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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & Rebound Effect & r & & r & Last Thursday morning, the top two top headlines on the Spokesman-Review Website were "Court rules for right to own handguns" and "Man critically hurt after shooting himself in face."

Never underestimate the capacity of the American public to demand as rights what they don't really want to take responsibility for.

Fidel Didn't Like the Fun

Remember the scene in Godfather 2 when Michael gives his brother the kiss of death? ("I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.") It's set on the eve of Castro's rebellion, just as the Mafia was about to take control of Cuba. Next Wednesday night, the man who wrote the book on "'How the Mob Owned Cuba ... and Then Lost It to the Revolution" will be at Auntie's to answer all your Corleone- and Batista-related questions. T.J. English -- who has specialized in writing about organized crime, and who was born in Tacoma -- will be discussing his new book, Havana Nocturne. Call 838-0206.

Bigger Steps Needed

Dad always went around turning off light bulbs. And you unplug your cell phone charger and stuff.

Except that, if you want to win the battle against climate change, you're mostly wasting your time. Skip a single hot bath, and you'll save as much energy as you do in six months of taking your desktop computer off standby.

At his Website,, Professor David J.C. MacKay of Cambridge University says that, while the world's renewable energy resources may be huge, our consumption (at present rates) is even huger. The solutions to climate change won't be easy or simple.

Quick Getaway Ideas

For chamber music: Leavenworth's Icicle Creek Music Festival (July 6-27). And the Midsummer Bonspiel in Nelson, B.C. (July 6-9), will help satisfy your craving for curling. (Scoff all you want, but have you ever witnessed the thrill and excitement of live curling as played by our bubbly neighbors to the north?)

Enduring Legacy

Observed last week downtown at the Lincoln statue, Main and Monroe: a man -- dressed for Hoopfest, in his 30s, black -- approached the statue with respect. Two teenage boys -- one black, one white -- watched as the man put out his arms and hugged the statue's pedestal. Then he stepped back and with military precision, snapped off a salute to the 16th president.

We still need our heroes, and statues aren't just empty reminders.

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Spokane Storytelling League: Christmas Stories @ South Hill Library

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