to “gaming” have joined the gathering throng. Not only are they willing to pay the piper, it’s inestimable how many who haven’t prayed since second grade, may be cameoed briefly closing their eyes, muttering a supplication, before purchasing “that winning ticket.” There’ll be a load of genuflecting, finger crossing and chanting incantations, with the estimated odds of winning at 1 in 88 quad-trillions. Nearly the same as Elizabeth Warren being Native American. read more

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Surveying Life’s Gritty Questions

by Mike Pyatt

Mike Pyatt

Hurricane Michael’s freight-train-like assault on northern Florida is a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and how rapidly it’s altered. One day the world’s gentle and inviting, the next day a natural disaster, worse than the experts had forecast, shakes one’s world. It’s those nagging questions that vex one’s soul. Not easy ones like, “Should we switch to E-trade or stick with Charles Schwab?” Do such questions meet the threshold of a watershed event? Some may use the term “gritty” questions. Webster defines it as, “harsh and unpleasant.” How many Mexico City Beach survivors, after surveying the strewn wreckage, resembling a war zone, leaving them with only memories and a handful of pebbles, are asking their gritty question, “Is it time to leave this most-of-the-time-paradise?” read more

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FEMA Presidential Alert Oct 3

IPAWS National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The National EAS and WEA test will be held on the backup date of October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on the backup date of October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. read more

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