Archive for July, 2016

I’m Scared

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Matt White

I’m scared. Very… with the overall general lack of accountability of character when it comes to those that we place in high position for our country. Specifically abuzz this week: Melania Trump gave a speech during the early hours of the Republican National Convention that echoed that of Michelle Obama for the same purpose on the flip side of the coin years’ prior. It was clear that, whether intentional or not, or by Mrs. Trump’s hand or not – many  of the passages uncannily mirrored the first lady’s speech. Many argued that some of the words were the same, but I disagree-a writer would rightly be out on their ear if they tried pulling this baloney. What’s frightens me most isn’t necessarily the fact that she didn’t author the speech and then took a majority of the credit, but the fact that so many are complacent and accepting that she’s not accountable for the words that come out of her mouth-regardless of who “wrote” them. The Trump train was quick to point the finger at some one else, resulting in an unwitting scapegoat to take the fall; an obvious patsy. Where I come from, YOU are responsible for the words that come out of YOUR own mouth, but yet even many that I’ve know for years somehow justified a pass on the pretty college dropout. I don’t get it. We as Americans are facing a major accountability issue in politics that I fear is only going to get worse within the next four years. Same scenario on the democratic ticket: If any other American government employee were to act as egregiously and irresponsibly as Clinton did as Secretary of State, that person would be imprisoned or dealt with like ex-communicated defector ala Snowden.  These truly are scary times we’re living in.

My compass points Nortz

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Kieran Coffey

The death of a friend or a loved one is always hard. That experience is made even tougher when that person decides to take their own life.

My friend and mentor, Colby Nortz, took his own life on July 23, 2014.

I first met Colby through my fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. At first, I thought he was brash, outspoken, and just outright rude. But, as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Colby was one of a kind. He could light up a room just by walking in and always made his presence felt. If you were ever feeling down, one of Colby’s infamous two-hour talks could inspire you to believe that you could do anything your heart desired. He would always put everyone else’s needs above his own, and was a prime example of what every human should aspire to be.

Over the year or so that I was fortunate enough to get to know Colby, and become close to him, we had many fueled debates. Colby was never one to back down, and always stood behind what he believed was right. That is what I loved most about him, and why this tragedy struck a particular chord with me.

‘What could drive someone to do such a horrific thing?’ I couldn’t stop thinking to myself when I first heard the news. I was baffled. Colby is the absolute last person that anyone could have ever foreseen succumbing to such awful circumstances.

It is coming up on the two-year anniversary of Colby’s passing, and every year I am reminded that he is not the only one who felt this way, and managed to hide it so well from all of his family, loved ones and closest friends. In recent weeks, Chenango County has had to come together as a community to try and deal with a similar tragedy.

Mental health awareness and suicide prevention will always remain topical issues in our world. What society needs to understand is that someone who seeks help is not considered weak. If anything, they are strong for wanting to face and confront their demons. If anyone ever needs help, there are people out there willing to talk to you 24/7.

The suicide helpline is 1800-273-TALK (8255).

Never let the fear of being annoying be a justification for taking your own life.

I wish that my friend was still here to reiterate this point, but I know that Colby’s memory will live on through the words of wisdom, compassion and love that he shared with all those he met and knew, be it for one minute, or 10 years. I don’t want others to have to go through the heartbreak of losing a family member, loved one or a close friend.

My advice to you is to reach out to those you think are in need, and show them that they are not alone.

Let’s hope that this worryingly increasing trend, especially among young adults, will be curbed in the near future.

Britain’s brilliant exit strategy.

Monday, July 11th, 2016
Matt White

I congratulate the scores of British citizens who voiced their opinions at the polls, collectively deciding to withdraw their country from the European Union. Many have protested that the decision will inevitably lead to a ‘buyer’s remorse’ taste in the coming months, and financiers are forecasting a dismal effect for global markets; but that remans to be seen. My only wish it that the U.S. would get on with making major decisions via referendums as our British counterparts successfully did with their ‘Brexit’ Poll yesterday. Anyone that knows me also knows my contempt for the electoral college, delegate weight and the like–and I honestly feel that the ‘Brexit’ Poll is an excellent example of how efficient, transparent decision-making can be done. I applaud the British government and its populace for their straightforward approach. Instead, we’re told by our government that making choices via referendum or popular vote is inefficient, ill-conceived and in conflict with the principles of democracy? That’s a bitter pill to swallow with 2016 technology.