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Under The Influence Of Our Stuff: Lessons From An Old Sears Catalog

Under The Influence Of Our Stuff: Lessons From An Old Sears Catalog

by Rebekah Bills We are under the influence of our stuff—home décor and furnishings, fast fashion, modern art, and too much more—and it’s slowly gnawing away at our contentment and human potential. What prompted this realization? Some old Sears catalogs, actually. And a love for antiques, the reason for which I couldn’t quite put into words. But let me try now. While flipping through an old Sears catalog, the beauty of its  illustrations and the quality of the items depi
I'm A Gen Z Woman. Here's Why I Think Prioritizing Marriage And Family Is Important

I'm A Gen Z Woman. Here's Why I Think Prioritizing Marriage And Family Is Important

by Michaela Estruth “When I grow up, I want to be a mom.” These are common words to hear from young girls; they aspire to be just like their own mothers. But all of a sudden, once those young girls become women, those words become less and less common. Has that maternal desire faded? Perhaps. But might there be another explanation? The question, “What do you want to do?” is a constant ask of every 18- to 22-year-old. College-aged adults like me are just beginning in
The Hidden Benefits Of Homeshcool ( From A Homeschool Graduate )

The Hidden Benefits Of Homeshcool ( From A Homeschool Graduate )

by Cadence McManimon These days, it’s almost common knowledge that homeschooled students have a better academic education, do better in college and careers, and are regarded as “smarter” than students from public schools. Homeschooling families typically gravitate toward this educational lifestyle to avoid the public school environment, to prioritize their faith and family values, to adjust to a more flexible and forgiving lifestyle, and to offer their children a better childhood than that
Defining Decency Up: How To Repair Our Deviant Culture

Defining Decency Up: How To Repair Our Deviant Culture

by Jeff Minick “A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.” So stated New York State Supreme Court Justice Edwin Torres over 30 years ago in a private communication. From the bench, Judge Torres added this lament: “The slaughter of the innocent marches unabated: subway riders, bodega owners, cab drivers, babies; in laundromats, at cash machines, on elevators, in hallways.” We find the judge’s remarks, which read like today’s headlines, cited in Senator Dani
Why Dressing Traditionally Matters

Why Dressing Traditionally Matters

by Cadence McManimon It doesn’t take a fashion designer’s sense to notice the decline of American clothing in the last few decades. The neat suits and dresses of yesteryear have been replaced with stretchy athleisure, the hats and coats vanished in favor of sweatshirts and leggings. Quite honestly, I don’t think fashion and clothing is all that important. Sure, we’ve lost some aesthetics and have nearly erased any sense of modesty. But in the end, clothes are still just clothes, right?
The Dead Will Have Their Say

The Dead Will Have Their Say

by Jeff Minick In his classic work Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton penned these profound words about tradition: For those with no interest in tradition, Chesterton’s words may appear meaningless or, worse, ridiculous. After all, these people might say, the dead are dead, and those who are either ignorant of history or who disdain tradition will pay Chesterton little attention. We see these forces of ignorance and contempt at work today regarding our American past. Knowledge of our hi

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Murdering Meaning: The Verbicide Of Contemporary America

Murdering Meaning: The Verbicide Of Contemporary America

by Jeff Minick In George Orwell’s 1984 are dichotomies now familiar to many Americans: “War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Slavery.” Inscribed on the outside of the white, pyramid-shaped Ministry of Truth, this is the motto of Oceania, a nation governed by “The Party.” The Party designed these slogans to obfuscate the meaning of words, thereby shredding absolute truth and reality. They worked some semantical magic, altered the language, and controlled the people. And l

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There Is Vision And Hope For First Arena

There Is Vision And Hope For First Arena

by Lawana Morse Recently there was a vote for the legislature regarding giving the arena $500,000 of ARP funds. Back in December 2022, this line item was already voted on by the then legislature. The latest vote was to release the funds after the conditions of how the money was to be used were ironed out.  There was some surprise by my ‘yes’ vote, which I knew there would be. I had been approached earlier in the year and was asked my feelings of the County taking on the arena as a coun

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Toxic Chemicals Like Those Found At Elmira High School Site Should Be Banned

Toxic Chemicals Like Those Found At Elmira High School Site Should Be Banned

by Andy Patros   There is always great interest in the history of our community and area.  Mark Twain, Elmira College, American Lafrance, to name just a few historical items. But one piece of history that will always be viewed as a stain on our community, is the toxic history of the Southside/Elmira High School building, an item that had plagued our community for decades.  The high school at 777. S. Main in Elmira, NY, opened in 1979 on property that operated for many years,

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Leaving A Legacy Through Simplicity

Leaving A Legacy Through Simplicity

by Annie Holmquist A few weeks ago, I came across a story in The Washington Post about a young woman, Rosie Grant, who scours graveyards across the country looking for recipes to make. Recipes in a graveyard? Yes, it does sound weird, but Grant was intrigued upon hearing the concept. The first gravestone recipe she came across was featured on Naomi Odessa Miller-Dawson’s grave and was for Spritz cookies. Grant whipped up a batch and shared the results on her TikTok account. Its success

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Opinion: American Workers Feel Alienated, Helpless, And Overwhelmed: Here's One Way To Alleviate Their Malaise

Opinion: American Workers Feel Alienated, Helpless, And Overwhelmed: Here's One Way To Alleviate Their Malaise

First it was the “Great Resignation.” Then it was “nobody wants to work anymore.” Now it’s “quiet quitting.” Yet it seems like no one wants to talk about what I see as the root cause of America’s economic malaise – work under contemporary capitalism is fundamentally flawed. As a political philosopher studying the effects of contemporary capitalism on the future of work, I believe that the inability to dictate and meaningfully control one’s own working life is the problem. Democrat

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Let's Bring Back The Chief And Stop Littering

Let's Bring Back The Chief And Stop Littering

by Jeff Minick On a recent trip from Virginia to Indiana, the friend who was driving me commented on the trash alongside the expressways. With the exception of Route 30’s lightly traveled parts, he was right. Plastic bags, fast-food wrappers, beer bottles, and other debris uglified the roadways.            The motel where we stayed that weekend wasn’t much better. Cigarette butts littered the grounds and the parking lot, likely because the motel offered neither outdoor trash cans nor c

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Let's Stop Blaming Agnes - Instead, Restore Effective Local Government

Let's Stop Blaming Agnes - Instead, Restore Effective Local Government

The Implications of Declining Population In the State of New York (and particularly upstate), over a million and a half residents migrated to other states in the last decade (8% of the state’s population – barely offset by birth and foreign immigration rates). In 2018, as NYS led the nation in this “population outflow”, Governor Andrew Cuomo denied claims that a failing economy due to poor government leadership could be responsible for the decline. Instead, he blamed the weather. “Som

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Our County History Shows That Voters Want To Be Included In Re-Districting Process

Our County History Shows That Voters Want To Be Included In Re-Districting Process

There’s been commentary from some officials and 2022 candidates regarding the current redistricting that the County Charter tasks the Legislature with after each census. With some time browsing the County website, one can piece together minutes, videos and audio recordings located on various pages. In the interest of discerning fact from opinions, I encourage everyone to make the effort. Those records provide a revealing glimpse at conduct and sentiments of some local officials. To address

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Why The Current Flight To Small Towns May Save America

Why The Current Flight To Small Towns May Save America

A friend of mine decided to shake the dust of the cities off his feet last year and migrate to a more rural area. Reflecting on the move, he seemed surprised at how much he was enjoying the change. My takeaway from our conversation was that his life was fresh and new now that he has left the problems of the city. Having a community of reasonable people to live amongst wasn’t so bad either. My friend isn’t the only one who made such a change in the last year or so; Minnesota Public Radio hig

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Read The Vanishing Volumes While You Still Can

Read The Vanishing Volumes While You Still Can

Reading through online headlines I often see a story entitled, “Demi Moore at 58 Hasn’t Aged Well.” Though I’ve never clicked on that link, I did google “Demi Moore at 58” and thought she looked pretty darn good. Sure, she’s probably gone under the plastic surgeon’s knife a few times—those high cheek bones seem a dead giveaway—but most online comments about her are complimentary, telling us she’s still a physical beauty in her sixth decade.          But who cares? Go to any Walmart or groce

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We're All On This Train Together

We're All On This Train Together

by Jeff Minick   “All aboard!”            North Carolina writer Anna Raglan was delighted to find that Amtrak’s conductors still called out these words to passengers before departing the station. In her new travelogue The Train From Greenville, Raglan, a kind and wise friend of mine, describes a journey she made by rail from Greenville, South Carolina, to Seattle and back again. A wife, mother, and professional in her mid-50s, Raglan was apprehensive about the trip. She packe

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What The Flux? How The Pandemic Is Kicking Our Emotional Asses & What We Can Do About It

What The Flux? How The Pandemic Is Kicking Our Emotional Asses & What We Can Do About It

As a mental health counselor, I am witnessing an emotional ass-beating unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before.  People are coming into my office defeated, exhausted and some, barely able to function.  Others are restless, uneasy, walking out of jobs and even marriages without a second thought.   Some are fleeing, making big moves, a futile attempt to escape themselves.  Some are consumed with rage, guilt and shame.  Prior to COVID, it wasn’t unusual to have parallels between my story and the

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American Barbarism Is Alive And Well

American Barbarism Is Alive And Well

The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop when a rap song began playing in the café. The F-word—you know, the one that rhymes with muck and yuck—featured prominently in the lyrics. I was happy there were no children present.  After leaving the café, I went to our library to return some books. Next door to the library is a public park with two basketball courts and a playground for children. On my way back to the car, I could hear some kid yelling the F-bomb as he called on his teammate t

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My Kids' School Won't Reinstate Mask Mandate Despite Recent Surge In Covid Cases. Here's What I Chose To Do

My Kids' School Won't Reinstate Mask Mandate Despite Recent Surge In Covid Cases. Here's What I Chose To Do

by Nicole Carr - ProPublica  My second grader’s almond-shaped brown eyes widened over the doubled-up N95 and cloth masks I’d instructed her and her older sister to wear that day. There, in the foyer of her school, stood her unmasked principal, greeting the hundreds of families who were flocking to a July 29 open house. We passed by the front office staff, also mostly unmasked. In the crowds we observed, there were as many unmasked parents and children as masked ones. Families bump

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The Decline And Decadence of Our Manners And Dress

The Decline And Decadence of Our Manners And Dress

by Jeff Minick Yesterday I was tapping away on the laptop when through the window I saw a young man walking up the drive toward the house. He was shirtless, wearing jeans and brogans—do they still call work boots by this name?—and I correctly assumed he was one of the crew repaving the driveway of the house across the street. When I opened the door, he offered me a business card and began telling me the crew could repair my driveway as well. Shirtless, sweaty, and a bit pudgy, the youn

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We Are All Progagandists Now

We Are All Progagandists Now

by Jennifer Mercieca The U.S. is in an information war with itself. The public sphere, where Americans discuss public issues, is broken. There’s little discussion – and lots of fighting.  One reason why: Persuasion is difficult, slow and time-consuming – it doesn’t make good television or social media content – and so there aren’t a lot of good examples of it in our public discourse.  What’s worse, a new form of propaganda has emerged – and it’s enlisted us all as propagandists.

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Dads, The Nation Needs You

Dads, The Nation Needs You

Father. Now there’s a word weighted with meaning. For Americans indoctrinated in gender politics, father brings to mind the patriarchy, male domination, and oppression. For others, the word father summons nightmares from childhood, abuse, slaps and punches, drunken rages, constant criticism, and neglect. Or maybe they remember Dad as the man who would come home from work, grunt a hello, pop open a beer, plop down in front of the television, and heaven help anyone who disturbed him

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Leaving Love Scenes To The Imagination

Leaving Love Scenes To The Imagination

by Jeff Minick  In the movie Casablanca, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) demands her brokenhearted former love, Rick (Humphrey Bogart), hand over some letters of transit that will allow her husband Victor to escape the Nazis. When he refuses, she pulls a gun and repeats her request, but Rick tells her, “Go ahead and shoot. You’ll be doing me a favor.” Ilsa then breaks into tears, confesses she still loves him, and the scene closes with the two of them embracing and then kissing. The next shot sh

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Thanks But No Thanks: Why I Haven't Gotten The Vaccine

Thanks But No Thanks: Why I Haven't Gotten The Vaccine

by Jeff Minick In a recent conversation with an internist, the good doctor asked me whether I’d gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. When I told him ‘No,” he then asked if I intended to get it at all. “Not unless someone forces it on me,” I said. I then asked him the same question. “I got the first injection, but I think I’m skipping the second one,” he replied. “I’ve read up on it, and the first injection is probably good enough.” He then cited some statistics, and we let the subject drop.

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