Sunday, August 14, 2022

What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority. Molly Ivins

“Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once asked a group of women at a university why they felt threatened by men. The women said they were afraid of being beaten, raped, or killed by men. She then asked a group of men why they felt threatened by women. They said they were afraid women would laugh at them.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?

“I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.”
Molly Ivins

“When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as 'enemies,' it's time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
Molly Ivins

“The first rule of holes: When you're in one stop digging.”
Molly Ivins

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention."

[Shrub Flubs His Dub, The Nation, June 18, 2001]”
Molly Ivins

“So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds,
but don't forget to have fun doin' it. Be outrageous... rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was!”
Molly Ivins

“There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar. ”
Molly Ivins

“It's all very well to run around saying regulation is bad, get the government off our backs, etc. Of course our lives are regulated. When you come to a stop sign, you stop; if you want to go fishing, you get a license; if you want to shoot ducks, you can shoot only three ducks. The alternative is dead bodies at the intersection, no fish, and no ducks. OK?

(Getting Control of the Frontier, Gainsville Sun, March 22, 1995)”
Molly Ivins

“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil.
And that no one knows the truth.”
Molly Ivins

“There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack.”
Molly Ivins

“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
Molly Ivins

“What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.”
Molly Ivins

“I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.”
Molly Ivins

“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
Molly Ivins

“I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying - it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off.”
Molly Ivins

“Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don't much care for.”
Molly Ivins

“Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world.”
Molly Ivins

“As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in office.”
Molly Ivins

“I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.”
Molly Ivins

“One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn't was a lot of time thinking about the people who build their pyramids, either.”
Molly Ivins

“The only problem was, the founders left a lot of people out of the Constitution. They left out poor people and black people and female people. It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. And it still goes on today.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“All of which indicates that he's quite a fast learner. When you approve of a politician, this is known as flexibility; when you don't, it's called lack of principal - but in fact, politics requires accommodation.”
Molly Ivans

“Confusing the academy with the world is a dumb and dangerous thing to do. In the real world, money talks, bullshit walks. In a state legislature, clout meets clout, money meets money, interest fights interest, and only the strong prevail. Which is why ordinary folks keep losing. Should this strike you as an unduly Darwinian view of what is, after all, a liberal, Western democracy, I can only commend you to Reality School. Go and study how the laws are made and then tell me if I lie.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“Carl Parker observes, if you took all the fools out of the Lege, it wouldn’t be a representative body anymore.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“The odd thing about these television discussions designed to “get all sides of the issue” is that they do not feature a spectrum of people with different views on reality: Rather, they frequently give us a face-off between those who see reality and those who have missed it entirely. In the name of objectivity, we are getting fantasy-land.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“The victor in the Democratic primary was State Senator Bill Sarpalius, who got a leg up one night in January when a disgruntled patriot slugged him so hard it broke his jaw and the jaw had to be wired shut for most of the campaign. For most politicians, that would constitute an electoral handicap, but since Sarpalius is not bent over double with intellect, it proved a boon. He’s a tall, nice-looking, apple-cheeked fellow, and if you don’t have to listen to him, he looks good.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“He inspired all around him with awe at his work habits: According to several Reagan aides, in the wake of the Iran-contra scandal, there was serious talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office because he wouldn’t come to work—all he wanted to do was watch movies and television.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

“Until June 26, 1918, all Texans could vote except “idiots, imbeciles, aliens, the insane and women.”
Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition

I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag. Molly Ivins

Unicorn Noodles

 Have you heard about these?

I must try UNICORN NOODLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

These cellophane noodles become purple and pink!

Robin's Nest

Been saving the robin's nest we found in our garden this past spring to give to a child. My neighbor's Joey's visiting 8 year old daughter Lilly just walked by and I said "Wait, I have something for you!" And she loved it. It's even shaped like a heart. It's made of mud and straw.

creative work can sometimes even be a welcome break from the chaos of a family vacation.

Particularly for those of us who enjoy our work, if you can’t — or, let’s face it, won’t — disconnect from work on vacation, let me assure you: It is probably OK. Work is no worse a way to spend vacation downtime than watching TV or perusing Instagram — and creative work can sometimes even be a welcome break from the chaos of a family vacation.

It is also OK, however, to take little vacations during working hours. An hour outside reading a novel, an afternoon bike ride, lunch with a friend, leaving the office (or desk at home) a little early to shop for and cook a special dinner: If you’re thoughtful and intentional about it, dispensing with strict boundaries between work and the rest of life can make a fuller, less burned-out life possible.

Alexis Grant, a West Virginia-based entrepreneur, told me that she and her husband regularly take time out of their workday to hike — frequent shorter strolls, and a two-to-three-hour hike together once a week. The conversations they have on them also have a work value, she says: “We call them our Genius Hikes because we often end up helping each other with work challenges.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/13/opinion/working-on-vacation-flexibility.html

Matunuck Rhode Island Clear Broth Clam Chowder

The rich broth of this delicious clear broth Rhode Island clam chowder is loaded with potatoes, bacon, and either cherry-stones or quahogs.

Rhode Island Clear Broth Clam Chowder

No wonder Rhode Islanders prefer clear broth over cream—at every turn, they’re surrounded by saltwater. To savor the Ocean State’s take on clear broth clam chowder, visit Matunuck Oyster Bar, overlooking the eddies of Potter Pond in South Kingstown. The rich broth of this clear broth Rhode Island clam chowder is loaded with potatoes, bacon, and either cherry-stones or quahogs (same species of hard-shell clam, quahogs being bigger than cherrystones), depending on what’s fresh that day. Owner Perry Raso is so fastidious about his shellfish that he operates his own seven-acre oyster farm right by the restaurant.

For more, check out some of our favorite other chowder recipeshow to make clam chowder, and where to find the 10 best clam shacks in New England.

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Matunuck Clear Broth Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds small quahogs or large cherrystone clams
  • 7 cups water
  • 6 cups clam broth (from steaming) or 4 cups clam broth plus 2 cups bottled clam juice
  • 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-size onions, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Scrub the clams and rinse them clean.

Add 7 cups of water to a large stockpot fitted with a steamer basket or colander, and bring to a boil.

Add half the clams to the basket and cover. Steam until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes. (Discard any clams that don’t open.)

Repeat with the second batch of clams. Reserve 6 cups of the broth. Set aside.

Cool the clams; remove the meat from the shells and dice it into ½-inch pieces. Keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

Put the bacon in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add the butter, onions, celery, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth to the pot. Continue cooking over medium heat until the chowder begins to simmer. If it begins to boil, reduce the heat slightly. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Just before serving, remove the pot from the heat, stir in the clams and herbs, discard the bay leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot.

Note: Steaming the clams might seem laborious, but it’s actually easy and makes a briny broth. Aim to extract 6 cups of broth from the clams; if not, you’ll need to have some bottled clam juice on hand to round it out. 

Porch Pie Fest

 We've had Lime Pie, Pumpkin Pie and now Apple Pie! This is the weather!

replenishing electrolytes

You can also consume foods with naturally occurring electrolytes. These foods include vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries and oranges, along with lean proteins including chicken and fish, are also good options for replenishing electrolytes.

Avert Depression

When it comes to managing the mood swings of bipolar disorder, spotting early warning signs and recognizing triggers are vitally important. Reversing a mood episode that has already set in can prove particularly challenging; taking preventive measures in advance, though, can help to mitigate the severity of symptoms and shorten their duration.

Awareness of the subtle symptom shifts that precede a full-blown manic, hypomanic, mixed, or depressive episode provides an opportunity to restore balance. When bphope video blogger Gabe Howard feels that bipolar depression is looming, he takes steps to curtail the downswing. Here are other strategies that readers also suggest.

#1 Set Realistic Expectations

The varying energy levels of bipolar mood swings can feel like an internal form of whiplash—from the soaring heights and enthusiasm of mania to the dull, dreary dregs of depression. For that reason, it is important to stay mindful of appropriate goals, that is, being realistic about what we ask of ourselves and taking into account our mood state.

  • “I do simple things and tell myself that it’s enough. If all I can do is shower, that’s all I expect myself to do. If I can shower and meet a friend for lunch, I do that. I like to go for long drives. Mostly, I try not to beat myself up over things I have done or left undone. Sometimes, all you can do is one simple thing. If I set myself unrealistic expectations, I’ll just slip farther into depression.” —Nebraskabear

#2 Get Outside in Nature

A change of scenery can help to adjust a darkening mood—if it’s caught early. Before depressive symptoms sap the motivation to move, taking the time to get outside in nature, breathe some fresh air, and be mindfully aware of the bigger picture beyond our front door can help provide a healthy perspective.

  • “Going outside and being surrounded by nature always helps me, just appreciating the quiet and beauty of it all.” —Carlie
  • “Just stepping outside in the sunshine and fresh air lifts my mood somewhat.” —Mary Ann
  • “I walk outside, even if only to sit on the steps and get some fresh air. It’s as if all the thoughts in my head can dissipate a little into the atmosphere and that gives me some perspective.” —Diane

#3 Keep It Simple

When the rumination of depression kicks in, it is easy to overthink things and get lost in a sea of what-if thinking. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly “simple” tasks that pose the biggest challenges during bipolar depression … and the biggest rewards when they are completed.

  • “Open my curtains so I’m not lying in the complete dark and succumbing to the episode.” —Paige H.
  • “Get dressed in daytime clothing. No PJs or bathrobe.” —Audrey
  • “Hold your dog and scratch his belly. I find this comforting, and so does he!” —PLJ Author
  • “Do something kind for myself (right now, that’s just having a cup of hot tea).” —Andy
  • “For me, showering and getting dressed helps. Doing my hair and makeup is a bonus.” —Sarah

#4 Make a To-Do List in the Morning

Having a plan and a routine can build structure into a day that could easily be lost to dark thoughts and oversleeping. Some people find it helpful, for example, to start the day with an agenda to keep the motivation going—especially if that routine includes little moments of pleasure and fun.

  • “Every morning I write down things I should do and uplifting things I usually enjoy doing: ‘do dishes, have a cup of tea, go through the mail, yoga,’ for example. I start with the task that seems easiest and go from there. During the day I add things that come to my mind. At the end of the day, I look at my list again and feel like I accomplished something.” —Linda

#5 Make an I-Did-It List before Bed

Building up a sense of accomplishment can help to restore the lowered sense of self-worth that accompanies bipolar depression. If making a to-do list creates anxiety, try the reverse.

  • “I think it also puts me in a better frame of mind before bedtime. I’m fortunate enough to be able (usually) to focus on what needs doing, but I find the I-did-it list to be more uplifting. A to-do list just makes me feel overwhelmed and less self-affirming.” —Bea H.
  • “I write down my feelings and also write down a list of my accomplishments. When I look at some of my past accomplishments I feel that it helps my self-esteem.” —Catherine

#6 Try Positive Exercise

Getting your heart pumping and your body moving can be especially complicated and feel impossible when bipolar depression sets in. Before it does, it can be helpful to find a form of exercise that makes you feel good—whether it’s a high-energy workout or a more mindful one.

  • “I make myself stick with my exercise plan, which is 90% Zumba. Dancing ALWAYS puts my mind in a better place even when it’s a struggle to get to class.” —Tami
  • “Take a jiu-jitsu class. It is excellent to relieve stress, release endorphins, and get you socializing in a positive atmosphere—and it is mindfulness completely.” —Donna

#7 Take Time for Hobbies

Engaging our mind in something that we find enjoyable (when not feeling depressed) can help to distract us from our present troubles and restore a sense of inner peace. Better yet, allowing our creativity to run free can help to balance out the sinking feeling of looming darkness. And, if the creative spark won’t alight, just thinking about the next potential craft or preparing a workstation can help provide a sense of accomplishment.

  • “Along with a medication tweak, I find that going to my favorite bookstore, working with my jewelry-making components (taking apart and organizing since my creativity isn’t present during depressed times) … helps a little bit.” —Athena
  • “Do something creative like photography.” —John
  • “Keep working on a hobby even when my energy is low—some days that might be just looking at fabric and deciding on what to do next, or organizing my space so it feels more welcoming to start something fresh tomorrow.” —Nina

#8 Watch Uplifting Media

Social media gets a bad reputation—and not always without reason. However, it can also be harnessed for good. Instead of “doom-scrolling,” we can take some time to watch silly video clips or stream a movie that does not feel dark and depressing.

  • “Watching cute animal videos … or feel-good films like Pretty Woman, Top Gun, etc., helps to lift my mood if feeling wound up or flat.” —Wilksu1
  • “Go to see a romantic comedy.” —Mary

#9 Organize & Declutter

A cluttered environment can feed negative thinking, stress, anxiety, and a sense of overwhelm. Sorting out even a small area, like a single drawer or a side table, can provide a dose of relief, reducing visual clutter and that nagging sense of unease.

  • “Purge my household, especially closets and junk drawers. Feels really good to cleanse and organize, plus it’s a workout, too.” —Natalie

#10 Reach Out

Bipolar depression includes isolation as a symptom, creating a potentially self-fulfilling negative spiral of increasing isolation and greater depression. Although it can feel impossible, at times, it is important to reach out to supportive people.

  • “Make contact with a family member, friend, or mental health professional.” —Debbie
  • “Calling someone in my close network of support gives me an outsider’s perspective on what may seem like a looming dismal situation.” —Kendra
  • “Reach out to someone with a phone call, email, or letter. Depression causes me to look inward and I find when look outside of myself, it helps my depression.” —Jean

#11 Practice Gratitude

Along with reaching out to others, feeling appreciative of good things (or even recognizing them)—practicing gratitude—can also feel particularly challenging during a mood swing. For that reason, it can prove worthwhile to seek them out prior to the onset of bipolar depression.

  • “I say to myself ‘I appreciate (X), I appreciate (X), etc.,’ adding one thing after the other. Somehow different than a gratitude list. It can be as simple as ‘I appreciate the color red.’ This always raises my mood. Get outside, even to just sit. This can be a good time to say what I appreciate too. Stick to sleep and eating schedules, no matter what!” —Susie
  • “Focus on things that are going well in my life and thank God for them—and share them with my gratitude buddy.” —Jasmine

#12 Pick a Motivating Mantra

Our self-talk can make a remarkable difference in how we interpret what’s going on around us, as well as how we consider our ability to cope with it. Ensuring that we think self-affirming thoughts can help motivate us toward positive action.

  • “Try to remind myself that this is temporary. It isn’t me.” —SandiBeaches
  • “‘Do the next right thing’ which is something my psychiatrist suggested as a mantra to move along and help myself get out of a rut—physically or psychologically.” —Bea H.

Edna's Wedding

I remember Edna's wedding she ordered everyone around in the church basement to do things for her. 

Basement Bridezilla. 

You got it.

And the wedding cake was dreadful, it tasted like sawdust and rope topped with kitty litter. I have no idea what it was. One bite and into the trash.

Sounds wonderful.

She's STILL a control freak beyond belief.

Pandora

 I overheard Pandora in the locker room talking to Margaritte, "I love my smut, my Jackie Collins, Danielle Steel books."

Wake Early

A few times a year I wake early and read or bake. It's magical to be awake when the world is asleep. My dog doesn't mind either since he gets to eat breakfast early. He is my constant companion and I never feel unsafe with him around. We can even take walks in the dark but we usually wait until the sun rises.

There's so much to think about. I need the quiet space to do so.

Nancy Stories

I was climbing on the roof trying to break into my house because I got locked out. I cut myself and I get oozy at the sight of blood so I called the fire department.

You mean woozy? 

They came and saw me sitting, straddled on the peak.

The other time I had to call the fire department I fell down the stairs and heard a pop sound from my leg and had incredible pain. I crawled to the kitchen and reached up for my phone. I was in my nightgown.  I apologized to the firemen that my legs were not shaved. They said, We've seen worse.

he has gleaned from a gathering of this family — no branch of which had a liking for the other,

It's the birthday of novelist John Galsworthy, born in Kingston upon Thames, England (1867). He was the son of a wealthy lawyer — everyone expected him to follow in his father's footsteps. He studied law at Oxford, but decided that life as a lawyer was not for him; so he took off traveling, sailing all over the world. In 1893, he was on a ship sailing from Australia to South Africa when he struck up a friendship with the first mate, who happened to be the novelist Joseph Conrad. Conrad still identified as a sailor, but he had begun working on his first novel, Almayer's Folly, which would be published two years later. The two men became close friends, and even though Galsworthy had never considered writing before, his conversations with Conrad inspired him to give up any pretense at a future in law and become a writer instead.

Galsworthy published his first short stories and novels under a pseudonym, John Sinjohn. After seven years of publishing, he finally began using his own name when he published The Island Pharisees (1904), a scathing criticism of the upper-class British society into which he had been born.

He is most famous for his series The Forsyte Saga, which includes three novels and two "interludes": The Man of Property (1906), Indian Summer of a Forsyte (1918), In Chancery (1920), Awakening (1920), and To Let (1921). He followed up The Forsyte Saga with two sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter, both of which contained numerous books themselves. The major characters recur throughout the series: greedy Soames; his unhappy and beautiful wife, Irene [pronounced "I-ree-nee"]; Soames's cousin, Young Jolyon, whom Irene marries in the third book; young Jolyon's second wife, the French governess Helene, who helps him break free from the oppressive snobbery of his family; young Jolyon's daughter from a first marriage, June, and her fiancé, an architect named Philip Bosinney, who has an affair with Irene; old Jolyon, who falls in love with Irene like just about everyone else and leaves her all of his money; and many nephews, cousins, granddaughters, etc.

Galsworthy also wrote 31 full-length plays, many of which were popular at the time, including Justice (1910), The Skin Game (1920), and Loyalties (1922). He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1932, and the Nobel committee claimed that the prize was awarded to Galsworthy "for his distinguished art of narration, which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga."

In 1967, the BBC adapted The Forsyte Saga and A Modern Comedy into a 26-part series for its relatively new channel, BBC2. BBC executives hadn't really wanted to make the series — it was expensive to film, and they didn't think a costume drama would appeal to hip 1960s viewers. But they needed something to boost the BBC2's ratings and they finally decided to give The Forsyte Saga a try. It was surprisingly popular — the BBC2 channel was only available to 8 million people, and 6 million of them watched the series. So they aired it again on BBC1 in 1968, at which point it was so popular that pubs stopped serving and churches stopped holding evening services during the episodes on Sunday nights. An estimated 18 million people watched the final episode in 1968, and overall, 165 million people worldwide watched the series.

John Galsworthy wrote: "Those privileged to be present at a family festival of the Forsytes have seen that charming and instructive sight — an upper middle-class family in full plumage. ... In plainer words, he has gleaned from a gathering of this family — no branch of which had a liking for the other, between no three members of whom existed anything worthy of the name of sympathy — evidence of that mysterious concrete tenacity which renders a family so formidable a unit of society, so clear a reproduction of society in miniature."

A better way for Baltimore to help its ‘squeegee kids’

By August 12, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. EDT DeForest “Buster” Soaries is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, N.J., a board member of the Stand Together Foundation and co-chair of the Heal America Movement.

Does Baltimore care about squeegee kids? That’s the most important question after a driver attacked one of them and was shot dead in return last month. Everyone in cities like Baltimore knows these kids, who live in terrible poverty and stand at stoplights and street corners and wipe the windshields of passing cars. Sadly, in the wake of this tragedy, the risk is that Baltimore will double down on failed approaches that trap squeegee kids in poverty, instead of helping them escape it.

This heartbreaking incident has generally divided people along two lines. The first is the most obvious: Crack down on these kids — or even lock ’em up. According to this common response, squeegeeing is illegal for a reason. It’s annoying and dangerous, especially during rush hour when traffic is thick and tensions are high. The thinking goes that the police should intervene and get squeegee kids off the streets for good.

But is arresting and even imprisoning these kids going to solve anything? This approach basically means punishing poverty. Squeegee kids are typically middle or high school dropouts. They’re doing it because they want to earn a quick buck — and the alternatives are dealing drugs, joining gangs or worse. If they end up behind bars at such a young age, Baltimore will basically doom them to a life of crime. A criminal crackdown on squeegee kids will lead to more poverty, more violence and more heartbreak.

The second response is no better: sweeping poverty under the rug. The recent tragedy has led many to call for new government programs and projects targeted at squeegee kids. According to this thinking, society writ large needs to do something, anything, to help. Left unspoken is the reality of these programs, which generally involves throwing money at the problem — the definition of one-size-fits-all.

But does anyone really expect this to work? No doubt it’s well intentioned, but the same is true of all the costly programs and projects from the past 50 years — virtually none of which have made a meaningful, lasting difference. If one-size-fits-all solutions worked, then Baltimore wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. Trying again would merely perpetuate squeegee kids’ poverty, when they really need individualized help to leave poverty behind.

Baltimore can do better than perpetuating poverty or criminally punishing it. Instead of listening to the loudest voices, the city should look to the effective efforts that tackle the root causes of each squeegee kid’s situation.

Lo and behold, there is much inspiration to be found.

Consider Thread, a Baltimore nonprofit that’s weaving “a new social fabric.” It focuses on the kids who are most affected by structural barriers — many of whom could be future squeegee kids. Thread connects them with community members who become interwoven into each other’s lives, giving them the encouragement and support they need to succeed in school and then in life. This isn’t a one- or two-year thing; it’s a 10-year commitment or more. Thread’s unique approach has helped hundreds of kids achieve goals they never imagined possible.

Then there’s New Vision Youth Services, which connects struggling kids with mentors who’ve lived similar experiences. These mentors have squeegeed, dropped out of school, spent time in prison, you name it. They help the kids believe in themselves, giving them the boost needed to finish their education and start a better life. New Vision Youth Services has empowered hundreds of kids, including more than a few squeegee kids.

Are these the only efforts that work? Of course not. I know of other inspiring groups in Baltimore and dozens nationwide. These incredible projects are making a difference because they spring from the ordinary love and care that people feel toward their own communities. Even more important: The people behind them believe in the dignity, worth and incredible potential of these undervalued and overlooked kids. That, more than anything, is what squeegee kids need.

So how can Baltimore help squeegee kids? By recognizing that we all are involved in the answer. The city needs private citizens and churches and nonprofits and scrappy start-ups, not more public programs and police departments that reach down from on high to “solve” these kids. Each person can do something, from mentoring to donating to volunteering. Even the drivers who deal with squeegee kids on a daily basis can step up. It’s as simple as rolling down the window and referring them to a group that can help.

This is hard work, no question. But it’s much better than taking the easy and uncaring road of dooming squeegee kids to a life of crime, poverty or both. They deserve so much better — and they’re capable of so much more.

what happens when we examine local government meetings, often dismissed as tedious and utilitarian, through a theatrical frame.

 While we encountered moments of expected gridlock and procedural boredom, we also saw opportunities for hope and cooperation. In Bismarck, N.D., one council member told me that his job was to “lean in and listen to what causes pain for people and really try to do something about it,” and he felt that this calling transcended his political views or party. 

Perhaps one response to theatrical far-right extremism, then, is this: Instead of trying to build community or find middle ground with people who will probably always disagree with us, we can embrace the theatrical in our own ways and show up with our own creative tools. It’s what organizers do when they bring a hundred tenants dressed in matching colors to push back on a punishing rent law, or what neighborhood kids do when they dress up and prepare elegant speeches to challenge stereotypes and policy. Thinking in these terms convinced us that we could craft a theater piece that embodied that promise.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/08/12/local-government-theater-ranciere-plato/

Blackstone River Greenway

 Walk, Rollerblade, bicycle.

https://www.traillink.com/trail/blackstone-river-greenway/#trail-detail-reviews

Sonja Henie

Family of Four Tandem Bicycle

Bicycling Family

Obituary

 

Posted inObituaries

Dr. Robert L. Massucco Sr.

MOUNT DESERT – Dr. Robert “Bob” Louis Massucco Sr., DDS, 77, died peacefully on Jan. 21, 2014, at his home. He was born Oct. 23, 1936, in Westfield, Mass., the son of Louis J. and Roberta M. (Ring) Massucco.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, class of 1958, and the University of Pennsylvania Dental School, he served as an Oral Surgeon in the U.S. Air Force in Stephenville, Newfoundland.
In the early 1970s he moved his family from Aspen, Colo., to Maine, where he set up his family practice. Dr. Massucco, affectionately known to all as “Dr. Bob” was the dentist for Mount Desert (Somesville, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Manset, Bass Harbor) for more than 30 years, and is responsible for the smiles of an entire generation of the residents. A trip to the dentist always came with stories of his boys or latest adventures and usually ended with pints of blueberries and a hug.
An avid outdoorsman and passionate sportsman, Dr. Bob was regularly seen running or skiing along the roads, paths, and trails of Acadia National Park all times of the year. An avid canoer, he raced or paddled in the best of Maine’s whitewater rivers. In the winter, Dr. Bob selflessly donated thousands of hours volunteering to bring cross country skiing to the dozens of miles of carriage roads throughout the Park and was recognized and loved as a Friend of Acadia. He pioneered the use of snowmobiles to place tracks for thousands of skiers of all levels to use and enjoy. Many winter weekends, he could be found with his family and friends on the slopes of Squaw Mountain, at Moosehead Lake.
Shortly after moving to Maine, Dr. Bob fulfilled one of his childhood dreams and purchased a blueberry farm in Downeast Maine. The farm became known to all as Dr. Bob’s Blueberries. His sweet and tangy low bush wild blueberries graced many tables in the form of muffins, pies, and jams.
Despite his passion for his work and extra activities, Dr. Bob never missed the opportunity to be “lead cheerleader” for his boys sporting activities. Beginning at little league games, continuing on through High School soccer and basketball, Dr. Bob could be seen (and heard!) supporting his son’s teams both Home and Away.
Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary “Mimi” (LaTaif) Massucco; two sons, Robert “Bart” L. Massucco Jr., DVM and wife, Marrisa, of Franklin, Mass., and George Andrew Massucco and fiancée, Michelle Ramos, of San Juan, Puerto Rico; six grandchildren, Liam, Bronte, Lennox, Jian, Josean and Mariana; a brother, Richard J. Massucco of East Otis, Mass.; and sister-in-law, Suzanne Powers of New Milford, Conn.
Friends are invited to call 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. A private interment will be held in the spring at Brookside Cemetery, Mount Desert. Those who desire may make contributions in Bob’s memory to Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, 14 McKenzie Ave., Ellsworth, 04605. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.

Currently, 72 percent of homes in Maine are recreational, which means it has more homes vacant for some of the year than any other state in the country.

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