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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 25, 2017     Hays Free Press
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January 25, 2017

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Hays Free Press January 25, 2017 Page 3A QUOTE OF THE WEEK "It's like all of our anxiety and frustrations are falling on deaf ears." Patricia Sylvester, Uhland resident, on lack of safety improvements to SH 21. See story on 1A. Hip Czech by Cyndy Slovak- Barton W Aaoat a day turday wasl men, men and children across the nation and across the globe marched, joining arms with others, in support of women's rights and the freedom to speak out. White, black, brown. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist. It was a smelting pot of people. Of course, there was the online - as always - backlash, on Facebook about women "whining." One of my own family members, though I devoutly disagree with her, posted a pretty mean-spirited retort that women should quit whining. Well, whining was not the order of the day. Instead, groups of people gathered, made new friends, smiled, laughed, danced, marched, walked for miles and let the new President Trump and his staff know that the freedoms women now have in the United States will not be taken away. Women here can vote. Check. Women here can work or stay home. Check. Women here have access to birth control. Check- for now. Women here have access to abortions. Check, if you can afford it. Women here run for office, are members of Congress, the Supreme Court. They own their own businesses, their own homes and control their own financial future. These are the freedoms worth marching for, walking for. These women also marched in solidarity with women from around the globe. All of them together brought light to the fact that women in other countries do not have the right to march. Heck, they are not allowed to drive, get an education, vote, protect themselves, choose their spouse. They can be tortured, sold as a sex slave, given HIV by spouses and then left without help or hope. American and first world country women have freedoms that some women in other countries cannot even imagine. No, this is not a whine. It is a celebration. And all women are included. Even the ones who feel they must post derogatory statements online. Because it's always easier to just copy and paste a mean statement than to face someone else, talk through issues, agree on some, agree to disagree on others, and become friends. e "The river has taught me to listen; you will learn from it, too." Herman Hesse's line is about an actual mass of water droplets, but it certainly could apply to a stream of people- the one that flowed through the nation's capital Satur- day, and in state capitals, and in cities overseas - all connected: one river. Listen to it. Was it 2.5 million people gathered world- wide to peacefully make a statement the day after Inaugural Day? Hard to say. Hard to count. Exact numbers aside, what a sight. And what dignity: protest in the greatest American tradition - peaceful, solemn, stoic. On decorum alone, the new president could leam much from the marchers. Democratic Con- gresswoman Debbie Dingell, who said 7,500 people arrived from her state of Michigan in 100 buses, saluted them, then offered words more conciliatory than may Young- At Large by John Young be permitted in Donald Trump's DNA. Trmnp, she told CNN, is "a man who listens to how people feel. I think he's a smart man, and I think he will see a move- ment. He will see women scared about what's going to happen to the country.,' We can all imagine that, and that alpacas will take wing. In an inaugural speech sounding like a TV commercial for an am- bulance-chasing lawyer ("the most dreadfid inau- gural speech in history," said GeorgeWill) Trmnp didn't sound like a conciliator. He sounded like Alexander Haig right after Ronald Reagan got shot, announcing, "I'm in charge here." The remarkable thing about Trump's speech is that he deigned to mention anyone else at all. The word "people" appears only 10 times in 1,450 words. Trump said "we" a lot, though listeners were left to wonder who "we" are. The Trump family? Trump Organization? While millions marched in the streets the next day, Trump dispatched his spokes- man to dispute media , depictions of the crowds at his coming-out. You can be certain that Breitbart and Russian fakesters are doctoring images as I type these words to prove other- wise, but the pictures shared by CNN and the nation's networks did not lie. .Sad. Trumps big day was stepped upon by a whole bunch of little people. Oh, oh- there goes the lying media mentioning people. Test mytheory as to why Trttmp's inaugural had a relatively paltry turnout: By and large, his supporters don't think of governing as involving "the people." They think of goveming as some- thing that is contracted out, as one does with cable service. That's the way Dick Cheney saw it, and they liked it. Once again, unless those fleece-bearers take flight, hopes are not high that millions of marchers will be heard. However, here are some things, Mr. Pres- ident, that you might ascertain, were you to listen to the river: Don't yank health in- surance away from tens of millions of Americans, as congressional Repub- licans are dying to do. You said the other day that under your leadership, a plan would emanate that would mean "insurance for everybody." (Make that happen, and I guarantee some Republican lawmakers will die - though not from lack of health care.) Don't empower state legislatures to enact the wishes of the religious right regarding repro- to own Gownet this: The share f millennials who a home has fallen to a 30-year low. What's worse, reports The Wall Street ]ournal, is that 32 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are living at home with Mom. The percentage hasn't been that high since 1940, at the tail end of the Great Depression. And that's not good for America. I had my first taste of homeownership 20 years ago after buying a country house that made Herman Munster's place look like a Trump estate. Renovat- ing itwas awful enough, but all hell really broke loose when my father and I began work on the bathroom. The bolts that secured the commode to the floor had broken. I raced to the hardware store to buy new bolts. We spent an hour installing them. We slowly lifted the commode into place and fished the bolts Guest Column by Tom Purcell through the bolt holes. But the bolts were too short! "Son of a .... "said my father. "The idiots gave us the wrong bolts!" I said. I raced back to the hardware store. We toiled another hour and the new bolts worked. But a second problem occurred: The wax goop that seals the commode to the sewage pipe wasn't thick enough. "Son of a .... "said my father. "The idiots gave us the wrong goop!" I said. After several hours of this miser my father and I completed the bath- room. I thought then that the worst of homeowner- ship was behind me, but it was just getting started. One da~ while weeding a planter, I was attacked by ground bees. I poured two cups of gasoline into the bee hole. I wisely moved the 2.5-gallon gasoline canister 10 feet away, then lit a match. It was then that I learned an important lesson about gasoline. Gasoline doesn't bum. Gasoline fumes bum. They bum because they are FLAMMABLE. And they are especially flam- mable when you create a massive carburetor in a dirt hole in your planter. As I neared the hole, I heard a giant "WOOOOF," the sound gasoline fumes make when they explode. A 15-foot flame shot up the side of my freshly painted house. It took me an hour to douse all the flames and keep the neighborhood from bum- ing down. The point is, owning a home changed me. It transformed me from a reckless, carefree renter into a concemed neigh- bor and a responsible citizen. Homeownership makes you aware of nutty government regulations that drive up electric and gas bills - it makes you engage more fully in our country's political process, which is a good thing. Homeownership makes you more likely to demand commonseuse reforms- such as revi- sions to the Dodd-Frank banking law passed after the 2008 collapse, which has made it too difficult for many otherwise qual- ified millennials to buy homes. The Atlantic cites two other reasons why millen- nials am not purchasing homes. Some mJllennials rent because they desire the freedom to move from city to city and job to job as they climb the career ladder. They can afford to buy but choose not to. ductive rights, gay and transgendered rights and more. (We know you've posed with and glad-handed a bunch of right-wing preachers, but let's acknowledge - nudge, nudge - that when it comes to a spir- itual adviser, Billy Bush is far closer to you than Billy Graham.) Take a deep breath, then make good on what you said in the inaugura- tion: "What truly matters is not which party con- trols our government." What matters, you said, is that the "people rule." Though your cam- paigu reaped fewer votes than your opponent's, Republicans in Con- gress and many of your supporters think this is about them right now. Listen to the river, Mr. President. Make this governing thing about people. Longtime Texas news- paperman John Young now lives in Colorado. A second group of millennials, however, includes minorities and people who haven't fin- ished or attended college or trade school. Millenni- als in this group struggle to find the good-paying work that can support a mortgage. In any event, the hope is that Republican reforms will unleash economic growth and allow more millennials to pursue homeownership. If more millennials own homes, they'll become as miserable as I am. I can't think of a better way to make America great again. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Wicked Is the Whiskey,"a Sean Mc- Clanahan mystery novel, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Re- view humor columnist and is national~ syndi- cared exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: Opinions: 113 W. Center St., Kyle, 13( 78640 512-268-7862 Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Reporters Samantha Smith, Anna Herod Logan Proofreaders McCullough Jane Kirkham Columnists Bartee Haile, Pauline Tom, Chris Winslow, Phil Jones Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialists James Darby, Pam Patino Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds David White Distribution Gabe Ornelas Tanya Ornelas q ........ ' .... I , 4|, 11 '