“I’ll take a bot’l o’ erl…” Brooklyn in Biloxi

BrooklynBiloxi

Both of my parents were born in Brooklyn, but my father never betrayed it much; he'd somehow managed to lose his "deese, dems and does" in young adulthood. My mother, however -- while extremely precise in her speech for the most part -- managed to hang on to a few ear-shuddering noises specific to Cropsey Aveneue (using "bot'l" for "bottle", for example) and speak them to her dying day. I think she did it consciously, and stubbornly as a means of honoring her scrappy Scots-Irish roots.She … [Read more...]

Crouched Behind our Ideologies; Blocked from Salvation – UPDATED

Almost a year ago, I announced that I was going to make a full-hearted effort to pull back from the temptation to ideological excess, and I completely meant it. I was tired of being angry, more than a little convinced that my anger suited the purposes of others, beyond my ken, and fed up with consenting to being bitter -- which was not only exhausting but took me nowhere I wanted to go.Here's what I've learned, so far: It's not always easy. Absent a grace-filled miracle, one can't can't … [Read more...]

Will Leaving a Cash Tip Open Us Up to This Kind of Fraud? -UPDATED

Because my mother was a waitress who worked for mainly for tips, when my husband and I dine out we will very often strike a line through the "tips" portion of the bill, and leave our gratuity in cash. We do this for a couple of reasons -- because often food-servers need the cash to pay the babysitter when they get home; because keeping track of what tips should show up on a paycheck is difficult; because why not let people access their tips immediately?Well, we may decide to stop leaving … [Read more...]

Patheos Hits the Public Square

I am strangely remiss and should have announced this last week, but I will plead family issues and a kid with pneumonia as reasonable distractions that made me forget to tell you about Patheos' latest feature: The Public Square.The Patheos Public Square is meant to be a gathering place, where people of various faiths can come together -- apart from blogs and echo chambers -- to dialogue on pressing issues of the day and how faith perspectives can or should influence them, and to explore … [Read more...]

Where Government Drops Ball, People Must Take Up

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

This is one of those stories that makes you feel good about one human being seeing and hearing and helping another human being, but it also frustrates, because long-term answers are not forthcoming.When she asked if she had paid for all the food she was carrying, Robles confessed that she hadn't."I asked her, 'Why would you do that? What would make you do that?'" [Officer] Thomas told WSVN. "And she said, 'My children are hungry.'"Thomas pulled her aside and checked her criminal … [Read more...]

Sky Garage and Penthouse Beach: Lazarus in the City UPDATED

Today's New York Post has a story on the "Crazy luxe amenities" enjoyed by some of New York's better-heeled, and I don't mean the dogs, although they can put on the Ritz, too, if their owners are so inclined:Since the unveiling of Chelsea’s “sky garage” condo — with an elevator that takes tenants’ cars to their floors — high-rises are rolling out other crazy comforts. [. . .]* 45-45 Center Blvd. in Long Island City, Queens: The 41-story rental’s 50,000-square-foot deck has tennis cou … [Read more...]

Obama Disclaims Red Line; Crosses Red, White and Blue One

So, let me get this straight:1) Obama is not asking the country to "go to war"2) And he "did not set a red line" on Syria and chemical weapons, despite saying last year, "[chemical weapons] would change my calculus, or equation". Note the first person, singular.(Apparently that line was "unscripted". So it didn't count!)3) Despite the admissions of Chris Matthews and Eleanor Holmes Norton who both say Democrats may vote for this thing for no other reason than to close ranks and … [Read more...]

Miley Cyrus, Syria and the Head of Saint John the Baptist

A great deal has been written this week about 20 year-old Miley Cyrus and her maniacally over-the-top performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. As Mark Shea points out, as the world stands on the brink of something dire and deadly the public seeks only bread and circuses, which the bottom-line-obsessed press serves up with such alacrity that satire cannot surmount it.The headlines are grim, but they're bare blips within our awareness. Who wants to read about constitutional ethics, war … [Read more...]

Ashton Kutcher: American Subversive?

Here he is, pitching lots of subversive ideas to a crowd that doesn't even realize it."Opportunity looks a lot like hard work." . . . He went on to talk about working from the age of 13 sweeping floors and washing dishes. "I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job."And..."The sexiest thing in the entire world... is being really smart," Kutcher said, gazing around at the … [Read more...]

Transparency: Can you see the illusion, now?

As the great Edward G. Robinson might say, "How do ya like yer transparency now? Ya! Ya!"Obama's "transparency" was always a damned illusion, of course. People bought it b/c they wanted to. In truth, I can't think of a less transparent administration than this one, which keeps using that word as though it means something else.So, here's the latest:The Sunlight Foundation notes that Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, ceased to exist after June 8, … [Read more...]


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