Wednesday, August 18, 2004

50s Homemaking

I have a fascination for 1950s and earlier American culture. I love going to library book sales and finding books like "How to be a Perfect Housewife" and "Teaching Home Economics." I believe that my interest in this stems from liking crafts--which is how I discovered women-centered, old books--and from realizing that these books had gems of wisdom.

Such points as:

  • Be sure to build up good credit so you can get a loan in case you need it to pay for medical expenses (what a change of concept from 'assume that your health insurance, or others, should and will pay for all necessary medical care').
  • A woman who only saves her best looks, manners and housekeeping for company is saying that she cares less about her family's comfort and opinion of her than she does of total strangers. Point being to make an effort to look nice and keep up the house for you and your family, not to put your 'alone' manners out for public consumption.

Monday, August 16, 2004

New Jersey Plays Fast and Loose with Your Land

This is a comment I posted at Betsy's Page blog about her post on being a resident of New Jersey. She was referring to an article that details the poor management of New Jersey.

I grew up in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. For those unfamiliar with this area of the state, and its unofficial mascot, The Jersey Devil, the Pine Barrens are generally the mainland area near all of the famous South Jersey shore spots. My parents bought a four-acre property when I was five years old. I heard my father tout the property as an investment--a boon in his old age when he could divide it and fund his retirement. It was when I was about ten that a law was passed governing the amount of frontage a property could have--it was slightly more than half the frontage of his investment. That was it: no more additional income from 'his' land. My best friend's father purchased 20 acres when she was little. They held onto to it for 20 years and finally built their retirement home. They sold it three years later to escape the property and income taxes of New Jersey and fled to Delaware. During the sale, they realized very little return on the investment--the lone house they had built on that 20 acre parcel was the full extent of the development allowed by the time they sold--another retirement ruined. New Jersey--the land of broken dreams and little equity.

Kim--no longer a 'Jersey Girl'

Children--Specifically, mine

My husband and I have two children together and I have a step-daughter from my husband's first marriage. My youngest is the much better part of two years old, my oldest is five years old and my step-daughter is ten-and-a-lot years old. I just realized that my step-daughter, at ten, is big enough now for junior sizes--adult clothes. I am amazed at how fast kids grow. Actually, in all fairness, it is certainly not their fault--I did not realize how quickly time would slip by.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

June TIA Arrives

TIA is The Intellectual Activist. Robert Tracinski is the owner and editor. We only receive the print edition, but there is a Daily available through e-mail with a paid subscription. Trancinski has written an article entitle "The Tragic Grandeur of America" specifically speaking of Pat Tillman (the pro football player who gave up millions to join the armed forces and fight and was subsequently killed) and Ronald Reagan. The article is a good recognition that there is an American 'Sense of Life' that still demonstrates a general sense of independance and justice.

Bloggers--Investigative Journalism

I became very interested in blogs after hearing so much about them during the Democrat National Convention. I have been an avid follower of the Opinion Journal's Best of the Web for quite a number of years at this point (is there a James Taranto fan club?). Of course, Instapundit has been called the 'blogfather' and has recently celebrated his third year. Instapundit and Captain's Quarters have taken their amateur journalistic tendencies seriously enough that they have piloted the helm in investigating the the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth allegations in the TV commercial, website and book, Unfit to Command. What I find most interesting is not that the allegations are true or false (I find it relevant, but not surprising that Kerry has lied) but their doggedness in persuing the facts and presenting a coherent case. This is a good example, as is this. Both links include scans of back-up documentation to help determine whether there is a basis of fact for the Unfit to Command claims (at least in this instance, John O'Neill, author of Unfit to Command, is certainly proven right). I cannot underscore enough how seeing these two pursuing these charges against Kerry has changed my take on the two minute segments based on 'he said, she said' with no facts presented--only the packaged facts mass media find from unsubstantiated, supposedly objective experts or press releases. My thanks to Instapundit and Captain Ed.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Amateur Objectivist

I think my most consistent interest in the past few years has been Objectivism. By consistent, I in no way mean in-depth. Thus the title of the post. We have a group that meets every week to discuss topics from an Objectivist viewpoint and also points of Objectivism itself. The discussion last night (of which I was the least knowledgeable) included perception of causality. The main topic, dominating a good two-thirds of our three hour meeting was Dr. Leonard Peikoff's endorsement of John Kerry. In the realm of enthusiasm, it was an understated endorsement and a strident disavowal of W. He references an article written by John Lewis, PhD. Lewis's article is entitled The Threat of a Faith-Based Defense of America.

Using his DIM theory, Peikoff substantiated his backing of Kerry. This is the subject of Peikoff's recent work. Courses of DIM, taught by Peikoff, have been given. We were fortunate to have as guests last night two philosophy grad students from U of Penn. He explained that DIM stands for Disintegration, Integration, and Misintegration. Peikoff's web site describes D1 and M2 as they relate to his opinions of Kerry (D1) and Bush (M2):

For purposes of this excerpt, listeners unfamiliar with DIM can equate 'D1' with the advocate of a mixed economy, and 'M2' with the advocate of totalitarianism.


Welcome to anyone who has enough time to waste to check this out. I am not sure I will do anything with it--but I like the idea and have loved other blogs!