Mother’s love still lives on

The most cherished gift of my college education was $5.

The second was $50 that came as the reward for having completed another school year, a gift from a childless great-aunt.

It was the third gift, though, that paid college tuition and bought textbooks, a quite unexpected gift from the publisher of The Macon Telegraph and News, Peyton T. Anderson Jr. His financial gift was a guarantee that, with a part-time job, I’d never have to drop out of college again.

The $5 that mattered most was my mother’s, an expression with money she hadn’t to spare that, together, we’d make it over the final hurdle.

I protested. I’d be fine, I told her. I had a job and Mr. Anderson’s support. I could make it. She insisted. We were in this together. That had always been the case.

By the age of 16, she had the first of her seven children. Before the last two were school age, she was alone, abandoned by a husband who, except for the infrequent drop-ins I came to hate, simply vanished from our lives.

Go, be done with us, but don’t raise a child’s hope that you’re staying in touch when you’re not.

From that day in 1957 until her death in 1995, she never left us. Until we could survive on our own, her strength kept us together. She gave us all we needed and more than she could afford.

I took the $5. It carried me through college. Peyton Anderson carried me, too.

He carried me, as he had carried others, starting with Tom Johnson, a poor Macon boy who rose to become president of The Los Angeles Times and chairman and CEO of CNN before retiring in 2001.

As with me, Johnson’s anchor was a mother’s resilience. “My family had no money,” he recalls. “My father had no regular job. My mother worked six days a week as a clerk in a small grocery store.

“My mother said to me many times: ‘Tommy, if you work hard and do right, you can become anything you want to be in life.’”

Tom and I returned to Macon this week to a grand house built atop Coleman Hill in 1836, now owned by Mercer University.

The location, with a vista that sweeps the city and beyond, was fitting for the occasion, the launch of a scholarship program by the Peyton T. Anderson Foundation.
Anderson cared deeply about Macon and those who lived there. At his death in 1988, the bulk of his estate, $26.6 million, passed to the foundation with instructions to serve the community.

The foundation’s board, looking for an appropriate way to mark the 20th anniversary of his death, readily embraced an idea by Executive Director Juanita T. Jordan, a former aide who has guided the foundation since his death.

Her idea was the Peyton Anderson scholarships. This week the first 15 recipients, all from Bibb County high schools, came together at the house, once called Overlook, there to view the promise of a brighter world ahead.

As the Macon paper noted the next day, “the students ranged from a valedictorian to those with lower grade-point averages who the trustees decided had great potential.” Scholarships are from $3,000 to $7,500, depending on need and college costs.

“We care more about their work ethic and determination to excel than grades alone,” said Johnson, a trustee. Recipients are for the most part students like Tom and me who, as his mother put it, try to “work hard and do right” through difficult circumstances.

If they work hard and do right, the Peyton Anderson lift will carry them through four, and possibly five, years of college.

A mother’s love lives. And so, too, does a good man’s heart.

55 comments Add your comment

clyde

May 8th, 2009
8:32 pm

Fine story ,Jim.

GOP is gone

May 8th, 2009
8:50 pm

Indeed a fine story. It also explains a lot about your wanting fathers to be in their children lives in a positive way. But it also shows us that single woman can go it alone and produce good productive children.

jt

May 8th, 2009
8:57 pm

Good story Jim, and congrats on a good life. Don’t ever hold it agin your father though. Maybe he KNEW you didn’t need him. Anyhoo, no matter how I may comment in the future, I respect you.

jt

May 8th, 2009
8:59 pm

Now grow a pair, quit being a republican apologist, and go LIBERTARIAN.

Andy the Escalade driver

May 9th, 2009
7:12 am

Great story Jim. Now write something about how “conservative” courts like Cobb will remove a father from 68% of his childrens lives for no reason, and turn him into nothing more than an ATM.

ABH

May 9th, 2009
7:16 am

At a meeting of Republican leaders last week, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida counseled his party that “it’s time for us to listen first, upgrade our message a bit, not be nostalgic about the old days.”

But the questions are: listen to whom, how to upgrade what, and what old days about which not to be nostalgic?

After last year’s political calamity for Republicans, in which the party lost the White House and more seats in the House and Senate, who’s left to give useful advice about the message?

It certainly will be easy for the GOP faithful to discard any nostalgia about the eight years under George W. Bush. That fact is particularly unfortunate for Jeb Bush, whose governorship of Florida would ordinarily recommend him for higher office except for the albatross his brother has become.

Doing without nostalgia for the supposedly good old days of Ronald Reagan will be harder. The man, both in life and in death, achieved icon stature in the party, and his mantras of smaller government and lower taxes remain core elements in Republican gospel — no matter that under Reagan both the size of the federal government and taxes grew during his eight-year tenure.

The meeting was called by a party up-and-comer, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican Whip behind Minority Leader John Boehner, who despite disclaimers seems already qualified as leader of the Party of No, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

But Cantor is not yet a national figure, and the House of Representatives seldom is the breeding ground for one. The last Republican to blossom into national prominence and power was Newt Gingrich, who rose to the House speakership on the strength of that ambitious basket of promises called the Contract with America.

Gingrich got much of it through the House but no farther, and he himself crashed under the weight of his own hubris and ethical stumbles that led to his resignation. Now he is busily rehabilitating himself as an outside-the-box thinker who may favor the GOP with a presidential candidacy if circumstances force that personal sacrifice.

There’s a certain poignancy at this time in the passing, at age 73, of another Republican alumnus of the House, Jack Kemp of New York. Kemp offered the kind of vitality and intellectual stimulus that his party badly needs, though without Kemp’s mistaken embrace and marketing of the supply-side economics that he championed in the Reagan years. Its notion that all problems at home could be solved simply by cutting taxes and producing an imaginary bounty of prosperity for all proved to be the bane of the party long afterward.

Kemp liked to cite John F. Kennedy’s line that a rising tide lifts all boats, but the end problem with attempting to do it with tax cuts is that it mostly lifted the yachts and sank the rowboats. This clearly was not the enthusiastic upstate New Yorker’s intent, because he simultaneously and intensely addressed the plight of the poor, and especially of African Americans anchored in poverty.

He championed the notion of the Republican big tent that would reach out and welcome in blacks and other minorities, an idea that seemed to be embraced in Texas by George W. Bush, but got left behind when the celebrated compassionate conservative moved into the White House.

That open-door effort crumbled under the appeal and policies of Bill Clinton, which kept most minorities in the Democratic fold, and has been cemented with Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

So where is the Republican to lead this new group called the National Council for a New America, to which Jeb Bush delivered his advice to listen before proposing to upgrade the party message and turn a deaf ear to nostalgia about the old days?

The party is in such a state that Sarah Palin is seriously mentioned by some, and the boyishly unimpressive Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is the closest thing the GOP seems to have to the currently magical Obama. Right now, the quest is akin to sifting through a pile of manure with the hope there’s a Derby winner in there somewhere.

jt

May 9th, 2009
7:58 am

Andy the Escalade-
“Great story Jim. Now write something about how “conservative” courts like Cobb will remove a father from 68% of his childrens lives for no reason, and turn him into nothing more than an ATM.”
This is a NATIONAL tragedy. The only good that this state-sponsered destruction of families will be the fact of the ever increasing numbers of people who recognize how evil the “state” truly is.

Road Scholar

May 9th, 2009
8:15 am

jt/Andy: I think we need to know the rest of the story! Just like most of the posts that insinuate wrongdoing, their are facts that may alter the poster’s accuracy.

jt

May 9th, 2009
8:17 am

ABH-
“That fact is particularly unfortunate for Jeb Bush, whose governorship of Florida would ordinarily recommend him for higher office except for the albatross his brother has become.”
For what it is worth, did you know that an ALBATROSS can, and routinely does, stay aloft for TEN YEARS. The male only lands for mating. Also, due to sytalite tracking, they routinely CIRCLE THE ENTIRE GLOBE in less than 30days.
As far as I’m concerned, Bush w. is an albatross on the entire republican party. As long as there is a TARP republican still in office, they will get no vote from me.

Teabagged by Cobb County

May 9th, 2009
8:18 am

Yep, can’t let them gays marry, but it’s ok for “normal” folks to sign a simple piece of paper to destroy a family and remove the father almost completely from the childrens lives (other than a redistribution of up to 35% of the father’s pretax income, with NO say in how or IF it gets spent on HIS children).

The NET result of my particular case was me heading towards bankruptcy after a 2 year custody battle that cost $70,000.00. For my efforts I was rewarded 35% of my children’s lives. And the day we managed to come to this agreement, the lawyers were slapping high fives and chest bumping, telling me I’d won the jackpot in paternal custody (in GA)

Each and every step of the way I was dissuaded from attempting to keep my children, even from the Guardian Ad Litem.

The guardian did NOTHING but call the school and find out how much I’m involved in my kids school lives (a good bit he was told). No home study, didn’t meet the kids, nothing… But he showed up at custody mediation and announced he’d decided to award the custody to the mother to strong arm me into accepting the deal offered.

Fred Schuster was his name, and I’ll be damned if his brother isn’t a Cobb County Superior Court Judge… hmmm a little nepotism???? Anyway, fred and the cobb county courts HATE fathers… But I digress…

Hell, in mediation at one point I had my lawyers, the guardian, AND the mediator all telling me to “take it” it’s the best you can do in Cobb…

jt

May 9th, 2009
8:23 am

Road Scholar- You are correct sir. I survived the child support farm.
There are thousands of anecdotes. For alot of good info. go herehttp://www.gafamilylawreform.org/wordpress/

jt

May 9th, 2009
8:26 am

Teabagged— “heading towards bankruptcy”
There is no relief there. It’s all for the children, don’t you know.

Teabagged by Cobb County

May 9th, 2009
8:27 am

Road,
There is no “rest of the story”, irreconcilable differences, sign a paper you’re done…

In every GA county but Fulton, the courts will award custody to the Mother, period. The Father HAS to accept what the mother offers, there are “minimal” guidelines like every other weekend, weds nights and a week over the summer, but these aren’t codified, that’s “just how it’s always been done” (or so I was told by lawyer after lawyer).

Fulton gives dads a little more of a fighting chance, but not much.

So basically, my advice to any GA dad in a similar situation: (this is based on what one of the lawyers I consulted with told me)
Give it up, walk away and save your money and your financial future… Things change over time and as they get older they’ll find ways to spend more time with you. Take that money you saved and use it to send them to college.

You’re in for a lot of heartbreak otherwise.

jt

May 9th, 2009
8:27 am

What kind of lowlife makes their living off of parental conflict?

Teabagged by Cobb County

May 9th, 2009
8:29 am

No it’s really not. The supported party is not obligated in anyway to spend support money to improve the children’s lives.

jt

May 9th, 2009
8:36 am

I was being sarcastic.

Aquagirl

May 9th, 2009
8:57 am

C’mon tea…you entrusted this woman with your private parts. If she’s such a nightmare ex, picking a better babymama would have been a good idea.

Shared custody is a losing proposition for the kids. They bounce from one house and set of rules to another.

The Judge

May 9th, 2009
8:59 am

Hey whiners…don’t like the true costs of divorce, then don’t get one. God does not approve of divorce, and custody punishments are His way of telling you so.

And wowie, Jim, what kind of irresponsible harlot gets knocked up at age 16, and with no baby daddy around? Were there no scarlet letters handy to warn off the next 6 baby daddies?

And how dare you take a handout? Why, it seems to have made you shiftless. You certainly don’t appear to actually WORK for a living.

Wow. This being judgemental is a lot fun. I can see why the Christianists enjoy it so much. I feel superior already!

Redneck Convert

May 9th, 2009
10:08 am

Well, Wooten’s story brung a tear to my eye. I recall the most important gift I ever got. It was a used chainsaw and from the minute old Mr. Goins give it to me I made up my mind to be a redneck. All I needed was a pickup truck and a John Deere cap. I worked and slaved cutting up firewood till I had the money to buy a old broke-down Ford pickup. Then I spent almost a year getting it in running shape. Somebody give me the cap.

Every time I look outside the trailer and see my Ford F-450 I think of Mr. Goins and how he give me my start in life. Now I’ve made it all the way up to beer truck driver. Life is good if you work hard. And get lucky enough to have a Mr. Goins to help you.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

May 9th, 2009
10:32 am

In the state of Georgia, if you are not married to the woman giving birth to your child, you have the right to pay support and that’s it! The woman has carte blanche to do as she pleases and, often, the child is used as a weapon of retribution. You may have been hating the wrong person Jim.

@@

May 9th, 2009
10:59 am

From the mouths of babes, Jim….come the unADULTerated truths. Why can we not hear?

Great story!

Great Mom!

Glenn

May 9th, 2009
11:13 am

Lovely, Jim. I recall Mr. Johnson with respect. The LAT was very strong under his direction. Years ago they sent me off to college with a little grant to study publication design. The skills I learned carried me through that horrible recession at the end of Carter’s term, and I’m indebted to Mr. Johnson and the Chandlers and their newspaper.

Your mother must have been a gem also.

Georgia Gal

May 9th, 2009
11:33 am

Jim, I sit back and choke on some of the hateful, ignorant rantings against you but there is no way I can ignore such profane comments against your dear Mother (one of the finest women I have ever known). The comments from The Judge (8:59am)made my blood boil. I have to speak up and in her defense and let people know that she was married to the ONE father of all her children. The greatness of this country is displayed by people like your sweet Mother who didn’t expect anyone to give her a living. She worked hard to provide for her children and passed that work ethic on to her children who worked and rose above their situation. That certainly is an example that could be used today by so many looking for a hand out. What you received from Mr. Anderson was not a handout. He along with Mr. Tucker and others saw a hard working boy become a hard working young man struggling to pull himself up. I’m sure the help you received was considered an investment in the future!

The Judge

May 9th, 2009
12:14 pm

Georgia Gal, merely repeating the Common Sense Truthiness I have learned from Wooten over the years.

Real Banker

May 9th, 2009
12:34 pm

The predatory lending bill that passed the House on Thursday is less than what is needed, but it does fix at least some of the abuses and risky lending practices that got the economy and the country into the current mess.

The Senate needs to improve on the legislation and ensure that stronger reforms quickly become law. To do that, senators will finally have to stand up to the mortgage industry and its all-too-well-paid lobbyists.

In the years before the crash, brokers, appraisers and lenders conspired to herd borrowers into risky, high-cost mortgages that many could never hope to repay. The lenders took their profits off the top — with ruinous fees — then repackaged the suspect loans and sold them to Wall Street. The rest is history.

The House bill takes several steps aimed at restoring sound lending practices. First off, it requires lenders to take into account the borrower’s ability to repay the debt. It prohibits prepayment penalties for adjustable-rate mortgages. It wisely builds in better protections for renters, who are often thrown into the streets when buildings are foreclosed — even when the rent has been paid faithfully for years.

And it bans one of the most common forms of kickbacks that brokers often get for steering borrowers into higher priced loans.

When the Senate comes up with its own version — and it should do so quickly — it should correct that and other weaknesses in the one passed by the House.

The House bill, for example, provides only a slap on the wrist to lenders that violate the law. It also coddles Wall Street companies — which encourage unscrupulous lending by buying up risky loans — by limiting the conditions under which they can be sued by borrowers.

The way to discourage irresponsible lending is to hold liable both the mortgage originators and the companies to which they sell their sometimes illegal loans. The risk of being hauled into court would make secondary investors more careful and build accountability into the securitization system.

The House bill also fails to address the problem of federal regulations that pre-empt state laws that may impose stronger penalties and remedies. Federal regulations should be a floor, not a ceiling, in lending. Millions of Americans have lost their homes, neighborhoods have been destroyed and the country’s financial system has been brought to the very brink of disaster. Does Congress really need to know more before it finally fixes these rules?

catlady

May 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

Good story. It explains a lot.

I think if you had had an overtly abusive (instead of abusive by absence and neglect) father you might see some things regarding the “sanctity of marriage” differently, however.

God bless all the kind, giving, loving, self-sacrificing mothers(and fathers) out there. There are fewer of them every day, in my experience of 37 years as a teacher.

And, to the worthless, shiftless skunks, male or female, get fixed so you cannot have other neglected kids or go to h3ll.

Teabagged by Cobb County

May 9th, 2009
2:03 pm

“In the state of Georgia, if you are not married to the woman giving birth to your child, you have the right to pay support and that’s it! ”

Marry her and your rights double.

Math quiz: 2 time zero is?

“Shared custody is a losing proposition for the kids. They bounce from one house and set of rules to another.”

That’s just assinine… structure is structure. weds nights is different from your scenario how??? Friday to friday is easier to keep up with.

The other thing is, and Aqua sounds like she’s too young to understand, people change. The person you marry today most likely won’t be the same person in 4 years when you have kids. I didn’t pick unwisely based on what I knew. Our marriage dissolved when over the years she changed (we probably both did). All the people that knew us before can attest to the fact that she changed, I did not…

sea

May 9th, 2009
4:09 pm

Good, touching story – reminded me of Lewis Grizzard’s childhood in some ways.

dave

May 9th, 2009
5:44 pm

jt – regardless of your politics, I am sure no one wants to be around you as you have no class. None what so ever. Jim, I know your momma was proud, of all of you, good luck in your retirement.

dave

May 9th, 2009
5:46 pm

Redneck Convert – dude you’re a “one act pony” stick to your day job.

Dusty

May 9th, 2009
6:19 pm

Dear Jim Wooten,

That was a great tribute to your mother. Of course, you paid her back becoming a fine man. That is the best gift a mother can receive from her son.

I know. I have four fine sons. My daughter makes me proud too, ’specially today. She received her doctorate in chemistry this morning. Children are such a blessing.

GOP is gone

May 9th, 2009
7:17 pm

Mr Tea Bag,

I must agree with your statement about people changing as they mature. I feel completely lucky in being with the man I have for 31 years. We met very young, 18 and 19, but had the fore site to realize we were very young, and waited to get married until we were the ripe old age of 23 and 24. That was 1982 and we still love and respect each other. He still happens to be the sweetest and sexiest man I have ever met. Thank God I had enough sense at 19 to recognize those traits and wait it out until he was out of school, well ,out of undergraduate at least. I fully realize that the person I was at 18 is a far different person than who I am now, or who I was at 28,38 or even 48. I am forever grateful that we matured on the same paths. He is a wonderful father to our 2 children and they are the products of a loving, stable environment.
In hind sight the money you wasted in the divorce was probably just that, wasted. I do not know your circumstances, but I have to agree with the other poster that children do need stability, and going back and forth between two homes would not give them that in my opinion. All you can do is show them everyday that you love them. And remember I said show them. Anyone can say I love you, it is your actions that count. I came to understand a long time ago that people do what they want to do. So show them you love and care for them by your actions. Come to every game, award ceremony, birthday party etc that they have. Missing one will tell them you are to busy to care. Do what ever it takes to make peace with you Ex wife. Just remember your pride is not what is important here, your kids knowledge that you love them and put them first is. If she is being difficult, just think about the worst thing that can happen, your kids can see you as the problem, and change your attitude. Let your ego go, it is not about your feelings now. When you become a parent you must take the backseat. Once your job is complete and they are grown and gone, then it is your time again. If you are the father you say you are,
you will put your kids needs over your animosity towards your ex wife. If she chooses to take the low road, let her. They will see the truth as they mature and respect you for it.

Glenn

May 9th, 2009
10:12 pm

Dusty,

Congratulations to your daughter and to you and yours!

Catgirl

May 10th, 2009
7:13 am

Teabagged by Cobb County

May 10th, 2009
7:33 am

GOP, thank you but your opinion is just that, your opinion. And of course it is the opinion of the “other side” in this matter.

Again. Every other weekend and on weds nights is BETTER than friday to friday exactly how? Friday to friday is much easier to keep up with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to call on weds night to get my daughter’s asthma medicine because thier mother forgets it… She can’t even keep up with this “optimal” custody situation.

You COMPLETELY misunderstand my motivations here. Had any of this been about pride or ego, I wouldn’t given up EVERYTHING to keep those kids in the beds they’ve always known at least part of the time.

You GOP are part of the problem.

I commend u on your successful relationship and can only wish that the 75% of people getting married today will not divorce, but that’s just the cold hard facts.

Now YOU presume to tell me MY children are better off without me in 70% of thier lives. Honestly you don’t know jack.

My children have both been diagnosed with Asthma, yet the live in a small zoo with 3 dogs, 2 cats, a rabbit and god knows what else. My ex wife constantly sends me nastigrams about letting them play outside when I have them because of thier Asthma, yet the very house they live in is rife with triggers. My ex wife does not believe in god. My ex wife has no family except for her mother who is an 80 something year old hermit who once announced “she had no use for the kids until they grow old enough to talk politics”… Speaking of politics, my 7 year old daughter was extolling the virtues of Obama non stop last year, and announced that ALL republicans are evil. Doe you want your 7 year old to be politically active? I say that there’s plenty of time time later in life to develop political leanings, just like those camps that train young christian warriors to carry on the social wars make me sick, so does the ACORNIZATION of our kids. That’s adult stuff, not stuff a 7 year old should be involved in.

I could go on and on, but it’s pointless so I won’t.

I will end on this note. Take a good hard look around at your optimal system, tell all the kids that petition the court at the age of 12 to live with the other parent that they have lived in an optimal situation that was to thier “best interest”, see if they believe you. I see a lot of kids switching custody at the age when they get the choice, not some stuffy old judge or a guardian on the take. What does that tell you?

Also, I hold little animosity towards the ex, I’m remarried and have a good, but incomplete, life now. Again you mistake my intentions and motivations. When you have to deal with a ten year old boy hiding his tears every other sunday night, and you have to try and answer “why can’t we see you more?” to a 7 year old girl constantly, only then can you begin to understand.

Diogenes

May 10th, 2009
8:44 am

Good morning, Jim,

What I don’t understand is how someone who had such positive experiences in life can end up with the sour negativity, gloomy world view, and general hatred for mankind of a conservative.

catlady

May 10th, 2009
9:48 am

Just a none of my business question, Teabagged. Has your former wife remarried?

And an observation on asthma. Mine is not triggered by pet dander, but by certain pollens, especially in the spring, along with smoke and some fragrances. Different triggers work for different people. However, if the pets go outside, they would bring in the allergens to the house.

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2009
9:57 am

Tea, it sounds like you are too young to understand people don’t change drastically after they are married. They may change courses in life but they don’t suddenly become fire-breathing a-holes. They were always that way and just felt comfortable after they were married to be themselves. Did you not notice your mother in law was a hermit who (by your account) hated kids? Or that your ex was an atheist–and BTW, why is that bad?

And I can’t believe you hold no animosity towards your ex, your posts are proof enough of your bitterness. If you think you are on one side and your ex is on the other it speaks volumes. You’re hijacking Jim’s wonderful post about his mom to slam the mother of your kids. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

Take GOP’s advice. It’s worded much more wisely than mine but reflects the same sentiment. Your kids love their mother no matter how screwed up you think she is. You can’t change that or the current custody arrangement. Stop the war, it does no one any good, least of all your kids.

I’ll end on this note–I wish you, your children, *and* their mother well. Go send her some flowers. Without her, you wouldn’t have your kids at all. And happy Mothers Day to all moms. Even Dusty. :)

Jackie

May 10th, 2009
10:07 am

@Jim

A wonderful tribute to your mother.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers and salute to those who wish their mother and all those females acknowledgment of their special day.

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
10:48 am

Spoken like a true Diogenes. How can you read Jim Wooten as a fellow Cynic? It seems to me he’s a fairly run-of-the-mill Humanist. The best Humanists always are tough the way Wooten is.

Call it, as Goldwater did, “The Conscience of a Conservative”.

I hope you’ll like this in spite of yourself. William Blake was more like Wooten than like you. He once wrote: “I have thought the best of every man, and have found that to do so brings a bad man to raise his light, and a good man to swing his lantern all the higher.”

AmVet

May 10th, 2009
11:49 am

Good morning all.

And a Happy Mothers day to all you Mothers and Frank Zappa fans.

Glenn,

Our esteemed columnist a Humanist???

Shirley you jest.

Or are merely insulting all humanists…

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
12:02 pm

Hi, AmVet,

I hope you’re thriving. And don’t call me Shirley.

regards,

g

P.S. Hey, while I’ve got you on the horn, whatever happened to our G.I. Bill? I thought they’d bury the hatchet after the election, and was so hopeful that this measure could have given us the fiscal boost we need. Instead, it seems, they got to fighting over the thing and to taking over financial institutions instead. I wish we’d return to the big-ticket elephant in the room, a robust G.I. Bill that would throw our ablest people unto the breech. I’d like to see it as before: with endowments for home-buying and higher education. Is there anything wrong with that?

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
12:05 pm

Also, AmVet,

I appreciate your remarks regarding the great cultural diplomat, Mr. Zappa. How funny. He would have loved that, I should think.

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
12:24 pm

AmVet,

I think it fairly obvious that Zappa’s reflection, upon the development of the Atom Bomb, was that invention is in fact the mother of necessity. We do because we Can Do. Ever since, I’ve thought of him as one of the original critics of Systems Theory, of complex systems, such as your military, in which persons are systematically stripped of their ability to discern or care about the processes they prosecute. This obsession with systymaticization in fact leads to disorder, even to chaos. All hell breaks loose.

That’s all I’ve ever tried to say about our inordinate efforts to organize healthcare or education delivery or efficient transportation: We don’t know our limits whatsoever.

Peter

May 10th, 2009
12:49 pm

Happy Mothers day to all the Mothers on this Blog and others !

God Bless All and America…….!

catlady

May 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

Jim, what would have happened if you had not had the help from your sponsor? Would you have been able to attain the lofty heights you have attained? How many young people in similar straits have you sent to college?

And what about a woman nowadays in the position your mother was in? Would she be able to provide for them without assistance on minimum wage? Without the government’s help in any way (housing, food, welfare), even to track down her husband and make him pay some support? To father the kids instead of being a babydaddy?

I would think that perhaps your mother’s experience would temper your make it on your own, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, to heck with social aid programs approach you seem to espouse. Can you imagine her life if she was the abandoned mother to seven today without the social safety net you seem to hate, with bright kids but no resources? Would you tell her “too bad, it is your own fault you are in this situation”, and the tell the kids “You’d better buck up and work and save your money and maybe one day you can finish school. Just postpone sex and marriage and everything else until you can earn the right to it.”?

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
1:51 pm

Interesting questions, catlady, and I appreciate your caution in not taking them too personally. Those questions are worth exploring, aren’t they?

Good for you.

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
3:44 pm

Now may I take the gloves off?

How much money did Barack Obama’s bagmen make off of killing the F-22 so they could blow the cover on the capabilities of the F-35, thereby giving a lucrative leg-up to our enemies for years to come?

Oh happy, happy glorious Olympic Year in Beijing!

(By the way: Check your Internet signature, fast.)

Glenn

May 10th, 2009
3:56 pm

I know that the President didn’t do it, but goddammit let’s make him PROVE IT.

deegee

May 10th, 2009
4:21 pm

Interesting to note that the Peyton T Anderson Foundation trustees gave scholarships to some students with relatively low grade point averages because the students showed potential. I am so thankful that Georgia has the HOPE scholarship. Because of HOPE many under performing kids can afford to go to college, be inspired and discover their potential to learn and succeed. Alternatively, because of HOPE some very promising kids can afford to go to college, flunk out and learn what it is to squander an opportunity. Fortunately they are still young enough to recover and learn an important lesson.

Aquagirl, you nailed it as usual. I am sometimes amused by men that marry high maintenance, pain in the azz women because they look good, and then complain after their divorce about the fact that their ex-wives are a high maintenance pain in the azz.

Redneck Convert rules.

Happy Mother’s Day!