Category: society
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society

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A 1964 Christmas Story

It was 1964. Life hadn’t been great for the girl, but this particular year had been mostly a nightmare. Her Mother and Step-Father had separated. Finances were next to non existent. School for the girl became a burden on the mother. At only 15 she was resigned to possibly never finishing high school. She was […]

12Dec2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Aren’t We Done Yet?!

I can recall earlier Presidential campaigns that were contemptuous to say the least and how I really, really could hardly bear the wait till the first Tuesday of November. This year is the worst I could ever have imagined. Although, recent postings on social media show us there is nothing new in this world and […]

4Oct2016 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Oh Lord Won’t You Give Me?

I loved and love Janis Joplin. I like the song she sang, Mercedes Benz, because it reminds me of a Church I attended with a friend when I was about 16. It was located in South St. Joseph. There was a neon sign outside proclaiming PENTECOSTAL SOMETHING OR OTHER CHURCH. A bright white two story […]

31Jul2016 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Does Race Really Matter?

Transcript from Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Walla Walla, Washington December 20, 1950 Seattle (AP) – A blow on the head with a baseball bat in a neighborhood altercation was fatal Tuesday to Merritt Scotten, 33 year old Seattle pipe fitter. He died of a skull fracture Saturday night. Leon W. Venson 28 a neighbor has […]

25Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Barking Dogs and Refugees

Nearly thirty years ago, I was living through a particularly rough patch of life. My husband and I were divorcing. All the usual ugliness that comes with divorce was going full force. My family was literally diminishing before my eyes. My oldest son was in the Navy on board the USS Forrestal which was in […]

18Nov2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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The Cost of Illegal Immigration

Sometimes, I think with my heart and project my motherly instincts and experiences in an effort to understand others. In the case of illegal immigrants, I have often thought, if I were a Mexican mother living in the deplorable poverty and enduring the crimes that, reportedly, occur in Mexico. If the opportunity came, I would […]

13Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Starbucks vs Christmas Cheer or Lack of

OK, here’s my tilt on the subject. I don’t recall Starbucks declaring an affinity to any religion. Not that they haven’t, I just haven’t heard anything about it. They are a business in the business to make money by making coffee. I have never had a Starbucks product. Probably never will, I find spending more […]

12Nov2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Life After Tuberculosis

As suggested by a good friend and cousin of mine, I will try to shine a light on a personal experience regarding Tuberculosis, the “Curse of King Tut”. The year was 1965 early Autumn. My mother’s estranged husband was taken to Mount Vernon, MO. This was at the time a ‘sanitarium’ for individuals with ‘lung […]

31Oct2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Trial of John Doy

TRIAL OF JOHN DOY.In the month of January, 1859, Wm. A. Newman, of Platte County, had a favorite servant to run away from his home, in Weston, to Lawrence, Kansas. Dick being an active, intelligent and skillful carpenter, Newman offered a large reward, and in the month of February, 1859, at a point fourteen miles […]

9Jan2015 | | Comments Off on Trial of John Doy | Continued
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Alcohol is Not a Truth Serum

My volunteer work takes me to the front lines of the war on addiction.  Yesterday I was quietly minding my own business, in a place known for alcoholism traffic, when a staggering drunk passed by.  Ron was a happy drunk.  He laughed when he told the obvious, “I’m pretty drunk”.  Personally, I don’t believe anyone […]

26Jul2013 | | Comments Off on Alcohol is Not a Truth Serum | Continued
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On Alcoholics Anonymous – A Letter From Prison

Corresponding with an inmate in the Missouri prison system can be rewarding – and it can be heartbreaking.  My friend Joey is again in prison.  Joey is not a criminal – but four DUI’s will get anyone some time behind bars.  I met Joey when he was in Drug Court.  He was my client. As […]

22Apr2013 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Jung and Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Carl Jung was a genius on the level of Albert Einstein.  Jung might say that he and Einstein were able to tap their unconscious and the collective unconscious for what appear to be ideas of the human imagination.  Jung’s work now defines an entire branch of modern psychology – in his lifetime he captured the […]

18Feb2013 | | Comments Off on Jung and Alcoholism and Drug Addiction | Continued
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Trayvon Martin – Racism – and the Media Message

We live in difficult times.  The murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida has refocused our Nation’s conscience on racism.  After a month of media review it appears that the murderer, George Zimmerman, was an over zealous wannabee-police-officer neighborhood watchman.  Zimmerman  was looking for his chance to be a hero.  He saw a young black man […]

24Mar2012 | | Comments Off on Trayvon Martin – Racism – and the Media Message | Continued
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Buy American

There use to be a time when there was no need to campaign for “buy American”.  Buying American made products was the norm especially in the 1950’s when our country was strong pre and post war.  But those times are gone and the reality is they will probably never return – at least not with […]

13Nov2010 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Youth Violence – Not Just Fight or Flight

Mark Twain used youth violence as a humorous anecdote necessary to the maturing process of young boys. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer two boys (one is Tom) confront each other on the street; they taunt, tease, dare, and then scuffle. Tom is victorious when the other boy cries ’nuff!’ Not one sociologist at the time raised a stink about Twain’s portrayal of youth violence.

22Aug2010 | | 3 comments | Continued
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The Short End of The Regulation Stick

The hard earned emotions of our life influence our thoughts.  They distract us from our initial purpose.   I often begin a post and when finished I have to change the title to reflect the actual post – the burr under my saddle led me off course.  Many of us have burrs under our saddles that […]

5Jul2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Intellectual VS Emotional Struggle With Death Penalty

I am not a great intellectual liberal – just an average intellect liberal.  I try to understand issues at practical and ethical perspectives.  For instance, it is unethical to bomb cities – but I agree that Harry Truman was right to use the A-Bomb for extremely practical reasons – he avoided the imminent invasion of […]

23Apr2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Criminal Paradigm, Fiddling around on the Roof

We were watching the old Topol character in Fiddler on the Roof. He portrays a man who struggles with tradition, struggles with the idea of changing ideology, struggles with changing his cultural prejudices. The movie is so universally accepted because all people relate to changing times and changing cultures, and the gut wrenching emotion those […]

16Apr2010 | | 8 comments | Continued
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Taxing Tobacco

Tobacco taxes our health care system with many chronic ailments. And tobacco is taxed by the government. On Wednesday, April 1, 2009, the federal tobacco tax on a pack of cigarettes will go up $.62, from $.39 to $1.01. This must surely be a good thing, right? Well, like other efforts at social engineering, it cuts two ways.

30Mar2009 | | 2 comments | Continued
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The Curious Case of Nadya Suleman – Octo-Mom

Is Nadya Suleman crazy, or what? She had six children by in-vitro fertilization, then had a whole bunch of frozen embryos implanted, resulting in eight babies at one birth. She now has fourteen children. She has no husband and no job. She lives with her mother in a home that is about to be foreclosed. Is she crazy, or what? This is a case of immaturity meeting Dr. Frankenstein.

25Feb2009 | | 5 comments | Continued
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A United Methodist Perspective

I am a United Methodist. My wife and I joined a United Methodist church in Sugar Land, Texas before moving to Nashville, TN, and when we moved to Iowa, we transferred our membership to a church that was just down the street from our house. We went through the ceremony for becoming a member of […]

16Feb2009 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Homeless Community

This writer has worked and volunteered at the same social service agencies dedicated to cleaning up the river banks, to rescuing the downtrodden, to saving the helpless, threading the eye of the needle as a gateway to Heaven. We will walk through the Pearly Gates and God will thump us on the forehead with his middle finger, look at us in disgust, and then invite us in to the ultimate shelter from damnation. We will be seated in the middle row, the homeless will have front row seats.

9Feb2009 | | 3 comments | Continued
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The Changing Face of Etiquette

As we, our culture, are catered to by technology and the marketing machine, we begin to feel more entitled to the things that we consume and the benefits of our service industry. The idea of serving others is lost on those who become complacent with being served themselves.

20Jan2009 | | Comments Off on The Changing Face of Etiquette | Continued
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Breed Specific Legislation

BSL is another rights stripping phenomenon that has gained momentum through fear tactics. This is another example of individual’s willingness to accept anything from the media as the gospel truth. BSL has snowballed in that last couple of years. What this type of legislation does is either outright ban a certain breed of dog or […]

3Jan2009 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Drug Court – Systemically Flawed

A quick check of the court briefs in the local newspaper gives startling evidence of losing the war on drugs. The paper reported six people sentenced to prison – all for drug charges – five methamphetamine and one cocaine. We are talking about rural northwest Missouri. The first Drug Court was established in Dade County […]

21Dec2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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The Modern Retreat to the Castle Keep

The worry is not that we are getting more or less safe, but that our perceptions of safety are changing. We have recreated the walled and gated villas of the past and, between our fenced yard, our attached garage, and our parking garage at work, can go entire days and weeks without seeing someone from our neighborhood, let alone someone from around town. We are creating a sense of safety that is grounded in separation rather than reality. We are raising a generation of children who are housed in homogeneous zones that have a comfortable, rhythmic vibration of sameness.

20Dec2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Pay Day Loans and Porn

There are scavengers among us. They prey on the poor, the oppressed, and, strangely enough, the military. There are some things that the poor, the oppressed, and the military have in common. Loneliness, desperation, and a lack of money. I think that it is time to call a rat a rat. Two of the industries […]

13Dec2008 | | Comments Off on Pay Day Loans and Porn | Continued
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The Poverty Paradigm – Misunderstanding Charity

We talk charitably about social justice, often with the liberal view of defending the disenfranchised. Taken out of context we might be seen as classic do-gooders who only enable irresponsibility. That is the common refrain for shallow, heartless capitalists who do not realize that there is profit in assisting the impoverished. Dr. Muhammad Yanus, an […]

12Dec2008 | | Comments Off on The Poverty Paradigm – Misunderstanding Charity | Continued
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Thoughts on Misunderstanding Charity

The holiday season is upon us, and everyone is geared up for the giving season. I think that a conversation on the merits of charity is essential at this stage of the game. I read an article on Trying To Follow a while back about clothing drives. It has some great fodder for conversation. In […]

12Dec2008 | | Comments Off on Thoughts on Misunderstanding Charity | Continued
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A Chat About Laughing – A Social Regulator

My son and I chat every day – usually on line – (We live in different States).  Sometimes we cut and paste the conversations into an article, usually when it is relevant to something that is being discussed here at The Fireside Post of when it is relevant to a current event.  This one is […]

9Dec2008 | | Comments Off on A Chat About Laughing – A Social Regulator | Continued
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Axioms of Simple People

The world often seems over populated with simple people.  Simple people generally expose themselves rather quickly.  They may be conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, Christian or atheist, black or white, rich or poor.  We recognize them through their life axioms.  The simplified axioms seem harmless on the surface – but that is the problem.  […]

8Dec2008 | | Comments Off on Axioms of Simple People | Continued
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The Scout Initiative: Naming Social Injustice

I have been thinking more about how to deal with social injustice, and I dug up this clip from To Kill A Mockingbird. There are layers of great stuff in this clip: There are several examples here of the actions that make a social movement. When Atticus learns that the Sheriff is not around, he […]

6Dec2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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A Conflict of Ethics

All of us have ethics. We may not think consciously about them – but we have them. Sometimes these ethics are in conflict with each other – when that happens we find Hamlet, struggling with self doubt, pondering, “To be or not to be?” Ethics do not follow a smooth continuum of linear progression, with […]

6Dec2008 | | Comments Off on A Conflict of Ethics | Continued
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OJ – Celebrity Tragedy

OJ Simpson has been a darling of the media for forty years.  Few celebrities reach this level of achievement, we might think of Elvis and the Beatles.  We could debate the similarities of these celebrities – rags to riches, riches to rags, stardom and tragedy.  But OJ is strikingly different. Elvis Presley was a confused […]

5Dec2008 | | Comments Off on OJ – Celebrity Tragedy | Continued
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Keeping up with the Jones’

Economists tell us we need credit to make the world go round. Rarely is anything bought with cash anymore. Unsecured credit is available everywhere you look. We all want the next big thing before our neighbors. So do we become our surroundings? Most of us have been there or are close to someone who has. […]

11Nov2008 | | Comments Off on Keeping up with the Jones’ | Continued
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Thrift Stores-Savings and Charity

Over the course of this year we have seen everything go up in price. Gas has hit over four dollars per gallon and the price milk is up 30%. With rising energy costs, living expenses and the high rate of unemployment, we are all searching for ways to cut costs. Thrift stores can be a […]

27Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Thrift Stores-Savings and Charity | Continued
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Lincoln’s Rhetorical Flourishes, Shame on McCain/Palin

The idea of responding to Sarh Palin is contemptible.   Responding to McCain is bad enough.  But McCain has put the country in this position – and respond we must.  The latest attack by Palin is to suggest in a demeaning manner that Barack Obama “… knows something about rhetorical flourishes.” Be whatever you want, Sarah […]

24Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Lincoln’s Rhetorical Flourishes, Shame on McCain/Palin | Continued
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I Am A Pregnant Teen

It was difficult for me to sleep last night. I was checking the statistics on our magazine yesterday. The  statistics page gives us two views of where our readers came from.  ‘Referrers’ lists the other sites that reference our site.  ‘Search Engine Terms’ is a list of the key words individuals used to search the […]

22Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Prophecy of Barack Obama

Two years ago Barack Obama decided to run for President of the United States.  There were others.  Seasoned politicians.  Politicians who have been representing people in an official capacity for years.  Each of the candidates spoke to the people.  Each presented their case.  Obama said, “This is about change.” We the people cheered. Think of […]

21Oct2008 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Embracing Casino Gambling

Casino gambling has spread across this great nation.  In Punkin Center, Missouri, where this writer lives, we see our neighbors leaving to go to “the boat.”  Wow, we think, right here in Punkin Center.  But that is not all.  Casino issues are on ballots across this country.  The Presidential election will draw big crowds – […]

19Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Men At Work

We were driving down the street this morning and we noticed three men putting in a retaining wall. We saw a couple of shovels and a wheelbarrow. There were stacks of those pre-formed hex-shaped concrete ‘stones.’ The men had dug out the bank and were placing the stones in place. No more mowing of a […]

14Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Men At Work | Continued
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Paul Newman – Salad Dressings, Gunslingers and Plastic Jesus

Paul Newman led a life we can all admire and hopefully emulate. He wasn’t just a good actor, he was a great humanitarian. This writer is not fully qualified to write a biography of this man, we would just like to host a brief celebration of his life. This writer’s first introduction to Paul Newman […]

12Oct2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Obama’s Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

Barack Obama is  on a journey.  The destination is unknown, but every mountain, every valley, every raging river will be crossed with determination, with hope, with optimism.  The forest is full of danger, the valley in the shadow of death, Obama fears no evil. Obama knows that the truth is with him.  His cup is […]

12Oct2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Finding Love On-Line For Old People

This writer is a member of the AARP – that should tell you something.  We are on the AARP e-mail list.  Yesterday we received an email titled, “Ohg, Find Love On Line.”  We are laughing as we write – the imagery of old people and internet dating was just too much for our sensibilities.  Perhaps […]

11Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Immigration – Underground Railroad

We are talking about people. Suffering people. oppressed people. Oppressed by poverty, by repressive land owners, by corporate greed, by poor health care, and by an unresponsive government. North, they are told. North to a land of opportunity. A land where they will not be subjected to the fierce drudgery of poverty. They have relatives […]

11Oct2008 | | 11 comments | Continued
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I Am A Pregant Teen

It was difficult for me to sleep last night. I was checking the statistics on our magazine yesterday. The  statistics page gives us two views of where our readers came from.  ‘Referrers’ lists the other sites that reference our site.  ‘Search Engine Terms’ is a list of the key words individuals used to search the […]

5Oct2008 | | Comments Off on I Am A Pregant Teen | Continued
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Tina Fey In The Debate

Saturday Night Live has hit a gold mine with Governor Sarah Palin.  Tina Fey has mastered the impersonation.  This particular piece of October 4, 2008, captures the comedy of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin in their one and only vice presidential debate. …… Check out Brian Williams with David Letterman HERE.

5Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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United Way – agency corruption

This writer is a big supporter of the concept of United Way – with skepticism for the actual practice. The concept is simple – there are many social service agencies in all communities that compete for the limited local dollars available. The idea of the United Way was to eliminate all of the individual fund […]

25Sep2008 | | 14 comments | Continued
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I am a house-husband, not a space man

I am a house husband.  I think that there is still some social barrier within me that creates a stigma around staying at home with the kids. I create my own stigma, I guess, I still feel a little weird when telling people what I do. Its a lot like telling them that I am […]

24Sep2008 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Being a House-Husband

I am a house-husband. That is, I stay at home with the kids and my wife works full time. We are a non-traditional family, I guess, and it suits me fine most of the time. I get the impression, though, that the pats on the back that I get from people are not always genuine. […]

22Sep2008 | | 2 comments | Continued