In response to the headline: Of course they are! And we, the People, let them. Why? Because too many of us have bought into the idea that public institutions have no business administering (or regulating) electoral contests for public office. We're made to fear politicized administration by one party and therefore accept a privatized electoral system that evicerates both parties. Nothing in between. No equivalent of a non-politicized agency to at least set federal rules for federal office. Only there's a problem. When one party of a two party system embraces privatization as a guiding principle, there's no means or incentive for the other party NOT to play that game without simply being outspent and therefore out-messaged by the other. In such a system, the only winners are those who spend $$ expecting quid pro quo in public policy. Hey, we're not expecting billionaires to be more saintly than popes, are we? The voters are unhappy being unhitched from policy. Government becomes subservient to donors. And the entire political system becomes unhinged. The solution? Something, anything, in between. Example: Allow the money, but remove the iron paycheck to for-profit media. Require FCC license renewals to include free or cost-reduced airtime for public office campaigning. Correspondingly, expand C-SPAN to a 4th channel that operates at least one feed/studio in every state that has no other function but to air campaign materials for public office and air debates.
I lived in Brownsville my whole life. I still live there, because I cannot afford to move (I am educated and work as an office assistant for a library). I tell you with the utmost certainty it is the worst place in all the city. The utter barbarism I have seen over the years for literally NOTHING is unbelievable. When I was 8 I saw a woman being raped in a park that my building overlooked (I was too young to understand what I was seeing). As a teen I struggled to survive staying out of the streets and going to school in other more affluent areas. Once I saw a group of 8 boys beat an old man for the Christmas gifts he carrying. I have been threatened with death by random would be muggers on several occasions. There is a large segment of people there that do not care whether they live or die and rule of law is lost on them... all that matters is showing off "being the man" for a little while. I cant stand it there... I cant even dress the way I want because I have to blend in or be a target. Education? HA! It means nothing there. That being said... Brownsville cannot crush one thing.... HOPE.
Thank you. This is what I was going to say. It is possible to reduce soap and shampoo, only applying it when sweaty or stinky, or to reduce the frequency of showering and the quantities of products applied, without going to these extremes and stinking up the house or the office. I shower every day, but I try to make my showers quick - 2 minutes or less - and use little or no soap unless I have been exercising or it is very hot out - so that's actually fairly regularly, since I exercise a lot. I really don't feel right if the grime starts to build up. I can't conceive of working out and then going to my office without having properly showered. We go through this conversation regularly, don't we? Most of these people doin' the groovy eco thing who insist they don't stink don't realize that other people are just too polite to tell them ... they stink. Sure, if we all stank, we'd stop complaining that ... other people, well, stink, but ... really ... please.There is a happy medium between the obsessive germophobe who walks around the office swabbing down doorknobs and light switches and elevator buttons with her antibacterial wipes (doesn't every office have one these days?) and the deluded wannabe hippie who hasn't bathed since Christmas and seriously thinks no one minds.
Similar to Christmas when kids are opening the gifts from grandparents and aunts and cousins. No matter how great the gift, it is discarded while they lunge for the next to open. It is the unveiling and discovery that provides the excitement, not the having. I have speculated that some people never outgrow this and lunge from one relationship to another as soon as they come to know/unwrap each new present. Perhaps it all comes from when we were living in trees and opening/tasting new or novel nuts and fruits.
One of my friends told her kids that she had to pay Santa for gifts, so nothing could be too extravagant. My kids would understand that and not be too upset.We did buy a tablet this year (Amazon had a deal where they were practically giving them away), but only one for the whole family. We decided it wouldn't be for Christmas, in part not to set a precedent for tech under the tree.
"It has to do with vulnerability, said Sherry Turkle."No, it has to do with respect for your spouse. There is nothing less classy and less respectful to your partner than airing marital problems in front of a few hundred acquaintances. Except maybe complaining about inadequate Christmas gifts.
For years I volunteered for a program that would collect donations of Christmas gifts for families in need. Every year the generosity of people would amaze me and every year I would get an education from the people who came to collect their gifts. They were proud, hard-working people (or would love to be hard-working if only they could find a job) who just wanted the best for their families. A lot of people struggle on a short term basis and are truly shocked at the position they find themselves in. I have a great job, but with rising costs of everything around me I sometimes struggle to get the bills paid. I often wonder what could happen to me if I encounter a financial hit, or if I can't save enough for retirement. I'm feeling very lucky for my life today.
Tom, funny you should mention that. I have no qualms whatsoever about serving alcohol where non-drinkers including former alcoholics are present. I dated two. Neither had any concern whatsoever with my drinking as much as I pleased, at dinner, parties, at bars. They bought me gifts of my favorite champagnes and enjoyed my enjoyment.My office regularly serves excellent wines in the office as well as at off-site gatherings. Anybody who doesn't want to imbibe, for any reason including former alcohol issues, doesn't. We are adults. Do you expect everybody to tiptoe and drink in the closet because somebody else once had a problem? Sorry, not interested. It is all about self control. I'm not your nanny.
I am awed by the account of James Foley's courage and humanity during his time of duress. To share food and a blanket, to devise recreation for his fellow captives, to suggest they make each other gifts for Christmas, to accept his future bravely - this was a man! My sincere condolences to his family! What a loss!