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Drilling Down 


Regarding your Jan. 11 article, "Trump Admin Releases Draft Plan to Open North Coast Waters to Oil Drilling," it's almost incomprehensible how relentlessly outrageous, unstable, inept and reckless Trump is.

Indeed, "the greatest threat facing the United States is its own president" (as David Rothkopf wrote in the Washington Post). Trump's all-out assault on environmental protection is certainly part of that threat.

Fortunately, there are important perspectives about how we can be proactive about this tragic state of affairs, such as those articulated by Naomi Klein in her urgent and compelling book, No Is Not Enough. We, in our various communities, can evolve and grow up in a crisis, set aside fallacies and work for a common goal. Ms. Klein speaks of how this is true for whole societies as well. Faced with a shared trauma, or a common threat, communities can come together in defiant acts of sanity and maturity.

Remember when Argentina said no? In 2001-2002, Argentina was in the grips of a severe economic crisis. A great gathering of people found its voice of protest. A rebellious cry rose up from the crowds of grandmothers, high school students and unemployed factory workers, their words directed at the politicians and the bankers: "Que se vayan todos!" — everyone must go!

Then something strange and wonderful started to happen: neighbors began to talk to each other. To think together. Hundreds of "neighborhood assemblies" formed, small and large. Many of those first assemblies were as much group therapy as political meetings.

So far, Trump's shock tactics aren't disorienting the opposition. Instead they are waking people up, in the U.S. and around the world. We can dream big, out loud, in public. We can come together and make an evolutionary leap.

We need the optimism that another world is possible.

"The key to the future of the world, is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known," as Pete Seeger said.

Or as Barack Obama said, "Something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working."

Seabury Gould, Arcata


This has been a hard year for me (and so many people) because we have been stiffed. The Trump administration is an illegitimate government peddling "alternative facts" to defile our Constitution. Truth and justice have been replaced with lies and corruption. We live in two divergent universes. Chaos and division stoke global anxiety and depression. There is no joy in Mudville.

It isn't easy to relax and "wait and see" what happens. I need to stand up for our country, for truth and justice, and for the women and men who have been duped.

Our democracy has been stolen. Vladimir Putin owns Donald Trump. "The blizzard, the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it has overturned the order of the soul," as Leonard Cohen wrote in "The Future."

Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Americans with no particular political affiliation need to stand up and speak out against inequality and abuse of power.

My heart breaks to see what is happening in our beautiful country. "I'm searching for a heart, searching everyone, they say love conquers all, you can't start it like a car, you can't stop it with a gun," Warren Zevon wrote in "Searching for a Heart."

The fortune on my teabag says, "If you do everything out of sheer compassion, you will never be wrong." May we be kind and compassionate with each other and may truth and justice prevail.

April Jones, Arcata

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