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To better understand what is going on in our country these days, I looked up some words in "The New Oxford American Dictionary," 2001 edition. Here is what I found:

Negotiate: To try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others.

Compromise: An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.

Blackmail: To force someone to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings.

Both sides have failed at the negotiations. Both sides have failed to find a compromise.

But only the president, with his government shutdown, has stooped to using blackmail tactics.

Becky Post, La Crosse

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