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Path To National Healing

While we yearn to mend political dysfunction, most people agree that we have interests in common on multiple levels. For specific examples of low hanging fruit, consider farming, manufacturing, and stargazing.

On the national level, imagine bi-partisan legislation that would expand trade with new markets, or create pathways for renewable energy investment. It already exists. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). have co-sponsored S.3894 - Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2020, which would solve technical entry barriers for farmers and foresters who want to implement sustainable practices and participate in carbon markets. Even a polarized Congress should be able to recognize and advance this win-win.

Closer to home, St. Joseph County should curtail the hemorrhage of dollars going to a controversial land scheme near New Carlisle until the pandemic's financial derecho is adequately addressed. Our treasury is about to be in a lot of hurt. The community would be well served by farmers expanding operations on their existing land rather than taxpayers funding and maintaining more infrastructure so heavy industry can pave over the fertile soil. We could use those millions of dollars post-pandemic; the shiny Indiana Enterprise Center can wait.

Imagine if we came up with new business models that address law and order and reduce recidivism. Or envision manufacturing locally the products we typically import from overseas. Surprise, such opportunities exist.

Crossroads Solar hires men who have earned a college degree while incarcerated to manufacture solar panels upon their release. The innovative national jobs model is happening right here in South Bend, Indiana. Shopping local is more low hanging fruit. Ask a solar panel installer for an estimate.

Lastly, as we move forward on a human level, let's collectively exhale. There is always a bigger picture to which we are oblivious. Find value in the apolitical marvels around us. The year 2020 closes with a serene spectacle. After sunset look for bright Jupiter and nearby Saturn toward the southwest horizon. On December 21 the two giants come together, appearing nearly to touch but respecting a social distance. The planets haven't been seen this close since 1632.

Despite fractious times, we have much in common to embrace. Let's start by looking up.



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