Elayne Clift

Israel and Hamas: both guilty of civilian slaughter

Kudos to Kate Casa for calling for historical context and fair and balanced media coverage of the terrible conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas.

Both Israel and Hamas are guilty of the slaughter of innocent people. We must bear witness to all the brutality occurring in an inconceivable escalation of violence that is killing civilian victims on both sides of the conflict. It's a conflict without end, unless our fading humanity can recognize the human cost of massive aggression as a first step toward resolution.

In this terrible, tragic time we must mourn for all the victims of war and aggression, Jew and Palestinian together. We must hear their stories whether they come from Tel Aviv or Gaza. Those stories matter and enlighten us, as does the history of the conflict.

We cannot turn away from all who suffer the consequences of violence and war, or we will all be doomed to a hopeless future.

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A is for ‘absent’

So many good teachers, at all levels, who are leaving their chosen, and often undervalued, profession, for numerous valid reasons

Her name was Shirley Myers, and she was a gift in my life when I needed one. I was in middle school and a loner, unlike most kids that age, because my mother suffered from depression and was hospitalized for long stretches. Ms. Myers was a calm teacher and...

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Relishing every moment

‘Travel, if it’s possible, can be simply a pleasurable experience or a profound life-altering event. For me, it was both, and I view it as a great blessing.’

All my life I have disagreed with Henry David Thoreau: Unlike him, I think it is "worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar." That's why inveterate travelers find the return to post-pandemic travel an exhilarating experience. This spring, my husband and I...

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Labor leaders and workers have had enough

When I think about labor movements and unions, two favorite stories come to mind, and both are true. The first one is about a group of girls and young women known as the Lowell Factory Girls. They worked in the mills and factories of Lowell, Massachusetts in the 19th century. Little more than children who labored for long days doing dangerous and exhausting work, they revolted in 1836 when their dismal wages were cut while their factory-owner-mandated living expenses went...

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Which four freedoms?

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt uttered his famous phrase, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," at his first inaugural address in 1933, he recognized that fear of the Great Depression could paralyze people and interfere with ways to address an unprecedented economic crisis. He realized that catastrophic thinking and overwhelming anxiety had the power to harm his plan for economic (and political) recovery. He recognized, as Auschwitz survivor Viktor Frankl did, that "between stimulus and response there...

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Aviation has ratcheted up my anxiety

Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying, wrote about more than her own fear of flying in her bestselling novel, but she did manage to capture my own feelings whenever I board a hunk of a silver vessel about to hurtle across the sky. “My fingers (and toes) turn to ice,” she wrote, “my stomach leaps upward into my rib cage, the temperature in the tip of my nose drops to the same temperature in my fingers, [...] and for...

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The least we can do is pause, reflect, and honor the lives of women

In this Women's History Month - especially on March 8, International Women's Day - my mind and heart fill with thoughts of women and girls around the world. Having worked globally, I have witnessed women's lives, heard their stories, seen their grief, abuse, and abject poverty. I have been at the side of women when they gave birth or lost a baby, strong and stoic, and watched more fortunate women advocate for, educate, and comfort their poorer village friends. Whether...

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We mustn’t allow comfort to yield to complacency and chaos

As we begin a new year with the relief of midterm elections behind us, many Americans are enjoying a sense of comfort about our political future. We saw a blue wave when a red one was predicted and a long-overdue increase in diversity among those elected to office at all levels of governance. We moved closer to holding accountable those who wished to do us harm, including a past president and his collaborators and insurrectionists. So it may seem too...

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