Archives - May 2015

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May. 28

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The War on Poverty

            In the early 1700s, Jonathan Swift published “A Modest Proposal,” his treatise “for Preventing the Poor People in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Public.”  Midway through the essay, he claims he was assured by “a very knowing American” of his acquaintance that “a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled.”

            There was quite an uproar among the general public, many who didn’t recognize the satire in his suggestion that Ireland could solve the problem of poverty by having poor people sell their children to the well-heeled as a gourmet delicacy.  The poor parents would have one less mouth to feed and the aristocrat could have a “well-grown ...

May. 15

Not again . . .

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Voucherpallooza

            Well, heck, the Texas Legislature is at it again.  Two weeks ago our Senate tentatively approved, by an 18-12 vote, a school voucher program.  They want to give tax incentives to businesses that donate money to fund private school scholarships.  The move has been cheered on by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the poster child for bad decisions concerning Texas public schools.

            The bill was written by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood.  Democratic senators, with one dissenting Republican, opposed the deal, but Taylor rejected all of their concerns, opining on private schools: “Those schools have the highest accountability system there is.  Because those parents are paying to go to that school.  And if that school is not getting the job they want done, they’re not going to keep paying for it.”  The problem with his unsound reasoning is these ...

May. 13

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Standing on Principle

            I have been an ardent admirer of Jimmy Carter for decades.  From the Playboy interview where he admitted to lusting in his heart to his selfless work with Habitat for Humanity to his most recent participation in The Elders, a group of independent global leaders who work together on peace and human rights around the world .  Their priority issues have been the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Korean Peninsula, Sudan, sustainable development, and equality for girls and women.

            It is the equality issue that touches a nerve in me.  There are so many places around the world, particularly third-world countries, where females are treated as lesser beings.  But now, lest we get too self-righteous, he has brought the discussion back to our own shores.  I recently read an article President Carter penned titled “Losing my religion for equality.”  Carter ...

May. 1

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The Poetry of America

            It may have escaped your notice (it does for many), but April was National Poetry Month.  And it got me to thinking that we really do need more poetry in our lives.  Walt Whitman, who is considered the father of American poetry, once thought he could save the nation with it.  He realized early on that the North and the South were heading toward a catastrophic civil war, and if he could only get the people to focus on what was good about our country rather than what was bad, the separation might not ever occur.  Of course, history proved him terribly wrong.  Call me Pollyanna, but I think he was right all along.  More people should have listened to him.  They still can. 

            In his contemplation of the grass, which he termed “the handkerchief of the ...

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Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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