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A Time of Love, a Time of Hate

Charles Dickens


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …”

So opens Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, referring to the revolutionary period in France near the end of the preceding century. The description fits the current environment in the United States.

On Thursday, I went to Tire Kingdom for an oil change, and the clerk took down my license plate number. In jest, I pretended to think he was copying my bumper sticker, which reads: “Tax the Ultra-Rich,” and told him to go ahead and copy it. The man, probably at

When the car was ready, the fellow who did the work said, “I like your bumper sticker.” He appeared to be in his 20s.

I asked if he knew who the richest man in the world was. He replied that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, had become $26 billion richer in the previous two weeks, and that three individuals –

So here was a young man in a menial job who was better informed than probably the majority of people in the country. It made me think that, despite the hopelessness everywhere across the land in this time of social upheaval, there was reason to hope for change on the horizon with young people like this in our midst. It’s mostly younger folks who are out on the streets – often joined by a minority of older citizens – demanding that the rampant injustice accorded Blacks throughout the country’s history end, because Black Lives Matter.

Jeff Bezos


This theme of racial discrimination and bigotry runs throughout my new novel, Blood on Their Hands (http://www.bobbrinkwriter.com). That message was searingly validated by a story on the internet Saturday about a Black Iraqi war veteran from Arizona, 33, who earned a Purple Heart and was prescribed marijuana to deal with chronic back pain resulting from his physical and emotional trauma. Driving through Alabama, he pulled over to buy gas, and was arrested by police despite showing his doctor-issued card authorizing marijuana use. He was jailed, and a court handed him a sentence of five years in prison, where he remains.

Bill Gates


Warren Buffett


Younger people comprise the largest segment of the electorate that supports progressive change toward the goal of a more just and egalitarian society. And younger people, at least the educated ones, are the most concerned about what the destruction of our physical environment means for their future.

Two days after my Tire Kingdom visit, I was wrested from my brief indulgence in Pollyanaism when a friend visiting his son in Ohio called and related an experience he’d had that afternoon in downtown Lancaster. He and the son were in the town square observing a group of

Two groups of young people, one calling for change in the unfair treatment of minorities, the other hate-filled and determined to maintain the status quo of oppression of minorities and a creed of white supremacy.

It is the season of light and the season of darkness, the spring of hope and the winter of despair.

#BlackLivesMatter #BillGates #WarrenBuffett #FrenchRevolution #JeffBezos #CharlesDickens #Alabama #LancasterOhio #ATaleofTwoCities #TaxtheUltraRich #bloodontheirhands #TireKingdom #PurpleHeart #Pollyannaism

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