We have spoken to your mother. We know everything.
I'm with SC&A- and, it appears, everyone else herein- on this subject. I think the vast majority of voters exercise their voting rights through the path of least resistance; that is, the path that requires the least amount of thought. On some comment a few months ago, I noted that when I voted the last time, as I was walking in, a couple was walking out, the woman saying to the man, "I just voted for the President, I didn't vote for anything else." There were probably 15 other local and state issues/elections on the ballot that day, but this woman couldn't be bothered to read the one-sentence description of each one. Sad.And that, friends, is the question that will determine the kind of America in which our kids grow up.
But, just to play my much-enjoyed role of contrarian in this arena, isn't such complacency the natural evolution of a democratic system? If you have a system where all people have a vote, and if you assume that the general bell curve concept applies to the population, aren't most people going to be lumped somewhere in the middle of the road both intellectually and laziness-wise? And for these people, isn't it easier to work in sound-bytes that they can repeat, rather than expound on topics with intellectual zeal?
The ultimate question is: How can we get the rest of the country to engage in a higher form of public debate?
Funeral firm wins stand for vertical burials
After more than 15 years of trying, a plan to bury bodies standing up will finally be able to go ahead in south-western Victoria.
The Victorian Planning Minister has approved land earmarked for a cemetery near Derrinallum, to be rezoned from rural to public use.
The vertical burials will reportedly be the first of their kind in Australia.
Corangamite Shire's Sophie Segafredo says funeral company Palacom has overcome a number of hurdles to achieve the approval.
"It has been a long time coming," she said.
"The people who have been pursuing the project have been working on it for 10 or 15 years, so it's now a relief I'm sure to them that the rezoning is finally taking place.
"I'm not sure when they're intending to start burials there, but there's no further impediment to getting on with the project."
The managing director of Palacom says the company is delighted with the approval.
Tony Duplix says the Darlington cemetery trust will run the new cemetery.
Mr Duplix says he expects the project will now proceed quickly.
"It's really just housekeeping issues now, at the moment the land is effectively a paddock and the trust will just go ahead with fencing, signage, access, issues like that and then they'll be open for business which means that we too will be open for business," he said.
We at the SC&A Institute are engaged in negotiations to open a major residential and long term care facility in Australia.
By the way, ever make a really big mistake? A really, really big mistake? Don't feel bad.
Appetizer: Tuna filet, cut into one and a half inch strips, folded into prepared spring roll wrapping, lightly fried. Cut on the diagonal and serve. Dipping sauce of equal parts fresh squeezed lime juice and soy sauce.It seems NG now believes she is worthy of our very best efforts in the kitchen, all the time. Further, NG is now demanding our secret recipes and ingredients- all of them- even the ones that are recognized as our signature dishes!
Soup: Fruit soup- made with strawberries, oranges, bananas and kiwi, with a dollop of sweet cream and sprig of mint as garnish. Served chilled.
Entree: Chicken Wellington, pate of sauted onion and mushrooms, spinach and garlic, wrapped in Filo dough. Served with aspargus and herbed Hollandaise, and oven roasted new potatos, basted in a rosemary glaze.
Dessert: Poached Pears, surrounded by broiled fruit,sprinkled with vanilla sugar. Chocolate drizzle, of course.
Some statistics from the American Breast Cancer Foundation:Please read Beth's post. No matter how smart you think you are, your opinions (asinine as we may think they are), won't be heard if you or your loved one aren't here.
* A woman dies of breast cancer every 12 minutes.
* Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women age 35 to 50.
* 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
* Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among African American women.
* Woman of low socio-economic status are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage disease and die of the disease.
...Irrespective of one's politics, [the claim that] that Mr Bush or any of his colleagues are 'fascists' is not in evidence. Until such time as truly fascist behavior is exhibited, such as taking control of the press, suspending the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights or declaring martial law, John's allegations are certainly not a historical event.One writer in the NYT wrote that Europeans see Americans as having more in common with the Taliban than they do with Western Europeans. It is this type of thinking and pandering, along with others propagating the idea that Europe as the center of immorality, that provides in part for the decline of our civilization, as much as any other threat we face.
Lacking any serious evidence and corroboration, John's claims are spurious at best is no evidence whatsoever the election was 'stolen' as John contends. Neither Mr Kerry, the Democrat Party, Democrat Party pollworkers, observers or the UN observers in place, made such allegations. If as John says, 'the fix was in,' it would be a good thing if he were to present such evidence. I'm sure the Federal Election Commission, in conjuction with the media, would examine such evidence carefully and seriously. There is no evidence that the Mr Bush wishes to establish a theocracy. Is John implying that there are no Democrats who believe in God, or attend church? Is his implying that that no atheists voted for Mr Bush? There is ample evidence to suggest that there is plenty of crossover voting. I am a bit uncomfortable with the idea that democracy has no room for some of a particular stripe. All in all, John seems to have not posted on a historical event, but rather on an unsubstantiated set of allegations. To be certain, John's views are one side of the same coin. The same type of silliness can be heard on the reverse of that coin.
... Americans rejected the hedonism of Woodstock, in which individual choice and uninhibited, personal expression trumped all. Hollywood came to epitomize for them this narcissism and repudiation of conventional values. They were tired ofthe new counterculture of radical change, seeing in the New Left acontempt for middle America and its values, reflected in fathers abandoning their families, the delegitimization of the sanctity of marriage, raising children without clear moral guideposts â all of which, in their minds, led to increased criminality, drug abuse,people being recast as society's victims rather than accepting responsibility for their own actions. They yearned to restore the authority of public institutions and to remove some of the violence and sexuality in TV programs, records, and computer games, whose content they ascribed to the liberals who write the screenplays for TV and movies.Liberals will abhor such remarks, of course, but in the context of civil debate, they are indeed, relevant.
Against this backdrop, the Democratic Party saw its leadership shifting away from its working-class and middle-class roots, away from moral traditionalists, especially families that go to church, away from those who live in unfashionable tract suburbs and even in working-class neighborhoods. The Democratic Party was increasingly identifying more with the rising elites of the information and entertainment age - what commentator Joel Kotkin calls the"hip-ocracy" of well-educated people, high-tech tycoons, Hollywood moguls and celebrities, Wall Street financiers, and an academic world of people with graduate degrees - a new social elite, much more liberal than the country at large. Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" and "It's the economy, stupid!" reflected the need to reconnect with the traditional Democratic middle-class constituencies, but then he exacerbated the concern over moral values and family issues with his personal behavior.
Tens of millions of Americans feel betrayed by a society that seems to place materialism and selfishness above moral values. They know that "looking out for number one" has become the common sense of our society, but they want a life that is about something more --- a framework of meaning and purpose to their lives that would transcend the grasping and narcissism that surrounds them. Sure, they will admit that they have material needs, and that they worry about adequate health care, stability in employment, and enough money to give their kids a college education. But even more deeply they want their lives to have meaning --- and they respond to candidates who seem to care about values and some sense of transcendent purpose...Can anyone deny the truth of what the writer states? Can anyone deny the fundamental reality that given the right focus and direction, liberal values will appeal to many? I for one, have no doubt of that. I share some of the writers ideas and thoughts. I may not agree with all his politics, but like Patrick Moynihan, Rabbi Lerner cannot be dismissed simply because of his political affiliations. We would do well to read and understand his points of view and ideas, if for no other reason that they are sound and contain more than a kernel of truth.
Yet to move in this direction, many Democrats would have to give up their attachment to a core belief: that those who voted for Bush are fundamentally stupid or evil. Its time they got over that elitist self righteousness and developed strategies that could affirm their common humanity with those who voted for the Right. Teaching themselves to see the good in the rest of the American public would be a critical first step in liberals and progressives learning how to teach the rest of American society how to see that same goodness in the rest of the people on this planet. It is this spiritual lesson --- that our own well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet and on the well-being of the earth- a lesson rooted deeply in the spiritual wisdom of virtually every religion on the planet, that could be the center of a revived Democratic party. Yet to take that seriously, the Democrats are going to have to get over the false and demeaning perception that the Americans who voted for Bush could never be moved to care about the well being of anyone but themselves. That transformation in the Democrats would make them into serious contenders.
"Most Arabs hate the West, especially the U.S., for many reasons; some date back to the Crusades and the Andalusia period, and more recently, because of Palestine and Iraq. I don't intend to delve into this historical turmoil, but for the sake of history, the Arabs should remember that they invaded and occupied important parts of Europe hundreds of years before the Crusades wars.
"The West and the U.S. in particular, as a result of their growing financial and moral power since the 1950s, and just like any human force, dominates and colonizes… just like them the Assyrians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, the Arabs, the Tatars, the Ottomans and others did before them… But since the 1950s, both the dominating and dominated initiated an attempt to build a new world, where competition (which is part of human nature) gradually moved from the battlefields to the realm of creation, economy and trade. Sciences and inventions developed as never before, especially in the fields of space, communications and medicine, which led to the invention of computers, the Internet and satellites, and many medicines and antibiotics were discovered, overcoming many diseases and increasing humans' life expectancy. In general, the world went on a stable path of progress, as trade prospered (with the elimination of tariffs and the speed in transportation)."
"The West and the U.S. in particular achieved major accomplishments over the past century. As for us, Arabs and Muslims, we became at most consumers of these accomplishments and inventions; we reject them at first claiming they are designed to control us, then consume them fast and even hide it most of the time..."
There is more. See it here.
We live in a society that tells us not to get involved. As noted above, I learned from my divorce not to try and change other people, but only to try and change myself. Also, I’m no psychologist, so I have all kinds of reasons to not get involved. However, the father wanted me to come with him to pick up his daughter, and even though their marriage has ended, I still feel that my vows to support them still have meaning.Aldon's piece, "Love is but a song we sing..." is a poignant reminder of what parenting is about- the 'who' it is about. Read it all, here.
The daughter did not want to go with her father. They talked, he waited, he cajoled. Eventually, she came out and had ice cream with him. He continued to press his case for her spending time with him and she continued to protest.
Regardless of what aura my "blog" persona radiates, this is not an issue I take lightly. I have thought about this a lot. It has bothered me for years, and I've been trying to find an answer that suits me, that allows me to sleep at night. I came up with the following conclusion:
"Life exists, because it exists."
It is simple, yet complicated at the same time.
We recommend you read Mango's post- the insights are worthwhile and relevant.
In today's guest post, John draws the curtain aside, as we peek into the worthwhile life of a David, that has slain the Goliath of self defeat and self destruction. That healing is ongoing:
My mistakes were my own. I tried to blame my parents, but realized that their problems were caused by their parents and so on. The abuse in my family (both sides) stretches back for more than 4 generations. I decided it was time to break the cycle.John goes on to say,
The path to maturity, for me, was long and difficult and, even now, I continue to struggle with finding my way.
There is nothing beyond pure academics that I want the “village” teaching my children. I can teach them values on my own. I couldn’t care less if my values differ from those of the “village” I can handle the ridicule. Besides, I’m not impressed with what I see when I view the “village” objectively. Society as a whole is far more screwed up than my family, so why would I ever rely on what society says is a child rearing best practice. I don’t give a rat’s ass what the majority says. The majority, in my opinion, is represented by the group with the most whiners and the rest of us fall in line like the good little sheeple we are because we have acceptance issues.Where does the village really end and where does 'home' begin? Can we make that distinction, or is it made for us? Which of MuzikDude's messages resonated most loudly to you and why?
That said: I encourage my kids to form and voice their own opinions and they are allowed to disagree with me. I allow them to assert themselves within the boundaries of respect. I encourage individualism.
However, if one of my children blatantly disregards the values I have taught them, I know it isn’t because they have suddenly become enlightened beyond the limits of my own wisdom but because they want my attention…and they’ll get it