What do you know about these words? Productivity is all over the place. In our society, we see it in technological advancement, medical discoveries, and even on Facebook where the many folks just wanting to make a living from home are expanding at-home businesses through different marketing venues. We are taught that productivity rules. That we should go, go, go until the wheels fall off. That we should jampack every nook and cranny of our day so that we can continuously move forward. But is moving forward really always the best option? What if there are nuggets of wisdom in standing still? What if we could practice the pause?

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The delta variant is here. The delta plus variant is spreading. The lambda variant has been detected. In a few years, my kid will be pledging the omicron variant in college. Some people want masks back. Some people want lockdowns. Others want vaccine passports.

Many conservatives are convinced the resurgence of COVID-19 is all about expanding government power. The vaccine passports, vaccine mandates, mask mandates, etc., are all part of some sinister plot for federal control.

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In May, the Supreme Court put abortion on the docket for its upcoming session by agreeing to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The high court's decision to hear this case registered on the seismometer of every American that carefully follows the abortion issue. It means that Roe v. Wade, which has defined abortion reality in the country since 1973, is open to review and could be overturned.

The Mississippi law in question, which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, was struck down by an appeals court in 2019. The state then appealed to the Supreme Court.

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When I began teaching my kids this past year, I had no idea I would be the one doing the most learning.

I’ve learned that the most rich of academic lessons usually take place on their time and in an environment they love.

I’ve learned to reclaim their childhood, refusing to let them grow up too fast as society would have it. Childhood should be chalked full of imagination, tree climbing, rock skipping, broken twigs, forts, fuzzy caterpillars, streams of water that you can see through (or maybe not), mossy covered rocks, tons of riveting books, stops in the middle of the night on road trips to look at the stars, dirt between toes, sand castles, comic drawings, random dancing outside with cousins, hide and seek, mud puddles, and all other kinds of shenanigans that some would call a waste of time.

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I have never bought the conspiracy theories that COVID-19 was a diabolical political plot to undermine the country. But what is apparent with each passing week is that the virus has been the springboard for the left's agenda to transform America in a way that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore or Rachel Maddow could have never imagined.

Without COVID-19, President Joe Biden would never have been elected, of course. So, for the left, the virus defeated former President Donald Trump. COVID-19 is now the gateway to the left's utopian agenda of multitrillion-dollar climate policies, hyperregulation of the economy, the rebirth of the welfare state and a radical redistribution of income.

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Ben & Jerry's, noted for its ice cream made from "contented cows," has produced not such contented consumers in many circles following its announcement to stop selling its ice cream in Israel's West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

Although the announcement calls these areas "occupied territories," more accurate would be to describe their status as "disputed" territories regarding Israel's sovereignty.

These are areas captured by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967.

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Since the new wave of race consciousness that has been sweeping our country, precipitated by the graphic video of the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin, something very strange has happened.

Somehow, what is perceived as a problem has become widely understood to be the solution. And it is endangering our country.

If there remain citizens in America who, because of race or any other reason, are deprived of the benefits and protections of a free society, we should work to bring those benefits of freedom to them.

The answer is not to abandon the principles that make us a free country.

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