When we collectively set our minds to a goal, we can accomplish anything

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We live in the greatest country on Earth. It is not a perfect country. Our military organization is the best in the world. In the USA, progress in medical and scientific fields are momentous.
We provide more financial aid worldwide than almost any other nation. We support worldwide medical needs as well as provide nourishment to countries not as fortunate as we are.
We offer religious freedom and public discussions which are not tolerated in a number of sovereign states. We have no shortage of the brightest and most creative people in the world.
There is a disconnect here. We will always have problems and challenges. That is the human condition.
When we collectively set our minds to a goal, we can accomplish anything. We have bailed out the auto industry. We have bailed out the largest financial institutions in this country. Through collaboration, cooperation, and communication, anything is attainable.
If we, as a people, do not want something done, it does not get done. If we are not vocal and do not work towards a solution, there will be no solution. If we do not insist on our voices being heard, they will not be heard.
Yes, it takes sacrifice, commitment, strength, and work away from the people and the things which we love the most. But, isn’t our future worth an hour or two of sacrifice? Isn’t it worth attending a meeting when you would rather be somewhere else? Isn’t it worth a lively discussion to get something positive done?
I must admit that I am sorry that, for a while, I was not involved in the process. I may not have been able to change anything, but I would have tried. Our city is in this position partially due to lack of interest and time. Voting is not the only obligation that we have as citizens. I am not proud of where our city, state, and nation are today.
As a nation, we have stood on the shoulders of giants since the American Revolution. Our lives were secured by the men and women who went to war for our freedom, time after time. As citizens, we are probably not the fighters that our predecessors were. Our priorities are different. There is plenty of blame to go around for our situation. But, the ship can be righted. The question is not can we? But, will we?
— By Charlie Tsonos

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.