Amidst the plethora of amazing technology exponentially emerging and expanding with every passing day comes a lovely ancillary opportunity afforded by the very newspaper you now hold clutched in your grasp.
Visiting www.sierrastar.com on the Internet brings you an electronic version of many features brought to you in this publication, including local news, a community calendar, sports stories, obituaries, social announcements, all sorts of other cool connections, and even a copy of "For Your Consideration," a weekly column submitted by yours truly and my trusted colleague, Alan Cheah.
The reason Alan and I work so well together is that we never read what the other writes until it appears in the Star, at which point we often send each other a brief note offering absolute concurrence and sincere congratulation.
Another plus presented by the online version of "For Your Consideration" is that it gives me a chance to share observations contained therein with the whole wide world (I like to think) merely by pasting the link onto my Facebook page and/or other Facebook sites with which I am associated, including "Remembering WTAC" and "Sherwood Forest/Concert Venue," these two alone reaching an average of more than 4,000 persons each week.
Such capability finally brings me to the whole point of this particular piece, which is to salute "Kid Scoop," an endearing little logo which always seems to jump up adjacent to the digital column, bringing me weekly queries from friends "Back East" as to why on earth I'm calling my column "Kid Scoop" when there normally doesn't seem to be any connection with the usual content contained therein.
By way of explanation, "Kid Scoop" is a delightful feature for boys and girls and children of all ages which can be found in every edition of the published Sierra Star, but is only promoted on the website. But this week, there is a connection.
Webster offers a secondary definition of the word "scoop" as a colloquialism "to publish or broadcast a news item first"-- and it was only from "the kids" I learned about "The Hunger Games," first as a book for young adults by Suzanne Collins and, of course, most recently as a brilliant motion picture for which 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence should receive a "Best Actress" Academy Award for virtually each and every scene in which she appears, meaning just about every second of the movie. Ms. Lawrence was outstanding in "Winter's Bone." In "Hunger Games" she is astounding. Even more powerful is the film's message -- a deadly demonstration of -- and solemn warning against -- the ultimate horror of concentrated political power.
My old friend Mike Moore offers this typically restrained summary at michaelmoore.com:
"The Hunger Games" -- Don't miss this film. It's set in the United States of the future, after the 1% have completed their mission to enslave the other 99%"
But not if today's kids have their way. It has been my experience they "get it" much more than not. They sense injustice a mile away. They know unfair when they see it. They think more freely than their parents and also seem to display amazing objectivity.
Oakhurst, where one out of three of us has no health insurance of any kind, was the center of national attention on Saturday, March 24, when National Public Radio carried a feature story headlined, "In Conservative California, Confusion and Contempt For Health Law." Sarah Varney of San Francisco's KQED interviewed a few folks at Sweetwater Steakhouse and discovered -- a dichotomy.
Doug Macaulay tactfully and diplomatically summarized it best. "You're complaining over here that you don't have health insurance and you can't buy it. And over here [(the government is]) trying to provide you with it but that's the worst thing ever. So there seems to be a disconnect in the thinking there."
In the broadcast, Joe Stern (the water-conditioning Joe Stern) was also absolutely correct with his expressed view that, when it comes to health care in America, "no one is really left out." The intellectual challenge comes when you match this against Joe's other comment that "Obamacare is absolutely, horrible, horrible, horrible," overlooking the fact that all of us are already paying for "no one" being "left out" with proportionately escalating medical costs coming out of our pockets across the board and that "Obamacare," a right-wing invented hate phrase for "The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010," might just be a good first step in the right direction.
Ultimately, it's the kids who will decide. They are our future. I'm betting on them.
"The Kids Are Alright" -- The WHO (1965)
Hope I die before I get old.