"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Remember the Teens

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Remember the Teens

Here is a recent post for you to chew upon. Let us know your thoughts.
Anonymous wrote:
My child recently became so upset over the war after a playground discussion, that he wrote to George W. and told him to stop the war.
He is eight. He is saddened by the killings and people dying. How sad that he has to be even thinking that there is a war, but he has a decent home and a parents who can provide for him. Thank God for that!

I work with teens in a rural community. It is hard to believe, but we have homeless kids. They come from families with little money. When we try to get help for these kids, social services will tell us their money woes and claim that this is a court issue. It's a court issue because the kid has run away. The court will says they have no money and they don't. We have had students crying for mental health services, begging on the phone. Guess what happens? Mental health will evaluate these students on the phone and say "sorry-you are not ill enough." This procedure of screening the youth over the phone was developed to screen out the medicade clients. So, what happens to these kids? They go untreated, self medicate, fight with their families, some cut themselves, some die in car accidents, some are having babies, and continue this horrible cycle.

When 9/11 happened, I looked around our little school and thought, the children of poverty will be hurt the most by this event. Are they as hurt as the children in Iraq or Afganistan, NO!

But, we elected GW and he is funding a war that is killing people. The lack of funding that used to help our most vunerable population is disappearing.

This Christmas look around your towns. The teens who look the toughest and are wearing their jeans half way down their butt, and their hoods are up over their heads are hurting. Reach out in any way you can. Offer them food. If you buy gifts and give toys for tots,

Please remember the teenagers.

God's Peace to all of you.


  1. I have been reading the previous thread with interest, although admittedly not every solitary word. I appreciate what you said about intimacy, and I think that is exactly why I have been so interested.
    I notice there is a decent amount of respect and dialogue with a healthy and spicy attitude mixed in.
    Recently I have realized that I detest the divisions and even the words liberal and conservative. I think it is because my dad is so extreme politically that the Republican party is not even conservative enough, and political conversation that did not feed into his viewpoint was met with rage. I don't know that I have ever even developed my own views in that arena, and now I'm starting to wonder what they really are. I've always thought of myself one way, been surrounded by people who thought one way and for the most part still am.
    Which leads me to my question:
    How did you all develop your own political ideologies? I see that some progress down the journey and wind up on various places on the spectrum, but then do you change as time goes on and you know more? This questioning feels like the issues of doubt I have had about God (and sought out, wrestled, and resolved) but seems almost a little more threatening, and I'm not sure why.
    Maybe because it leaves me on the margins.
    Does anyone care to share?

  2. Exoalc,

    I’ll try and start the ball rolling and give you what probably will be a partial answer to your question. I grew up in a home in a major US city where politics was rarely discussed one way or another. I did not even know how my father voted, as he would never say a word about it. I cannot recall any political debate in elementary school but in junior high we were debating conservative vs. liberal. I look upon these terms in generalities… conservatives prefer less government… liberals see government as the first line to address a problem. Like all generalities there are many exceptions.

    When I look back and try and figure out how I got my “politics” as it were, I think it is related to personality. I am a naturally independent person and therefore a small government person… actually a small anything person when it comes to organization. I vote for the person who promises the least. I have an affinity for small businesses and patronize family shops etc. if a choice presents itself. There are some things that small businesses cannot do… produce an automobile for example… and there are things the government must do… create an army and a navy for example.

    I am also a naturally moderate person and tend to be centrist in my approach. I am aware that a less government party will support a more government program and vice versa. Bushes prescription drug program and Clintons signing of the welfare reform bill are cases in point. I was against the former but did not punish him for it and was in favor of the latter and yet did not support him at the ballot box.

    I have worked since elementary school earning my own money and as such am a low tax person and would prefer to make the decision on how to spend it. It makes little sense to me personally to send my dollars to Bush or Clinton and have them decide how to spend it and have to create a building full of offices in order to accomplish that end. I have a natural suspicion of any proposal to raise my taxes and spend my money.

    I believe in helping and if someone is in need it is charitable to take money out of my pocket and provide assistance. If I take money out of your pocket to provide such aid… that is theft. Sending my congressman to Washington to take money out of your pocket to provide the aid is neither compassionate nor charitable. I ask my government to do the least it must to accomplish its task.

    In summary, I believe that much of politics comes from natural affinities. In my case there was minimal family influence in terms of argument but probably large family influence in terms of the conditions, which required me to work.

    Very incomplete answer.

  3. My experiences were much the same as Stylux's, except I grew up near a very small town on the northern plains. While I don't know how my folks voted either, I suspect they probably voted a mixed ticket with a conservative lean. I know my Dad thought FDR did pretty well, and he was a fan of a renegade governor and senator from North Dakota named Bill Langer, who was elected to another term as senator while under a Grand Jury indictment, and who was thought of a a liberal.

    To put that in persepctive though, a Democrat from North Dakota would still be more conservative than a Republican from Massachusetts, or from out here on the left coast. North Dakota tended to send Democrats to congress and elect Republican governors, which always amused me. Of course their differences were so miniscule it was hard to even see them.

    I spent a lot of my life trying and for a large part failing to make a decent living farming, went broke, went back to school at the age of 30 with my wife and three small children in tow, worked work-study to make lunch money, belonged to the National Guard in part for some tuition assistance and the few bucks it provided for family needs, got a good job and have worked hard at it ever since. I'm with Stylux in that I try to give genrously of time, talent, and treasure -- and I resent the hell out of anyone trying to tell me that I should do that in some different way -- often by a person who does not contribute at anything close to that level.

    Because of the fact that I pulled myself through on my family's collective strength and through some mighty lean times, I have little patience for people who claim they didn't get a chance or weren't "lucky" enough to have opportunities come their way.

    I've always leaned pretty hard to the right all of my life, because the Republican party -- the "conservatives" -- were all about small governement and fiscal responsibility. These days I wonder who stole my party and I'm unhappy with a lot fo the people in it, but it is only on rare occasion that I find the answer on the left. I'm with exoalc in being disgusted with the polar positions that seem to be demanded, when common sense if usually somewhere near the middle -- but as Lieberman and others have learned, it's tough to get party support if you don't toe the hard and extreme line.

    That extremism carries off into the issues as well. I'm a life member of the NRA, event hough I do not think anyone should have teflon coated bullets, be allowed to carry assault weapons, and I think should have to demonstrate competency to even own a firearm. However, I am forced to support that organization because it is the only balance against the Sarah Bradys of the world and her ilk.

    All I can do is try to be a socially and environmentally responsible conservative.

  4. Cvow, I commend you on being socially and environmentally responsible. However, for the most part, Republicans are not, or rather, choose not to be.
    Stylux, many of us have earned our own money since junior high. We came from poor families (income-wise, I mean. We were very middle class in our view of ourselves.) I don't see how that translates into demanding the same perspective/view from everyone else. Jesus didn't say to only help those who thought exactly as you do. Think in terms of the Good Samaritan.

  5. Sisu...

    I reread my post and I didn't see anywhere where I demanded anyone to have the same view as mine. I was responding to exoalc's question regarding what framed my political views. It sounds as if your upbringing was similar to mine and if that framed a view different than mine... c'est la vie. (We'll can still go off together and have a brandy and give Christmas presents.)

    I usually refrain from debating doctrine but since you raised the issue I will take the opportunity to say that Jesus didn't say that the only way to help anyone was to get Nancy Pelosi involved. There are a lot of ways to read it. It sounds as if you regard it as proper (don't permit me to put words in your mouth) for much aid, assistance and charity to come from government. I don't. Leave Americans free and they respond in generous ways... more generous than anybody.

  6. Sisu,

    "However, for the most part, Republicans are not, or rather, choose not to be."

    I would be interested in seeing some evidence for the view that you exressed above.

  7. I'd like to make a further post regarding the theme of the children.

    I listened to a great homily this morning, and it got me to thinking. Perhaps it caught my attention because it was a "bunny" story and I do like bunny trails...

    As the pastor told it, a 4 year old boy came to his father and asked him to tell him a "bunny story" before bed, as he often wanted. The father agreed and began to spin a tale about a bunny who ran around in his truck (because there had to be a truck in the story) and was a good bunny but got into mischief once in awhile but the end result was always "and the bunny lived happily ever after". When he got to the point where he always inserted the villain, who was always the big bad wolf, the little boy said "no wolves, Daddy". When the father questioned that, the little boy adamantly repeated "no wolves tonight."

    The homily went to discuss that wouldn't it be nice if we could edit out the wolves in our lives sometimes. Unfortunately, even if we try to ignore them and edit them out, the wolves do not really disappear. They are there, and infiltrating our lives at every turn -- whether it be in the form of unscrupulous people, serious illness, car accidents, terrorists, or whatever "bad" things of which you can think. We can hide our eyes and gain temporary respite, but when we again look, the wolf is standing there. The point was that rather than hiding from the wolf, it is better to lift your head high and look the wolf in the eye. Are the increasing sightings of the wolf a sign of the end times? If they are, Luke tells us "stand erect and raise your heads high, for your redemption is at hand."

    So then my long bunny trail comes around to the children. We all want to protect the small ones, but do we do them service by telling them the wolf is not there -- or by not telling them about the woldf at all? I believe it is a better course to tell them that yes, the wolf is there -- but there is a greater power than the wolf who watches over us. It is sad -- as anon pointed out so well -- that our children have to recognize there is a war. It is even sadder that so many children around the world are directly affected by the wolves -- whether they be war, or hunger, or whatever shape it has taken.

    What do you all think? Is it better to tell the children the truth -- even if it is scary -- or do you shield their eyes from everything? (I like the truth approach. It worked for us, and our children are reasonably normal!)

  8. p.s. sorry for the typos. The fat fingers aren't working very well this morning obviously.

  9. Many Trails Home12/03/2006 04:22:00 PM

    exoalc, good to see you on the site again. I read your comments with interest, as I also tend to look for the overview - what is the underlying attitude, intention, etc. of the posters.
    I think that Stylux and cvow think of me as a "liberal" which of course disgusts me as I know what assumptions are made. Yet we seem to be required to jump into one of two boxes - and actually, I refuse to jump into either one. I think the "centrist" position is very, very wide, and anything but homogeneous. So what are my politics? Don't know that I have ever asked myself that specific Q but here goes: We need to have respect for each other, no matter our position and beliefs; we need to respect other peoples of the world as well; we do owe everyone in this country the guarantee of basic survival (soup-kitchen level) no questions asked, because we can easily afford it and because no one has the wisdom or insight to be the judge in all cases. That's about as liberal as I think we should be, on a government level. I DO NOT support the government-handout programs. To tell you the truth, I'm not even keen on all the "pure science" grants. And I am wildly opposed to running up the national debt as we are doing, as if it doesn't matter - so does that make me "liberal" or "conservative?"
    Whenever someone (like cvow) insists that I define "what we should do," I always think we need to start with "what should we think?" Because how we think determines our action choices. So in the Middle East, for instance, we need to examine our thinking: why are we there? do we really care about the "man on the street" and if so, why so much more the Arab than the African, for instance? Are we afraid? What are the consequences of responding from fear? So I guess I refuse to answer cvow's question, because I know there is no answer. We are there, and we need to change how we are there. . . . restraint, compassion, wisdom. How is that possible, when we don't understand them? But I can say one thing: "Peace through superior fire power" (a bumper sticker on a BMW in Minneapolis during the last pres election) is a fantasy. So like it or not, the hawks are going to have to learn wisdom and restraint.
    If I got going on the economy, I'd be running up a post long enough to compete with some of the others! So do you guys think I'm too mushy, too non-specific? MTH

  10. MTH,

    I just returned from a long walk around the neighborhood (Excuse me a minute while I bandage my knuckles… they’ve been dragging the whole time.) visiting my conservative friends. I can’t understand them… they throw trash out of the window and one of them was giving his kid a bottle of dirty water. And another slinging cigarette butts into the storm drain. I am thinking of Republican consciousness raising seminars to turn these guys around.

    Now to the issue… I don’t consider you a liberal and I think you have left of center views on some things and right of center on others. I have gleaned this by reading your blogs and besides all I need to know about you are your views on hollandaise. Period.

    I’ll take this opportunity to send a plea to my fellow bloggers on politics…. If, and I repeat, IF, you are getting your main news from the wire copy, network media (CBS, ABC, NBC), CNN, NPR, NYT, or the other mainstream nationally recognized big city newspapers or the radio stations that subscribe to this copy… you are not exposing yourself to mainstream conservative views. These media sources do not regard such views as newsworthy and in fact have a built-in bias, which slants against the right. I want to stress here that I don’t think they are evil or bad or ignorant or anything of the kind. They simply don’t think it’s important. So if that applies to you and it bothers you, I’d suggest that you expand your exposure and if it doesn’t then keep listening and reading and know that the news you get doesn’t pass the diversity test.

    I offer a simple way to test this assertion outside of the realm of politics. A very high percentage of the population in the US either goes to church, is involved in religion, believes in religion or has some interest in what goes on in this realm. Pick up your local paper, turn on the mainstream media, and tell me how much coverage is given to the topic. Individual views on the subject are irrelevant to this point… I am simply commenting on the fact that the major news organizations in this country are not reflecting the average citizens view on issues important to them.

  11. Seems to me newspapers cover religion about as much as they cover that other thing so many of Americans have an interest in: sex. Not sure where you're getting your media from, Stylux, but the media I'm getting has religion sections more often than sex sections.

    Is the NYTimes liberal? Not really. It's the stodgy conduit for the thinking of the east-coast establishment, perhaps, but it's hardly a source for cutting edge progressivism. In the run-up to Bush's Iraqi fiasco, NYTimes reporter Judith Miller was in Bush's pocket. Sure, they don't get their knickers in a twist over gay marriage, but what would you expect in New York? I don't define liberalism only in terms of gays and abortion, do you? If you want to see how the NYTimes responded to something more cutting edge, look into how it treated Huey Long. What do you think of that colorful fellow?

  12. Ilmarinen, your post gave me a chuckle not because of the content but because of the phrase "knickers in a twist". I was in a meeting at work when one of those never ending arguments broke out and I suggested we not get our knickers in a twist and one of the pc ladies got offended (she didn't know what it meant but it sounded dirty to her)so she wrote me up. My manager then had to "counsel" me per regulations. Such is life here in Seattle where offense is taken if you so much as order your latte not using the proper language.

  13. Trails, I'd never call you "mushy". That cracked me up! Mushy definitely does not match the firebrand posts I've seen a few times from you! I do recognize that your positions are often -- while I think more often than not left of the tree trunk -- much closer to the trunk than some of the other members here! You can come visit my side of the tree anytime you want, and occasionally I'll visit yours. As a matter of fact, I'm looking here at my new book -- "The Audacity of Hope", which I hope will give me some insight into the thinking of Mr. Obama. I am such a well balanced guy.

  14. Ilmarinen,

    I am left in a bit of confusion over your post. Liberal, progressive etc. I have read the NYT for decades (up to about 2 years ago) and have stopped subscribing but am currently aware of their news and editorial slant. I have some familiarity of the media and do describe NYT as considerably left of center. If we cannot agree on that then this discussion is not very fruitful. I am left to wonder how it suits your point to deny what is obvious to most fair observers.

  15. Stylux, it's easy to define yourself into the center, but remember that the center is relative and is measured on a one-dimensional axis. The NYTimes presents a more cosmopolitan view of the world than is held by the average American, and it hews to the thinking of the east-coast establishment more than that of Tulsa, OK. But it is a cautious, staid voice that speaks in the tones of David Brooks and Paul Krugman. Although it stands slightly to the left of center on many issues, it's not where to go to hear the liberal perspective. A genuinely liberal voice would not have been taken in as they were in Bush's Iraqi Fiasco and would have been far louder in defending our civil liberties, both today and in the past.

    Would you agree that John Derbyshire is conservative? In many ways, the traits that you seem to find liberal about the NYTimes are the same qualities you'll find in a writer for one of the most conservative publications out there.

  16. To summarize: the NYTimes is wealthy, educated, and urban, and often largely white and male. The educated and urban part of that equation makes for a far different voice than what's heard in Tulsa, but when it's balanced by the wealthy, white, male parts, it's not enough to push the meter far left on enough issues for me to see it as anything more than a staid mouthpiece for the east-coast establishment.

    Have you seen this flash project that shows how a rural conservative reads the NYTimes? Possibly NSFW

    By the way, your story was amusing, CVOW, although I would be frustrated to go through that. At least you didn't tell them not to get their panties in a wad.

  17. I think it all boils down to, with kids I mean, is how the parents are raising them. There are many poor families, and my heart goes out to them. However, you can be poor and feel blessed and teach your kids right from wrong as well. I think too many parents are neglecting to raise their children with respect and its sad. It trickles down through the system. And some people are getting assistance that don't deserve it, it should be going to people who really need it. I am a home care nurse and I see it alot. Taking care of disabled children, the mother is home sitting on her butt with no job, watching tv while I take care of the child. Makes me upset!! She should be out there looking for work! Not taking advantage of the system. However thats not my job to determine needs. I do also see families that do get assistance and they give back in every way they can because they are so appreciative. That makes me smile!
    I feel sorry for the kids. Its not their fault. Its the parents.

  18. Great links. Ilmar.

    I wonder what my journalism professors make of the online media, where the curious can pursue a wider and more nuanced picture of the news. Emphasis on curious. The majority get it from TV, and an appalling number from talk and comedy shows -- my love of Jon Stewart notwithstanding.

    Having written a bit myself, I am my own proof of Journalism 101's mantra: there is no such thing as objective reporting. Only attempts. Give me a car accident and I can give you five ways to write it, and two that will suggest, subtly, who was at fault.

    That's why we need media watchdogs, fearless reporters and a skeptical public.

    My journalism profs' dismal predictions (media mega-mergers, corporate control, spin, bottom-feeding) have come to pass, with the Simpson book a new nadir (down there with "Mission Accomplished"). This watchdog holds out hope for the mainstream media, IF they pursue bipartisan bull****-calling. I won't hold my breath.

    The problem with reading news/opinion online is the temptation to read only what supports one's prejudices. I battle this by comparing the lead stories at several sources (mainstream, alternative, domestic, foreign) before delving in.

    I'll confess (smugly) that it has been gratifying to see the defection of once ardent Bush defenders.

    SO, friends, where do you get your news?

  19. Ilmarinen,

    I am not sure we disagree on your above points and let me expand a little here. I describe myself as a social libertarian and fiscal conservative and in that sense have no “home” party as it were… merely compromises. I read your referenced column by Derbyshire and find his take interesting and yet at the end of the day he admits that we all have to pick who we support. His explanation seems to be grounded in the reality of small things over time having the potential to result in large societal movements. Some for the better and many for the worse. (An interesting example of this would be modern day Europe where we are witnessing the long term effects of those countries jettisoning a value system over the last 200 years that had been in place for centuries before.) I share Derbyshire’s conclusions for the most part. Thanks for the reference and I take note that you are staying in touch with diverse viewpoints. I will add as another aside that there is much vigorous debate in the right about where to go.

    Now on to other things. Firstly it doesn’t matter to me that the NYT is “white and male” and wealthy as these characterizations have long become trite. I don’t know much about you or your history but after nearly 40 years of tackling this complaint, I have learned that there is no cure. We will never have an institution that is immune to the charge of being largely… plug in whatever you want... White and male, black and female, Arab and single, Muslim and monogamous, lesbian and locomotive captain, heterosexual and country music maven.

    I am also familiar to some extent with the “progressive” viewpoint and for the most part it strikes me as “Neo-Marxist” in outlook. They are on an ideological search for purity in equality that is grounded in, it seems to me, a failure to recognize the humanness of humanity. It also fails to recognize that we all benefit if we reward those who produce. Perhaps you want to debate my sense of it. If the threshold of the progressives has to be crossed in order to define liberalism then we are losing some of the value of distinction.

    I enjoyed flash project… funny and quite stereotypical.

  20. Free...

    I'll grant you the privilige to be smug regarding Bush supporters... But this Bush supporter has not gone away, because I believe he sees the larger picture.

    Closely related to this are of course the problems in Iraq. This is a fight in which we must prevail because it is one front in a much larger arena... And that is the battle of ideas of how we live together in society.

    There is a place in Islamic society for women and it is not in the "house and senate". There is a place for intellectuals in Islamic society and it is not in the Sociology department. There is a place for entertainers in Islamic society and it is not in Hollywood. There is a place in Islamic society for writers, bloggers and artists and it is not in the NY publishing houses, on the net or in the galleries. There is a place in Islamic society for voters and it is not in the curtained off booths. There is a place for diverse elements in Islamic society and it is not in society.

    We can and should disagree on tactics but it is hard to ignore the issues at hand.

  21. In fact, I share your bleak vision of a tolerant Islamic society, as do (among many others) Moslem female leaders in Turkey.

    The solution is secularism. Like democracy, a nice idea -- we ought to try it. After a schedule moment of prayer, of course.

    Seattle's hottest megachurch pastor (he has a column in the local newspaper, which does not, by the way, have a sex columnist) urges women to give up their jobs, stay home and "christianize" Seattle with wittle babes.

    For his ilk, there is a place in christianist society for women and it is not in the "house and senate." There is a place for intellectuals in christianist society and it is not in the Sociology department. There is a place for entertainers in christianist society and it is . . . on talk radio. There is a place for gays and it is in hell.

    Ok, point delivered. Stylux, what media do you frequent?

  22. Free,

    Thank you… Imitation is the best form of flattery. Nice try but not exactly equivalent as you must admit that one minister in one megachurch is not representative of pluralistic America.

    My thoughts on writing on religion didn't extend to specific faiths or to provide a platform for a local congregation. It was more like thoughtful writings on the generalized topic. There are "nutty" opinions everywhere and I occasionally tune in to TBN to observe marketing strategy at work in the real world. Ilmarinen suggested that there was somehow a link to a lack of a sex column and lack of a religious column. I don't see the connection. An example of a current figure that has very learned opinions on subjects is Pope Benedict. This guy is quite smart and has a lot thoughtful to say about contemporary society.

    Now your good question on the media...

    In addition to the mainstream media (excepting out network TV news sources, which is a veritable wasteland) I follow some of the following (on a more or less frequent basis than in the past I must admit): Cables sources such as MSNBC and FOX, papers such as WSJ, think tanks such as Cato Institute, National Review, Brookings and others, a rather new periodical called the Claremont Review of Books, radio personalities such as Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Elder and sometimes Hewitt, and blogs such as Little Green Footballs. I followed Air America for awhile and have been an avid listener to NPR but that has also waned. I supplement these with books on specific topics which change sometimes every year and sometimes every six months. Topics over the recent years have been The Middle East, Philosophy, History of Islam, Homosexuality in History and the politics of such, Early Christianity, Writings of Paul Johnson, Martin Luther and French novelists.

    The reading is kind of fun… what I will do is pick a topic and read as many books as possible for a set period of time. This allows me to delve as deep as I want to and wander around from right to left and back to the center. If the topic lends itself to contemporary issues I can get books that are very recent i.e. homosexuality, if not i.e. French novelists, then the reading tends to be more historical. Occasionally I throw in a book that is out of topic just to keep it fresh ("Conspiracy of Fools" on Enron)and sometimes a piece of pap just to keep a sense of humor. Usually this amounts to around three to four books per month. I deviated a little from my topic routine several months ago when you ran the blog on book suggestions. I found this to be quite interesting and read most of them even though most were off my current topic… I don’t want to be too rigid about this. Doing that again would be entertaining… sort of a blog book club.

    What I tend not to read are news periodicals such as Time and Newsweek and editorials of nearly any kind.

    Now your turn.

  23. Many thoughts on this thread, but I'll stick to one: what do you read? My answer - everything. The Bible. Editorial pages and letters to the editor, especially in big city newspapers. Subscribed to Newsweek for over 20 years. Read online constantly - sometimes the Drudge Report is a starting point. Just ordered the Wall Street Journal for the first time with some of my airline miles. Anything politics, sociology, theology. Browse thrift stores and collect old hymnals, old Bibles and books of theology. Book of Common Prayer was a recent find and is a keeper. Recently discovered Isaac Bashevis Singer. Admire Johann Gerhard, Oswald Chambers. Halley's Bible Handbook. Alternative medicine and homeopathy, although I'm not so convinced it works and have nothing against traditional medicine. Fiction? Anne Tyler, Belva Plain. I used to love Bill Bennett's brain but not so enamoured with it anymore since I found out he has feet of clay as we all do. Cereal boxes are always good if there's nothing else around :-). Recent passion: music. Joined an online music service for a monthly/yearly fee, unlimited streaming. Hymn variations, jazz, blues, folk; acoustic guitar, piano are favorites.

  24. Dear Stylux,
    Regarding your Sunday posting to me: (Sigh) Lordy, Lordy. You seem to want everyone to be like you, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc. You, however, are ignoring all the help you received along the way that many, many people weren't fortunate enough to experience. Your Finnish heritage, for one, with its work ethic and all. You obviously were greatly influenced by your Brooklyn-raised mother: take the facts at hand and go with it, confidently. You may have considered yourself poor, but you were raised in a large home (two-story, if I remember correctly)
    and it wasn't at the end of a dirt road in a bayou somewhere.
    So, you see, you had many advantages over others. All i've tried to say to you is Do Unto Others as you would have them do unto you if YOU were walking in their particular and unique shoes.

    I'll take you up on that brandy and visit someday! (well, maybe a nice glass of wine. I've not experimented with brandy.)

  25. Dear Stylux,

    Regarding your Sunday posting to me: (Sigh) Lordy, Lordy. You seem to want everyone to be like you, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc.
    You, however, are ignoring all the help you received along the way that many, many people weren't fortunate enough to experience. Your Finnish heritage, for one, with its work ethic and all. You obviously were greatly influenced by your Brooklyn-raised mother: take the facts at hand and go with it, confidently, and that has served you very well in your adult life. You may have considered yourself poor, but you were raised in a large home (two-story, if I remember correctly)
    and it wasn't at the end of a dirt road in a bayou somewhere.

    So, you see, you had many advantages over others. All I've tried to say to you is Do Unto Others as you would have them do unto you if YOU were walking in their particular and unique shoes.

    I'll take you up on that brandy and visit someday! (well, maybe a nice glass of wine. I've not experimented with brandy.)

  26. Stylux, Norah, I'm ROFLing! You are victims of severe logomania. I would recommend a crash diet -- if I didn't fear you would trim NPR instead of say, Faux news. Your lists are outlandish! I mean impressive. (For their sakes, I hope your spouses are similarly afflicted.)

    As time allows each morning, I scan the NYT, the Guardian, Huffpo, Drudge and sometimes Dailykos and Common Dreams. In stolen moments, I read actual articles.

    The radio is always on NPR. Our TV is always on Ch. 9 -- for cartoons, NOVA, and an occasional Rick Steves show. When I hear of a good show, e.g. Stewart or Colbert, I download it from iTunes.

    My husband reads Le Monde and alerts me to articles in the foreign press. He has studied history, lived abroad, and reads widely -- I often call on him to fill ginormous gaps.

    We subscribe to the Sunday NYT, Harper's,the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and a several other periodicals, none of which get the attention they merit.

    I spend precious little time in books, but I console myself that they'll still be there when the kids are grown. I'm slowly making my way through Imperium by Robert Harris, a novel about ancient Rome.

    Hey Ilmar, what are some your alternative news sources?

  27. Yeah, I kinda thought you've never met anyone like me. So much for intimacy, eh? lol

    I have lots of time these days, so I'm having a ball. And hey, let's play Trivial Pursuit some day - I'll beat ya :-)

  28. ohhh, NPR is long gone.. hmmm, maybe 15-20 yrs ago. Blah blah blah there, all problems and no answers. Gloooom. Subscribed to the Atlantic Monthly for a time. See, I'm getting old now, I don't have a lot of time or patience for questions. I seek truth. Should have added CS Lewis. In politics, would love to read some Churchill and Netanyahu. So little time :-) I highly recommend my reading list to you and your dh, you will grow immensely!!

  29. I don't watch TV and avoid talk radio, but sometime hear far right religious shows as well as Rush and Hannity. NPR a few times a week.

    Google News, pandagon.net, Yglesias, scienceblogs.com/dispatches, scienceblogs.com/insolence, balloon-juice.com, majikthise, Juan Cole, CS Monitor, metafilter.com, Daniel Drezner, Kevin Drum, online local paper

  30. Many Trails Home12/05/2006 05:38:00 PM

    Wow, you guys sound like news addicts. I think I'm in the wrong company; can't possibly know what I'm talking about! Think I'd better crawl back in my hole (or tent).
    I never watch TV. I distrust virtually all US news. I scan the front page of the Wall Street Journal for trends, when I find one lying around the lounge. I find Newsweek, Time, etc hopelessly shallow. I finally subscribed to the Economist (US version, but based out of England) but I cannot stand to read it most of the time because, even tho it is comprehensive re covering the globe, most of the news is so depressing I can't take it. So I read mainly books, by which I hope to get a distillation over a slightly longer time span, by someone with some expertise. I don't want to have to pick out the article on sudden rise in global steel prices in "a market gone mad" (do any of you remember that article?) from what's happening in the NFL. As for editorials, I don't much care for anybody's opinions but my own (just kidding).
    So, considering my benighted condition, am I still welcome on this site? MTH

  31. Sisu,

    I must say… you are a kick… You have posted a fairly accurate bio in terms of the things you addressed. Now you have me for the second time rereading my posts and your response and my response etc. and I can’t recall labeling myself as poor. I have never considered myself to be poor and I describe myself as coming from a lower middle class family. Poor is a state of mind; lower middle class is a general income category. I worked early for several reasons not the least of which, I wanted my own money, and it allowed me to have things that the family could not provide.

    However, I must take issue with the tenor of your post in that it implies that I have a lack of gratitude for all those things that are my heritage. You have listed some and if you knew me for a while in person you would hear many of them. I have been and I do feel thankful for much and have expressed it frequently. (I do this in part because I believe that gratitude is important to happiness and being a natural depressive I have had to work on that.)

    I think you and I disagree on how to help others, not that others need help. In my own life, having something given to me has never “really” helped me. I have been assisted by others encouraging me to work for it. One of my chemistry prof’s in college never gave us answers to questions but merely asked additional questions to force us to find out for ourselves. I must say that it drove us to throwing eggs but we learned more than had he spoon-fed us.
    An interesting question is… Is it your belief that government handouts with no strings attached foster good citizenship?


    Try Churchill’s series of five books on WWII.


    I left off LTLF from my regular blog list.

  32. MTH,

    I think that's a healthier way to live.. we went through a few years of not reading or watching the news as a way eliminate some of the insanity - so much is not necessary, we are overloaded these days with things we can't possibly do anything about. Much of it "stay tuned!" so that you sit through the commercials. In earlier times, people's lives centered around their own communities and therefore would have some power to help or make a change. So yes, you are welcome, cuz sanity is sorely needed lol.

    Stylux, thanks for that book recommendation.. Been thinking lately that we need to have a knowledge of history to understand the present.. somethin' I'm chewing on.

    Free, I hope I didn't sound arrogant about Trivial Pursuit. It's kind of a standing joke around here, because it's mostly useless information. As to not meeting anyone like me, that's just saying I really am kind of a nut lol..