The first swim can come anytime between January 1 and July. This year, it was the last day of June when we finally made it into the water. The first swim can be a plunge, and often is — a quick, shrieking in-and-out — because the water is so cold. See people wade in. They raise their arms in the air and flinch away at every splash as they slowly, resistantly walk into the waves. I prefer the unyielding dash. The swimmer drops his towel and barrels through the gentle break. Thinking of only fast and forward momentum, you dive ... by Staff Writer
The platoon trudged down a dusty lane, near sunset. It had been yet another exhausting and frustrating day, chasing shadows. The unit’s youngest soldier, a specialist 4th class and new “in country,” was thinking only about a warm shower and a cold beer back at the compound. They were his last thoughts, in fact. A Taliban sniper had his crosshairs on the back of the soldier’s neck, right where his helmet rim ended and just above where his Kevlar vest began. In the next second, the .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle coughed, and a round split the young infantryman’s spine at ... by Phil Keith
There’s been an effort to have a statue of Robert Moses removed from in front of Babylon Village Hall. Nearly 100 protesters calling for that action marched down Babylon’s Main Street last month to the site of the 1,500-pound, 7-foot-high statue. They held signs reading “Robert Moses Was a Racist” and chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Robert Moses has to go!” Suffolk County taxpayers contributed $190,000 to the Babylon Village Arts Commission for the statue, which was unveiled in 2003 to honor the Babylon resident, who died in 1981. The protest on June 20 was among the demonstrations held on ... 6 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer
By Joan Baum Remember the old nursery rhyme: “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me”? How ironic that the origin of the expression is attributed to an “adage” said to have appeared in The Christian Recorder in March 1862, the official organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The date is significant on the timeline of the uncivil War Between the States, even as the word “adage” suggests that the rhyme was around before that. Of course, words not only can hurt, they can provoke, sometimes to deadly effect. But what’s also true is ... by Joan Baum
A leading figure in religion and social justice in Suffolk County, Rabbi Dr. Steven Moss, has written an inspiring book, “God Is With Me; I Have No Fear! The Spiritual Life of a Rabbi and Its Meaning for You.” Rabbi Moss was chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission for 28 years and for 20 years was the co-chair of the Suffolk County Interfaith Anti-Bias Task Force. As spiritual leader for 47 years of B’Nai Israel Reform Temple in Oakdale, he was the longest-serving rabbi at the same pulpit in Suffolk County. He served three terms as president of ... by Karl Grossman
Now it is the milkweed’s turn to bloom. In the ditchrow between what remains of two old farms, I have waged a sometimes-war against the mugwort. My aggressive mowing has made it possible for the milkweed to take over again. For those missing fireworks, the structure of this flower is worth investigating: A puffball of green is an explosion in slow motion. Expanding points separate until it is an orb of centrally tethered buds. Ooooooooooooh. And aaaaaahhhhhhhh … It gradually explodes a second time. The individual flowers open up as tassels. Mauve and white, velvet bells tinted by silver, luminous ... by Staff Writer
The utter stupidity, depravity and incompetence of the Trump administration could drive anyone to drink. With Independence Day here once again, the temptation may be even stronger to tackle a few brewskis and try to forget about the mess were in. Try to stay reasonably clear-headed, though, as Trump will take any opportunity he can to bamboozle us. It’ll be hard to celebrate freedom, liberty and democracy in the future if Trump succeeds, as he is trying desperately to do, in completely dismantling the rule of law. Need I remind you that Trump’s complete blundering of the COVID-19 threat has ... 29 Jun 2020 by Phil Keith
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