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This past year has been a doozy.

Kevin McCarthy became the first person in history to get fired from his role as House Speaker after winning the job on the 15th round, and then serving for only 9 months.

Mike Johnson, who took his place, is likely the first Speaker who believes that dinosaurs piled into Noah’s Ark right along with humans.

Things got so bad for George Santos that he became the first Congressperson ever to get expelled before even being convicted of a crime.

Tommy Tubberville thought he could strong-arm the Pentagon, but lost his fight and came away with nothing, proving that football coaches are no match for professional soldiers.

Lauren Boebert had to be escorted out of a family friendly theater for getting high by vaping and making out with her date at a concert.

Bob Menendez got caught with with a bunch of gold bars that he allegedly received as bribes from the Egyptian government.

And then finally, the 2020 election is still stolen 3 years later according to Donald J. Trump, who in the meantime picked up 91 felony charges.

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One of the most important rituals in a Waldorf School occurs in the morning when the teacher greets each student by name with a firm handshake and a smile.

Shaking another person's hand is practiced throughout the world and can mean anything from a gesture of friendship to sealing a deal.

But it's one thing to lightly take another hand with a dismissed air of duty or obligation while looking down at your shoes, and another to grasp your associate's hand firmly while looking into that person's eyes with a smile.

A solid handshake denotes a sense of confidence and a genuine desire to engage, but handing someone a dead fish does just the opposite.

I've hired a number of young men and women in my career and that first impression was one of the determinants in whether or not the applicant got the job.

In today's world, this custom deserves even more attention, and ought to be an integral part of any school curriculum.

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133 years ago this morning, a young Lakota man’s hunting rifle accidentally discharged into the sky on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota while 3 soldiers from the US Army attempted to steal it from him.

The military thought it was being attacked, which led to one of the largest slaughters of Native Americans in history.

Around 250 Indian men, women, and children were shot to death on that cold morning.

This was just one incident in the long and bloody campaign to take away land without just compensation.

So given this history, you’d think the least we could do would be to make it easier for Native Americans to vote, but instead it’s gotten harder, particularly since the surge in voter suppression legislation enacted since the “Big Lie” about the so-called stolen election of 2020.

Indigenous people are disproportionately affected, and for many, still do not have a voice in their future.

Note: My dad took this picture of Ben Black Elk in 1963 at the base of Mt. Rushmore. Black Elk's father survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 and was a first cousin to Crazy Horse.

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