Thomas Sowell: Politics Versus Education

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Politics Versus Education

By Thomas Sowell

thomas_sowellOf all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers’ unions.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to suppress the spread of charter schools in Louisiana was just one of the signs of that cynicism. His nationwide threats of legal action against schools that discipline more black students than he thinks they should are at least as damaging.

Charter schools are hated by teachers’ unions and by much of the educational establishment in general. They seem to be especially hated when they succeed in educating minority children whom the educational establishment says cannot be educated.

Apparently it can be done when you don’t have to hire unionized teachers with iron-clad tenure, and when you don’t have to follow the dogmas in vogue in the educational establishment.

Last year, there was an attempt to shut down the American Indian Model Schools in Oakland, California — schools that had been ranked among the top schools in the nation, schools with the top test scores in their district and the fourth highest scores in the entire state of California.

The reason given was that the former — repeat, FORMER — head of these schools was accused of financial irregularities. Since there are courts of law to determine the guilt or innocence of individuals, why should school children be punished by having their schools shut down, immediately and permanently, before any court even held a trial?

Fortunately, a court order prevented this planned vindictive closing of this highly successful charter school with minority students. But the attempt shows the animus and the cynical disregard of the education of children who have few other places to get a comparable education.

Attorney General Holder’s threats of legal action against schools where minority students are disciplined more often than he wants are a much more sweeping and damaging blow to the education of poor and minority students across the country.

Among the biggest obstacles to educating children in many ghetto schools are disruptive students whose antics, threats and violence can make education virtually impossible. If only 10 percent of the students are this way, that sacrifices the education of the other 90 percent.

The idea that Eric Holder, or anybody else, can sit in Washington and determine how many disciplinary actions against individual students are warranted or unwarranted in schools across the length and breadth of this country would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

Relying on racial statistics tells you nothing, unless you believe that black male students cannot possibly be more disruptive than Asian female students, or that students in crime-ridden neighborhoods cannot possibly require disciplinary actions more often than children in the most staid, middle-class neighborhoods.

Attorney General Holder is not fool enough to believe either of those things. Why then is he pursuing this numbers game?

The most obvious answer is politics. Anything that promotes a sense of grievance from charges of racial discrimination offers hope of energizing the black vote to turn out to vote for Democrats, which is especially needed when support from other voters is weakening in the wake of Obama administration scandals and fiascoes.

Eric Holder’s other big racial crusade, against requiring identification for voting, is the same political game. And it is carried out with the same cynical promotion of fears, with orchestrated hysteria from other Democrats — as if having to show identification to vote is like a revival of the Ku Klux Klan.

Blacks, whites and everybody else can be asked for identification these days, whether cashing a check or using a credit card at a local store or going to an airport — or even getting into some political meetings called to protest voter ID laws.

But to sacrifice the education of children, especially children for whom education may be their only ticket out of poverty, is truly a new low. As someone once said to Senator Joe McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is http://www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM

 

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National Day of Prayer 5.1.14

Investing in Hope… Transforming our Nation Through Prayer!

Latest Articles

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New Radio Show On Energy

The information posted below is self-explanatory.

 

New Mexico Energy Industry on the Radio

Sunday Morning Radio Show to Premiere on 770 KKOB-AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT: Wally Drangmeister, New Mexico Oil & Gas Association
(505) 982-2568, wallyd@nmoga.org, http://www.nmoga.org

April 28, 2014-(Santa Fe, N.M.) Today the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) announced the May 4th premiere of “Energy New Mexico” radio show on 770 KKOB-AM. The 10:00 a.m. bi-monthly broadcast will be co-hosted by Wally Drangmeister and Gerges Scott.

“We’re excited with the Sunday morning time slot and the opportunity to talk about the booming New Mexico energy industry,” said Wally Drangmeister, NMOGA Communications Director. “With this show we can educate and dispel the misinformation about an industry that is the economic backbone of our state,” added Gerges Scott, Executive Director of New Mexico Energy Forum.

The hour long “Energy New Mexico” show will feature interviews with knowledgeable industry experts and commentary on timely and relevant issues surrounding energy in the state, region and nation.

“The format will also allow us to take questions and comments from the listeners, we expect the hour to be lively and informative,” said Drangmeister. “Our listeners will have a great opportunity to become better informed of the wide rage of opportunities, issues and challenges facing the energy industry in New Mexico,” said Scott.

Energy New Mexico” sponsored by NMOGAbegins 10:00 a.m. Sunday May 4th and airs every other Sunday exclusively on 770 KKOB-AM and on-line at http://www.770kkob.com. Show notes and past episodes of Energy New Mexico will be available at http://www.nmoga.org/enm.

About NMOGA: The New Mexico Oil & Gas Association is dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources in New Mexico through collaboration, education and outreach. Oil and natural gas production accounted for 31.5% of the state of New Mexico’s general fund revenues in fiscal year 2013.

English: Seal of New Mexico

English: Seal of New Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Senator & Representative … Crazy As An Outhouse Mouse

Hillary Clinton 1

Hillary Clinton 1 (Photo credit: Angela Radulescu)

We have a Speaker of the House crazy for giving Obama most of what he wants and if he isn’t removed from his position he’ll have his way in giving Obama all of what he desires.

We have a RINO senator from Arizona, who actually ran for President in 2008, now acting as suitor for the worse Secretary of State we have ever had the bad fortune to experience.

The United States is increasingly going to hell in a hand-basket thanks to politicians that have little courage to perform their jobs in an honest and efficient way. You can read about one such politician from a Washington Post article starting below:

John McCain to host Hillary Clinton in Sedona, Ariz.

Since leaving the State Department last year, Hillary Rodham Clinton has racked up scores of accolades and appeared on many a big stage. Still, it might come as a surprise that a past Republican presidential nominee — specifically, the one who is among the loudest critics of Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attacks — would invite her to his desert retreat for a lofty conversation about leadership values.

This is precisely what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has done.

Clinton, a prospective 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, will appear on stage Saturday with McCain at the Sedona Forum, an annual ideas festival hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. Clinton is among the national and international business leaders, philanthropists and public figures appearing at the gathering, held in Sedona, the tony red-rocks oasis in Arizona’s Verde Valley.

In a statement released Thursday, McCain called Clinton “my friend” and praised her public service career.

“From her years of service as first lady, in the U.S. Senate and the State Department, one would be hard-pressed to find a leader with Secretary Clinton’s informed perspective on the many challenges facing America across the globe,” McCain said.

The above is pure bull butter and McCain should be ashamed of himself, even though he is a bad republican, he is not ignorant enough not to know that Hillary was of questionable value during her tenure at attempting to be Secretary of State.

Anyway, you can read the last of the Washington Post article by clicking here.

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States Where The Most Kids Go Hungry

New Mexico comes in first, but certainly not a good and decent first.  New Mexico citizens have come to expect being the butt of everything … including jokes and innuendo about all thing last.   Now we have the shame of being first in the number of children going hungry day-to-day.

The beginning of the story can be found below with the rest of the story linked:

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 million people in the United States lived in households struggling to find enough food to eat. Nearly 16 million are children, who are far more likely to have limited access to sufficient food than the general population. While 15.9% of Americans lived in food-insecure households, 21.6% of children had uncertain access to food.
Feeding America — the largest hunger relief charity and network of food banks in the U.S. — created Map the Meal Gap, a study measuring food-insecurity among the general population and children at the state and county levels. While hunger remains a problem nationally, some areas of the country had nearly double the national rate. Food-insecurity rates among children were as high as 41% in Zavala County, Texas. At the state level, New Mexico led the nation with 29.2% of children living in food-insecure households.

Read more: States Where the Most Kids Go Hungry – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/04/23/states-where-the-most-kids-go-hungry/#ixzz2zx9Uuq6u
Follow us: @247wallst on Twitter | 247wallst on Facebook

Are you doing enough to help feed New Mexico’s children, is your church or other religious place of worship?  How about your service club?

 

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Oakland Student Beats the Odds With a 5.0 GPA & 1200 SAT SCORE

What’s that about judging a book by its cover?

BrownGirlsCONNECT

Akintunde Ahmed, a high school senior with a 5.0 GPA who has already been accepted to multiple ivy league schools, gets books out of his locker before heading to his first class of the day at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, CA, Wednesday April 2, 2014. Photo: Michael Short, The Chronicle Akintunde Ahmed, a high school senior with a 5.0 GPA who has already been accepted to multiple ivy league schools, gets books out of his locker before heading to his first class of the day at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, CA, Wednesday April 2, 2014. Photo: Michael Short, The Chronicle

By Dawn Boykin

Akintunde Ahmad’s future could have turned out like any other young black male growing up in the East Oakland streets, but it is amazingly quite different.

There is much to be celebrated for this 17-year old Oakland Tech High student who has been accepted to numerous top tier schools including; Yale, Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, USC, UCLA, Howard, Chapman, Cal Poly and Cal State East Bay.

Akintude has a 5.0 GPA and a 2100 (out of 2400) on the SAT. He keeps a screen shot of his grades on his phone for proof.

While there has been…

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Roger Mickelson’s History Today 4/23/14

In 1014, Brian, High King of the Irish, was killed following the decisive battle at Clontarf, near Dublin. Brian, now 73, was too old to take active part, and the victory was won by his son Murchad who defeated an army led by the King of Leinster. A little group of Northmen, flying from the battlefield, stumbled on Brian’s tent, overcame his bodyguard, and hacked the aged Brian to death. His fame was so great that the princes descended from him, the O’Briens, subsequently ranked as one of the chief dynastic families of the country.

View From Clontarf

View From Clontarf (Photo credit: infomatique)

 

In 1016, on the death of King Ethelred II (the Unready) of England, his son claimed the throne as Edmund II. Ethelred had been an ineffectual ruler who failed to prevent the Danes from overrunning England. The epithet “unready” is derived from unraed, meaning “bad counsel” or “no counsel,” and puns on his name, which means “noble counsel.”At the time of Ethelred’s death, Danish King of England Sweyn’s son Canute was ravaging England.

 

Ethelred the Unready, circa 968-1016. Detail o...

Ethelred the Unready, circa 968-1016. Detail of illuminated manuscript, The Chronicle of Abindon, c.1220. MS Cott. Claude B.VI folio 87, verso, The British Library. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He is a writer of great intellectual rapidity, perceptiveness, and poetic power. Other writers have had these qualities, but with Shakespeare the keenness of mind was applied not to abstruse or remote subjects but to human beings and their complete range of emotions and conflicts. Other writers have applied their keenness of mind in this way, but Shakespeare is astonishingly clever with words and images, so that his mental energy, when applied to intelligible human situations, finds full and memorable expression, convincing and imaginatively stimulating.

 

Shakespeare's words

Shakespeare’s words (Photo credit: Calamity Meg)

In 1906, Russian Tsar Nicholas II promulgated the Fundamental Laws, which marked the end of unlimited autocracy but fell short of the reforms promised in the October Manifesto. The Duma that was created had two houses rather than one, however, and members of only one of them were to be popularly elected. Further, the Duma had only limited control over the budget and none at all over the executive branch of the government. In addition, the civil rights and suffrage rights granted by the Fundamental Laws were far more limited than those promised by the manifesto.

 

Russian tsar Nicholas II of Russia with the or...

Russian tsar Nicholas II of Russia with the order of St. Vladimir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1993, after a long history of foreign rule and decades of war, the small East African country of Eritrea began three days of voting on a referendum to make official its independence from Ethiopia.

 

Eritrea after the independence in 1993

Eritrea after the independence in 1993 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regards, Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press International and Encyclopædia Britannica.
“After ‘a certain age,’ if you don’t wake up aching in every joint…you’re probably dead.”

 

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The 2014 state of wind energy: desperately seeking subsidies

Greetings!

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend. I did! I made a wonderful dinner including lemon meringue pies. I mention Easter and my cooking activities only as an excuse for the tardy distribution of the week’s column: The 2014 state of wind energy: desperately seeking subsidies (attached and pasted-in-below). The weekend was full, and then I had to pack. I am on a plane on my way to Florida for meetings. Gratefully, modern technology allows us to send email from the sky—literally from the clouds.

 

During a recent radio interview, I was asked about the current status of Production Tax Credit for wind. I knew it had expired at the end of 2013, and I knew that a retroactive extension was what the industry hoped for, but I didn’t really know the status. About ten days ago, I’d received a copy of a new report of the future of the PTC. I’d plan to use the on-air question and the receipt of the report as the impetus for last week’s column—but then the Nevada cattle battle exploded and I was drawn in a different direction.

 

So, this week I did the PTC update I’d planned last week. My research left me with the optimistic outlook that this taxpayer-funded corporate welfare might actually end!  I hope you will post, pass on and/or personally enjoy: The 2014 state of wind energy: desperately seeking subsidies.

Marita Noon

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

The 2014 state of wind energy: desperately seeking subsidies

With the growing story coming out of Ukraine, the ongoing search for the missing Malaysian jet, the intensifying Nevada cattle battle, and the new announcement about the additional Keystone pipeline delay, little attention is being paid to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy—or any of the other fifty lapsed tax breaks the Senate Finance Committee approved earlier this month. But, despite the low news profile, the gears of government continue to grind up taxpayer dollars.

 

The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE) did not originally include the PTC, however, prior to the committee markup hearing on April 3, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) pushed for an amendment to add a two-year PTC extension. The tax extender package passed out of committee and has been sent to the senate floor for debate. There, its future is uncertain.

 

“If the bill becomes law,” reports the Energy Collective, “it will allow wind energy developers to qualify for tax credits if they begin construction by the end of 2015.” The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) website calls on Congress to: “act quickly to retroactively extend the PTC.”

 

The PTC is often the deciding factor in determining whether or not to build a wind farm. According to Bloomberg, wind power advocates fear: “Without the restoration of the subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry might not recover, and the U.S. may lose ground in its race to reduce dependence on fossil fuels driving global warming.” The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report earlier this month affirming the importance of the subsidies to the wind industry. It showed that the PTC has been critical to the development of the U.S. wind power industry. The report also found: PTC “extension options that would ramp down by the end of 2022 appear to be insufficient to support recent levels of deployment. …extending the production tax credit at its historical level could provide the best opportunity to sustain strong U.S. wind energy installation and domestic manufacturing.”

 

The PTC was originally part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It has expired many times— most recently at the close of 2013. The last-minute 2012 extension, as a part of the American Tax Relief Act, included an eligibility criteria adjustment that allows projects that began construction in 2013, and maintain construction through as long as 2016, to qualify for the ten-year tax credit designed to establish a production incentive. Previously, projects would have had to be producing electricity at the time the PTC expired to qualify.

 

Thomas Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance, which represents the interests of oil, coal, and natural gas companies, called the 2013 expiration of the wind PTC “a victory for taxpayers.” He explained: “The notion that the wind industry is an infant that needs the PTC to get on its feet is simply not true. The PTC has overstayed its welcome and any attempt to extend it would do a great disservice to the American people.”

 

As recently as 2006-2007, “the wind PTC had no natural enemies,” states a new report on the PTC’s future. The Declining Appetite for the Wind PTC report points to the assumption that “all extenders are extended eventually, and that enacting the extension is purely a matter of routine, in which gridlock on unrelated topics is the only source of uncertainty and delay.” The report then concludes: “That has been a correct view in past years.”

 

The report predicts that the PTC will follow “the same political trajectory as the ethanol mandate and the ethanol blenders’ tax credit before it.” The mandate remains—albeit in a slightly weakened state—and the tax credit is gone: “ethanol no longer needed the blenders’ tax credit because it had the strong support of a mandate (an implicit subsidy) behind it.”

 

The PTC once enjoyed support from some in the utility industry that needed it to bolster wind power development to meet the mandates. Today, utilities have met their state mandates—or come close enough, the report points out: “their state utility commissioners will not allow them to build more.” It is important to realize that the commissioners are appointed or elected to protect the ratepayers and insure that the rates charged by the utilities are fair and as low as possible. Because of the increased cost of wind energy over conventional sources, commissioners won’t allow any more than is necessary to meet the mandates passed by the legislatures.

 

The abundance of natural gas and subsequent low price has also hurt wind energy’s predicted price parity. South Dakota’s Governor Dennis Daugaard (R), in Bloomberg, said: “If gas prices weren’t so cheap, then wind might be able to compete on its own.” David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy Inc.—which builds both gas and renewable power plants—agrees: “Cheap gas has definitely made it harder to compete.” With the subsidy, companies were able to propose wind projects “below the price of gas.” Without the PTC, Stephen Munro, an analyst at New Energy Finance, confirms: “we don’t expect wind to be at cost parity with gas.”

 

The changing conditions combined with “wide agreement that the majority of extenders are special interest handouts, the pet political projects of a few influential members of Congress,” mean that “the wind PTC is not a sure bet for extension.” Bloomberg declares: “Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator.” Mike Krancer, who previously served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, in an article in Roll Call, states: “Washington’s usual handout to keep the turbines spinning may be harder to win this time around.”

 

Despite the claim of “Loud support for the PTC” from North American Windpower (NAW), the report predicts “political resistance.” NAW points to letters from 144 members of Congress urging colleagues to “act quickly to revive the incentives.” Twenty-six Senate members signed the letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and 118 signed a similar letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). However, of the 118 House members, only six were Republicans—which, even if the PTC extension makes it out of the Senate, points to the difficulty of getting it extended in the Republican-controlled House.

 

Bloomberg cites AWEA as saying: “the Republican-led House of Representatives may not support efforts to extend the tax credits before the November election.” This supports the view stated in the report. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) held his first hearing on tax extenders on April 8. He only wants two of the 55 tax breaks continued: small business depreciation and the R & D tax credit. The report states: “Camp says that he will probably hold hearings on which extenders should be permanent through the spring and into the summer. He hasn’t said when he would do an extenders proposal himself, but our guess is that he will wait until after the fall elections. …We think the PTC is most endangered if Republicans win a Senate Majority in the fall.”

 

So, even if the PTC survives the current Senate’s floor debate (Senator Pat Toomey [R-PA] offered an amendment that would have entirely done away with the PTC), it is only the “first step in a long journey” and, according to David Burton, a partner at law firm Akin Gump Hauer and Feld, is “unlikely on its own to create enough confidence to spur investment in the development of new projects.” Plus, the House will likely hold up its resurrection.

 

Not to mention the growing opposition to wind energy due to the slaughter of birds and bats—including the protected bald and golden eagles. Or, growing fears about health impacts, maintenance costs and abandoned turbines.

 

All of these factors have likely led Jeff Imelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co.—the biggest U.S. turbine supplier—to recently state: “We’re planning for a world that’s unsubsidized. Renewables have to find a way to get to the grid unsubsidized.”

 

Perhaps this time, the PTC is really dead, leaving smaller manufacturers desperately seeking subsidies.

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

 

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Suzie Kolber: How to Express Your Condolences for a Loved One

How to Express Your Condolences for a Loved One

It can be difficult to know what to say when someone passes away. Death is often an uncomfortable topic, making it hard to express your feelings of condolence and sympathy to the survivor. Here are some effective ways you can express your condolences based on what is appropriate and what you feel the most comfortable with.
A Letter of Condolence
Back before technology made instant communication the norm, letters were the traditional way of expressing condolences. Even with the other options available, they are still a good way to show your support and concern. The main benefit with letters of condolences is that they can be read when it is convenient and re-read as often as needed. They can be shared with others to help with the grieving process.
When writing a letter of sympathy and condolence, you should always think about the person to whom you are writing as well as the deceased. Your letter should reflect the relationship you have or had with each person. Stay true to your personality. If you are a more formal person, then it is appropriate that your letter also sound more formal. On the other hand, if you are more laid-back and casual, your letter can also demonstrate that. Don’t be concerned that there is a right or wrong way to sound in a letter.
Messages of Condolence
Thanks to the internet, you can now send messages of support as soon as you hear the sad news of someone’s death. This allows you to offer support immediately, often when it is most needed. A quick text message or email can let the person know you heard the news and are offering your condolences without going into great detail. This is also a good method for those people that prefer short messages.
When writing a message, remember that you can keep it short and sweet. The person reading the message may be busy so it is acceptable to get right to the point. If you feel that you need to say more, you can follow up with a letter or phone call at a later time.
Flowers
If you do not know the family or didn’t know the deceased very well but want to express your condolences, it is perfectly acceptable to just send flowers or a financial donation to the organization of the family’s choice.
A simple card with a single message can convey your sympathies without requiring you to compose an entire message. This option is appropriate for many situations, including when the person is a co-worker that you only knew by name or someone you knew in passing in the community. Just make sure you include your full name so the person knows who the card came from.
A Phone Call or In-Person Visit
A phone call or personal visit is often the appropriate method of conveying your condolences when it is someone you knew very well or were related to. However, many people are not sure what to say and avoid the one-on-one interaction. The important thing to remember is that it is the fact that you called that the bereaved will remember more than what you say. In fact, don’t feel like you have to say a great deal besides “I’m sorry for your loss” or some other version.
If you are comfortable talking about the deceased, you can communicate your feelings to the person. It is appropriate to reminisce about special memories or occasions. You can even tell a funny story about the deceased person without feeling guilty. In fact, it may be just what the other person needed to hear after all of the somber moments and sadness they have been feeling.
Timing
The timing of when to express your condolences through the various methods can vary. There is no hard and fast rule. For instance, if you just heard about someone’s death even though it was six months ago, you can send a letter or email stating that you just learned of the news. You never know when your message could come at a good time to cheer them up. Grief extends long past the funeral or memorial service.
You can also prepare the way for a phone call or visit through a letter or message by saying that you will talk with them next week or in a couple of weeks.
Your Choice
Any of these methods are acceptable ways of expressing your condolences for a loved one. The choice is up to you based on the situation and what you feel most comfortable with. After all, it is more important that the bereaved feel your support than in how you choose to show it.

 

Suzie_Kolber_ObitsSuzie Kolber is a writer at http://obituarieshelp.org/words_of_condolences_hub.html The site is a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing sympathy messages, condolence letters and funeral planning resources.

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