Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Wonderful Family. An Insider's Look

The other day I was involved in a discussion on voting and the tendencies of certain groups to vote in blocs. Specifically someone was making repeated references to a statistic claiming that 90% of blacks voted Democratic, in his words "blindly," "devotedly," and "lovingly." I know, right? Just a tad racist. He's otherwise a reasonably intelligent guy from what I know from our posting history.

So we started talking about kinds of blocs and why you can't assume all or most members of that bloc act in tandem, especially at the voting booth.

I decided to challenge his theory. I offered to provide information about my family to see if he could determine how, or if, we would vote "as a bloc." He declined the challenge, which kind of  showed his inability to believably defend his statistics and assumptions.

But, anyway, I have an incredible family! With vast and varied experiences, which we share with each other! We try our best to stay connected -thank you Facebook- and get together regularly, in celebrations with now four generations of family! Amazing, right?

So though he declined the challenge, I realized I wanted to share the incredibleness of my family! So I'm doing it here. The info is not all encompassing, just the usual stuff considered by political organizations when determining their campaign strategies targeted toward certain voters. We were, after all, talking politics when this little project came to mind. Here's the info I came up with, just from memory. I'm sure there are inaccuracies, but I suck at math and with so many people, especially young adults whose lives are in flux, I hope I've gotten it right. My apologies if I didn't. If anybody has corrections, feel free to let me know. And dammit! Get those changes in for the directory! Yes, for those of you readers who aren't familiar with us, the family is close enough and large enough to justify publishing an actual directory of contact information!

I come from a large extended family on my mother's side. Her mother's ancestry was full Irish and her father's was full English.  My father's side was mixed from the UK and Ireland, so I'll focus on just the maternal side.

My mom's family had seven kids. They married and produced our generation of thirty-five kids. We have multiplied and brought forth another sixty-nine, say fifty of whom are old enough to vote. They in turn have added two old enough to vote and twelve more who are toddlers. So, if my math is correct, that is a total of 125 people.  Subtracting the deceased because, even though we are predominantly Boston area based Irish Catholic, our dead don't vote, and given that we really do only vote once each, and subtracting minors, that means that we have a voting bloc of eighty-eight people. There are a few that might not vote but I think nearly all do. So let's be conservative and say it's an eighty person bloc, all of whom are white with an English/Irish Roman Catholic background passed on from the couple who started this incredible group!

So, the make-up of this voting bloc is thus, according to my maybe-not-so-accurate but well intended attempt to describe it:

My Episcopalian grandfather converted to Catholicism to marry my grandmother. My generation is predominantly Catholic with a few Episcopalians and agnostics. The next generation is fairly mixed and adds a couple of atheists and a Jew, also a marriage-related conversion. So let's take out religion, except to leave in Christian-like values.

 All but seven are college educated, a few with two-year degrees, eleven with at least one advanced degree. So, well educated. 

Economic- with such a varied range of ages and careers, predominantly somewhere in what is considered a broad range of working middle class, with exceptions.

One has spent his entire career in the military, another served during Vietnam, one served in Iraq and two returned home from deployments within the last year and intend to continue their military careers, both in Army Special Forces. 

There are firefighters and police officers, teachers, artists,  doctors, lawyers, construction workers, a cook, and for some reason a humanities major like I am can't fathom, a goodly number of MBAs in finance and insurance. I don't do the numbers game. Correction, I CAN'T do the numbers game. So, heavy on the sciences and maths, and white collars,  light on the arts and blue collars. 

All white Americans except two adopted from different countries, so not American by birth, but at 12 (Vietnam) and 14 (Russia), they don't vote anyway. 

Recent posts I've made, moving me to "Bring Back the Blog!"

On "Tiger Taints the Masters"

Tiger's game. Tiger's rules. Tiger has pwoned the PGA for years. The PGA will not even sniff at the hand that feeds them. They're trading a level of integrity self-imposed by players for years for advertising money and exposure. I used to applaud their attempts to reach out to a greater audience and expand the numbers of young amateur golfers who would eventually feed the pro system. Now they just suck. I can see my dad, my uncle Jim C., and their fellow BHCC players all collectively turning in their graves at this obvious dismissal of integrity by the world's greatest professional representative of the game. My dad always stressed the importance of fair play, usually on the football field but especially on the golf course, where the player is responsible for being his own judge, referee, official. Today, no Masters for me. I'll watch some highlights, unless somebody actually attempts to restore integrity to the Green Jacket. Instead I'm gonna watch some honest-toGod hockey, where rules are rules and nobody gives a shit but everybody knows it. They play in the light even when there's no "spotlight." and they make no excuses for it.


I think the conversation about whether Woods should have been disqualified and/or should withdraw on his own turns on how the rule is applied. The question is whether this part of the rules applies to Tiger's situation: "Facts that he or she didn't know and cannot reasonably have discovered prior to returning his scorecard." Whether or not the rules in general apply to Tiger Woods is a discussion for another day!

In this situation, Tiger himself triggered the controversy. He said in an interview that he changed the position of his drop because it would provide him a better opportunity to stay on the green with his next shot. That makes it an intentional and strategic violation of the rule to gain an advantage. YOU JUST CAN'T DO THAT!!!

It makes his score on that hole questionable because, by his own admission, Tiger knowingly broke the rule and was not at the mercy of a fact he didn't know or couldn't reasonably have known. Few of us can be convinced that the world's greatest golfer, after having played thousands of rounds of golf, wouldn't know his drop was illegal, making his recorded score incorrect, making his signing and presenting his scorecard a direct violation.


Tiger ADMITTED to putting his ball away from the spot it should have been, and that his action gave him an advantage. In golf, where players pride themselves on fair play and integrity, this is called cheating. Then he lied about it on Twitter.

Tiger, after his match:..
"So I went back to where I had played it from but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of where I felt I hit. And that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or skip over the back."

Anybody who plays a sport where ball placement is key KNOWS there are rules regarding that placement at the start of the next shot. That's why all major sports have specific rules about ball placement in specific situations.

Tiger, on Twitter AFTER being busted by a viewer, who reported his move and being assigned a penalty, is lying, saying he didn't realize what he did was a violation.  Really? The "world's greatest golfer" doesn't know an illegal drop when he makes one?


On Gun Control

In response to the following post, it also needs to be considered that we are now well protected by a real regulated milita in the development of the armed forces as well as official reserve forces. Civilians who depend on the Second Amendment aren't arming themselves against tyranny and foreign invaders, as much as they want to delude themselves or us into believing they are. They are arming themselves against each other and the rest of us. You can own as many guns as you want. I don't have a problem with responsible gun ownership! Just don't hide behind the second amendment because, as written, it doesn't truly apply today and imparting it at every turn lessens the impact of your arguments.  We don't want to take your guns away, we just want responsibility and an end to reckless and negligent owners. And to stop hearing about rights being based on a situation that is centuries in the past. I think the Second Amendment needs to be , itself, amended. I would retain the phrase " the right to bear arms" but I would update the rest to apply to the current atmosphere and weapons technology.

 On Facebook:  "Hans Guth:
 Knite Wolf - what kind of "arms" do you think they were referring to 200+ years ago? Musket rifles? By all means - have as many of those as you want. The definition of what the 2nd amendment refers to MUST be reevaluated based on the development of technology."




Like a bad penny, I've turned up again!

After years  -can't believe it's been that long!-  of inactivity, I'm going to restart my blog. I've just found myself pondering too many issues, and responding on too many boards, that I figured I'll just go back to putting my thoughts and opinions out there on my own. I LOVE to discuss things. Lots of things. Very eclectic things! And people! Some would say I love to argue. That has a ring of truth to it. I can be stubborn. I can be tenacious. I can be an ass! But I try always to be respectful and open-minded. And I encourage opposite viewpoints! How else can we learn and maybe even evolve our attitudes and opinions if we don't listen to the opposition?

So please feel free to comment. But feel equally free to argue, to question, to challenge my statements, either factual or opinion.

And if you feel the urge, take a look at some of my old posts! In the near future I will revisit and update them, because a LOT has changed since then, both personally and in our world!

So, with all due credit to ELO,

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends 

We're so glad you could attend Come inside! Come inside! There behind a glass is a real blade of grass be careful as you pass Move along! Move along! Come inside, the show's about to start guaranteed to blow your head apart Rest assured you'll get your money's worth The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll ...

Y'all come back, now. Ya hear?