Daniel Sicken

We are a nation that has lost its way

The emotions that I am now feeling as I let the reality of the closing of Holton Home sink in are frustration, anger, and a deep sense of sadness.

For several years, I played music at Holton Home and other Brattleboro area elder facilities. Holton Home stood out in its quality of care. I could see it primarily in the eyes of the residents and caregivers.

I'm frustrated and angered because I know why it is closing: because we are a nation that has lost its way. We are a nation that has perfected the art and science of killing - to the point of making weapons of war in almost every town with a population over 500.

The U.S. economy is a war economy. We are in the process of spending $1.7 trillion to build new nuclear weapons, but hardly anybody knows about it, aside from the weapons contractors and the corrupt officials that are feeding them. Our health care system is an expensive shambles, yet decades of inaction go by, and we don't replace it.

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We are closer than ever to midnight on the Doomsday Clock

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), after several years in the making, entered into force and became part of international law one year ago, on Jan. 22, 2021. The TPNW outlaws the development, manufacture, testing, possession, transfer, acquisition, stockpiling, use or threat of use, control or...

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We are the only nation to detonate nuclear weapons. Where are we today?

Thursday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 9, marked 75 years since the respective U.S. atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of civilians lost their lives in the immediate blasts or years later as a result of radiation poisoning. These bombings were ordered...

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Weekly vigil highlights bank's role in climate crisis

What an inspiration climate activist and author Bill McKibben was, as he gave his talk at Centre Congregational Church on Jan 15. His main message was that, as important as it is for us as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, it is extremely important - primarily because of the critical time factor - to confront the big banks in their role as primary lenders to corporations involved in extreme extraction and infrastructure of fossil fuels.

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Taking personal risks not for war, but for peace

For many years, an image has often appeared in my mind, always when I'm disheartened by what I am observing. In the image, a punch-drunk boxer (representing the people of the United States) is standing in the middle of a boxing ring, arm hanging at each side, looking down. The opponent (our government) strikes the left side, and the boxer's head jerks to the right. Then the right side is struck, and the boxer's head swings to the left. This...

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If the shoe were on the other foot...

I am wondering what the reaction in the United States would be if the chain of events that led to the current crisis in Ukraine were to similarly occur here. Can we imagine this? 1. The Soviet Union collapses, then Russia promises the United States that Russia will not recruit former NATO countries to join a Russian-backed military coalition. Russia reneges on this promise and four former NATO countries join the coalition. 2. Russia deploys several missile defense systems close...

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U.S. military costs are deceptive

Tom Buchanan's excellent piece is a good history of recent U.S. wars that never foresees a future ending. He states, “This year alone, the United States will funnel more than $600 billion to our military.” That figure is, in actuality, what is commonly advertised and well-known as the U.S. military budget, but it is very deceptive and does not in any way reflect the true cost of U.S. war-making. Through the decades, the U.S. government has juggled categories and financial...

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Half of our tax dollars pay for war. Why?

This is a painful letter for me to write. Other writers have hit upon this subject, but April 15 is Tax Day and possibly a day to light a spark somewhere. The subject (and question) is: Why are U.S. citizens so reluctant to challenge and resist their government when that government is responsible for inflicting so much misery and death on other nations? It's embarrassing for me to ask this question, when the media is filled with stories of citizens...

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