The administrators have decided to go with 4 months public access, starting July 1. It will be 4 previous months plus the current month. Older posts will not be permanently deleted immediately, but held for at least a year as private.
Since education is the most popular topic by far, occupying the Open Thread two weeks ago and the Politics page (perfectly civil discussion) last week, we will try out Education Thursday to go with Relationship Monday and Open Tuesday.
Offline, we received a observation that some types of topics don’t get a lot of traffic with the implication that we would be better served by providing different ones. So we are asking people outside of the usual group of 5-8 to submit things of interest to them with a story or a link. And be aware that summer is slow. Fewer people are in need of a workday time-filler.
Totebag 30 day challenge week 4 will go live on Thursday. I’ll put it on the top level to remind everyone.
Anyone who still has privacy concerns or requests should email one of the admins. We will respond offline.
We are unable to figure out why the name “Lark” ends up being flagged as spam. Perhaps it has joined the list of names used by Russian girls who want to be your friend. Lemon’s post of last week just had too many links and went into pending approval.
There will be a new Open Thread started on Memorial Day and assigned topics for the rest of that week. There is now a tentative full slate of posts for an entire month, (Way to go!! ) The tentative schedule is adjusted on the fly to balance serious vs light, insert new submissions that enhance the set list, and to push back any that duplicate a long tangential discussion. The goal is to be fully scheduled for three-four weeks out at all times.
Just in case there is still confusion about submitting posts that include links to sites behind a paywall. All submissions are welcome to either administrator. If the link is behind a paywall (other than the NYT), please provide excerpts or a summary in the body of the post OR send me (Mémé) an email with a link I can access and I’ll do the work of selecting excerpts. Some readers don’t choose to establish an email relationship at all, or want to stick with July only. The Suggest Posts page is for everyone’s convenience.
Also, topics presented on Suggest Topics or via email ready to go as posts will likely end up in the queue earlier than a statement in the regular thread or on Suggest Topics along the lines of, why don’t we have a post about x topic.
Mémé: I am trying out different ways to present articles that are behind paywalls. I intend to pick out some choice sections and include them in the body of the post. Feedback will be appreciated. Most of the submissions so far are from the NYT, where I have a subscription, so I can fiddle around. (I repeat my request for submissions from those of you who are regular readers of sites other than NYT, WaPo, Vox, Slate.) Be advised that I don’t pay for WSJ (no free articles), so I need some of the content provided via email or inserted into the body of the post so that I can share with the group.
July is planning to do some cleanup on the site. For now, Politics will stay as is.
There will be 30 day challenges again. My first reaction was that to enable maximum participation it may be best to wait until after summer vacation season. However, there appears to be a movement for a fitness challenge in the near future. So we will facilitate that for after Memorial Day. I am not up to speed yet on how to set it all up.
I am not undertaking any significant travel until the fall, and so will be the post scheduler and first line of administration for the next four months. July is still actively involved, but she deserves a rest from the day-to-day admin duties. Please bear with me as I get more familiar with WordPress.
I plan to reinstitute Fun Fridays. Nothing heavy, unless current events warrant it, on Fridays. Non-holiday Mondays will always have a topic. Tuesdays will normally be Open Thread days, with a listing of the topics for the rest of the week. If you have submitted topics on college or finance, be advised that I will be spacing those out since many of our daily threads veer off into those areas. If I don’t have contact info for you, I will not be able to tell you in advance that your topic has been scheduled for a particular day.
Conservative readers, including lurkers and occasional commenters, I implore you to submit articles from some of your regular reading sources. Submissions can be made by adding a comment to Suggested Topics, above. Or send me an email at memetotebag @ outlook.com. During this time, July will forward posts to me if you submit them to her.
I also ask that if any discussion thread or posted item on the Politics thread is perceived by the regulars over there to get out of hand (and that would take a lot), or if the page gets spammed, please alert me via email or FB for those who know me IRL. I won’t be checking into that page frequently or even reading every post, especially during the hundred post heated back and forth exchanges.
Right around the same time, New York University psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, was formulating a theory about why liberals and conservatives have such a hard time productively conversing.
After mucking around in a lot of survey data, he came up with this basic idea: Liberals and people of the left underpin their politics with moral concerns about harm and fairness; they are driven by the imperative to help the vulnerable and see justice done. Conservatives and people of the right value these things as well but have several additional moral touchstones — loyalty, respect and sanctity. They value in-group solidarity, deference to authority, and the protection of purity in mind and body. To liberals, those sincerely held values can look a lot like, in Dr. Haidt’s words, “xenophobia, authoritarianism and Puritanism.” This asymmetry is the fountainhead of mutual incomprehension and disdain.
I found this article interesting and ironic because it seems to me that the young Amphibians that David Brooks celebrates are exactly the multicultural, urbane, elites, that engender so much dislike these days. Are they really our hope, or will the countervailing trends of nationalism prevail?
Inspired by the discussion on the politics thread and by recent changes within my family, I’m running a poll.
Do you have choices for health insurance? Are you happy with your choice? How have your recent experiences been with health care/insurance? Good, bad, indifferent? Any other comments or advice? Please keep political comments on the other thread.
For someone who ran as an unconventional candidate, Trump has turned out to be a surprisingly reliable conservative as president, conventional even — aside from his social media habits, rhetoric and occasional feuding with his fellow Republicans….
“It depends on how you define success, but he has definitely accomplished some key goals of the conservative movement,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a group that has been fighting Trump’s agenda at every turn. “I expected Donald Trump to pursue a far right agenda and he is meeting those expectations and he is succeeding.”
But, as Tanden sees it, Trump’s success is coming at a cost. The left is highly energized, and his approval rating is south of 40 percent.
Using Google Street View-based study demonstrates that types of cars predict who lives in different neighborhoods. One of the biggest effects? Ratio of sedans:pick-up trucks accurately identifies up to 97% of precinct-level votes for the Democratic party https://t.co/LrIlulNHjm
Time Magazine Person of the Year will be announced on December 6. Although Time’s editors make the final choice, Mohammed bin Salman is leading in the reader’s choice poll. Who do you think will be selected? Who would you select?
This appeared in the NYTimes recently, and is clearly Totebag fodder. Surprise, surprise, blue staters are better at practicing family values than red staters. This article goes along with many things we have discussed here. And the fact that families are more stable, have lower divorce rates, and less teenage pregnancy in the blue states has been a trend for many,many years. Two key points
The liberal impulse may be to gloat: Those conservatives thunder about “family values” but don’t practice them. But there’s also perhaps a measure of hypocrisy in the blue states. As Cahn and Carbone put it: “Blue family values bristle at restrictions on sexuality, insistence on marriage or the stigmatization of single parents. Their secret, however, is that they encourage their children to simultaneously combine public tolerance with private discipline, and their children then overwhelmingly choose to raise their own children within two-parent families.
More broadly, conservative values don’t directly lead to premarital sex or divorce. Rather, statistical analysis suggests that religious conservatives end up divorcing partly because they marry early, are less likely to go to college and are disproportionately poor.
So the deeper problem seems to be the political choices that conservatives make, underinvesting in public education and social services (including contraception). This underinvestment leaves red states poorer and less educated — and thus prone to a fraying of the social fabric.
So does better education and social services lead to a higher likelihood that children grow up in two parent families? Or are two parent families more likely to be willing to invest in education and social services? Or is there something else, completely unrelated, that leads to better family value outcomes in blue states?
This is the time of year for deciding on a health insurance plan and other employee benefits. It can be complicated. Our plan includes the use of a health advocate at no extra cost. Among the services offered are open enrollment assistance, care coordination, and assistance with complex medical conditions.
Have you completed your enrollment paperwork? Any questions or advice to offer?
There are many cost of living rankings out there, but most of them give cost of living averages for the “average American household.” Here’s the issue – the “average American household” doesn’t exist. Income and expenses vary widely between a single millennial to a household of two parents and three kids. Our cost tool explores the costs and expenses of living in a place based on your own, specific needs.
The True Cost of Living tool allows you to add details like household size, income, occupation, and even food preferences.
Many of you will be pleased that packing cubes are recommended. Right now I’m looking for a more efficient toiletry bag, one that hangs on a hotel door hook..
In shopping for a rolling bag recently I noticed that four wheels (spinners) seem more popular than two wheels. I prefer two wheels because it’s slightly more compact and I don’t notice the extra ease of a four-wheeler.
At what age did your children become mostly responsible for packing their own suitcases?
Last week I started a 30-day challenge to improve my balance. I selected some daily exercises, including standing on one leg and a One-Legged Squat Reach. But the one-legged squat proved too challenging (especially for my left leg), so instead I bought a Wobble Balance Board and am trying out a few basic exercises with it.
Last year I was successful with my 30-day plank challenge so I have high hopes for this balance project. If anyone wants to do a group 30-day challenge similar to the one we did last year let me know and I can set it up. In the meantime I’ll post periodic updates on my progress.
Happy 4th of July! Are you celebrating with fireworks or a parade?
This latest survey from U.S. News & World Report says that Switzerland is the best country in the world. What’s your opinion? Do you think the USA is the best? Or another country? Any plans to move? We’re still the “most powerful” country in the world according to the survey, but we’re only ranked seventh overall.
The survey ‘polled more than 21,000 people described by organizers as “business leaders, informed elites and general citizens.”’
Today we have an open thread. Discuss anything on your mind.
Travel planning has been on my mind. Take this survey if you’re interested.
I used to enjoy planning trips but over the years I’ve grown to dislike it. The researching, coordinating, and selecting seem to aggravate my tendency toward analysis paralysis. Do you have any tips to make it easier?
We have an open thread all day. Here’s a topic to get you started if you’d like.
This test is strictly for fun, but if you had to pick only one of these as your strongest trait which would it be? Wisdom, passion, courage, honesty, intuition, or kindness? And how does that compare to your test results?
The way you look at these images will reveal a lot about your strongest trait. Which of these do you think it will be: wisdom, passion, courage, honesty, intuition or kindness? Take this test to find out!
I’m as guilty as the the rest since most of my posts are about the happier moments of my life and I’m sometimes tempted to go too far in using photo filters. The dull or dissatisfying aspects of life are less likely to be shared on social media. What about you? Do you see how kids are negatively affected by this? Does it affect you?
What personal hangups affect the way people manage their taxes?
Some people walk in the door saying, “I hate paperwork. I hate taxes.” These people are avoiders. They don’t seem to care that much about money. Even if avoiding tax planning costs them money, they’d rather not deal with it. They don’t see themselves as able to get ahead financially. They don’t feel like they have any control, when in fact they do.
Others are procrastinators who have fallen years behind on filing returns, and the onset of the tax season triggers guilt or anxiety. These clients need more structure from us. Before they leave the office, I suggest they set another appointment in advance. Or I say, “Here’s one action to take: When you go back to the office I want you to adjust your W-4 and have an additional $50 taken out of your paycheck.”