Teen-agers enjoy a good “fight” with adults who do not feel a need to dominate and are willing to listen. As children progress from the “earthbound” quality of concrete thinking to the “intergalactic” quality of complex thinking, they become capable of formulating contrary-to-fact-hypotheses, of leaping with their minds here, there and everywhere. Herein lays the source of teen-agers’ growing ability and fervor for challenging others’ ideas, beliefs and values and for engaging in furious debate, often to the dismay of parents, teachers and other adults.
Do you remember the deprecating put-down by W.C. Fields of the city of Brotherly Love? “Last week I traveled to Philadelphia, but it was closed.” Not very nice!
I do not text message!
I have no iPod!
I haven’t yet figured out Facebook or Craig’s List!
As we all learned in elementary school, the first Thanksgiving holiday set the tone for centuries to come. During the initial winter that the Pilgrims spent in Plymouth, Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, donated food stores to the settlers. In turn, the Pilgrims invited members of the tribe to a three-day feast after their first harvest in 1621.
From September through early November at the Fire Island Hawk Watch, migrating raptors are counted daily and the data is eventually shared with researchers worldwide. I go once a week, but not just to help spot and identify birds. I go for the excitement, the feast of images and for the moments when the words “this is why I come,” ring silently in my head.
This past Wednesday I did my duty!
I traveled to Staten Island to tidy up and say a few prayers at my parents’ graves. Refreshing my bonds with my mother and father is always pleasurable and meaningful to me. No matter what is done, the weeds keep coming in and popping up, uninvited on the gravesite.
Today, I would like to discuss a topic near and dear to the hearts of citizens over 60. It is the subject of PILLS. You know, those little, expensive things you buy at CVS and swallow every morning upon awakening and before you put on your pajamas in the evening.
I have never considered myself a reviewer. But if I like a play, movie or opera, I do love to tell people about it. Talking about a production usually winds up in a profound discussion of the major points, positive or negative. I do enjoy these back-and-forth, stimulating conversations.
Mary Tillman is the mother of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan. She wrote the book Boots on the Ground by Dusk, which detailed her attempt to find out the truth about her son’s death and exposed a cover-up by the Pentagon and the White House. Mary Tillman dedicated the book to “all military families, who are seeking to understand the sacrifices their sons and daughters have made. They too are entitled to the truth from their government.”
It’s just wrong. Secret campaign cash should have no place in our American democracy. But now we are seeing huge sums of money from secret sources going into campaign advertising. Special interests are spending millions and millions of dollars in this election and it threatens to drown out the voices of individual voters. And because of changes in the law, there are no disclosure requirements- even foreign government corporations could be funding these ads.
The League of Women Voters has been calling attention to secret money being spent on political advertising for months, but the U.S. Senate has refused to act to require disclosure, even after the House of Representatives passed a strong disclosure bill.
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