Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 08:38 am
It's the largest daily newspaper in New Orleans, and therefore in the state--for whatever that's worth. It has a fairly good reputation.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 08:47 am
@Setanta,
Thanks for that, Setanta.

I rely heavily on my own (similar) newspaper of choice for the very same reasons.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:11 am
@dyslexia,
Tinking overnight I need to add that I grewup in the middle-east from age 2 til 15 (Saudi Arabia/Lebanon) in the 40's and 50's. when I came "home" to the USA I wasn't much of an american compared to my peers. I did not have a "Home country" I spent my childhood adapting to many cultures/foods/languages always being an outsider, by far the most difficult adaption was when I came to america, I spoke funny (too many languages in my vocabulary) so I read, I read anything and everything from Aristophanes to Mark Twain. My life was reading.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:22 am
@msolga,
Set has it right, the T-P is the large daily in New Orleans. Of course if you go to its web site now, you might think its just a sports outlet. (The local team won the Super Bowl last night after four decades of ineptness.)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:29 am
@dyslexia,
Quote:
My life was reading.


I understand what you're saying, I think, dys.

I think books actually saved my life ... broadened my perspective, allowed me to see there were other, quite different ways of being & provided much needed escape from immediate reality as I was growing up in a dysfunctional & unhappy home.

Books & my English teachers in senior high school. Both. Smile
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:51 am
@msolga,
msolga, don't want to divert your thread, but I do want to add that when I came "home" to america I spoke 5 languages (english was not my strong suit" and I was placed by the the high school (grades 10-12) in "retarded" so I spend my time checking out books from the library and simply reading. I was not expected to attend classes because I was to stupid.
squinney
 
  5  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:22 am
Interesting backgrounds and influences.

In '78 my sister won a national award that allowed us a trip to DC. We met President Carter, toured the White House including the Oval Office, and Dad / Grandpa had arranged for us to meet all of our representatives which included Bond, Ashcroft, Ike Skelton and ... I think Danforth. That I remember that and who my Reps were in DC, I assume means I had some awareness of politics even though I do not remember that being a common topic around the house (or barn).

Between my Jr and Sr year of high school I attended summer classes for college credits with my sister. She came back to our dorm room one day with materials for Anderson. I didn't get into it.

In Jan. '90 I brought my son home from the hospital and spent late night/ early morning feedings watching bombs drop in Baghdad and a newsman reporting from under his bed. And, I cried that the world was different than I wanted it to be. That was what I remember being the moment that woke me up to the need to pay attention to politics and get involved.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:35 am
My grandfather who died shortly after the war, was until 1933 the town council leader ('Zentrum', [Catholic] centrist party).

Mother's father, who died when I was 10, has been a 'national-liberal' before 1933, and in 1946 the co-founder of the liberal party in my native town.

However, none of my parents were politically active, though my father was in some town and county councils on the list of the Christian Democrats (conservatives).

I became politically active at school, mainly due to history lessons, when the "German Emergency Acts" were discussed. (I was nearly thrown out of grammar school since I had the full text before the press got it - I don't know why, but I really got the full text of the bill as written by some experts in the ministry.) A couple of months later, I was in Berlin when a student was killed by a policeman ... (all that was in 1966/7).


My political ideas were certainly left - but I didn't join one of the students organisations because I wanted to join the public service and ALL were extremely left in the early 1970's. (However, I nearly became a member of the student parliament as candidate for the group 'save the opening hours of the university pub'.)

I did try to join the Social Democratic Party. But they were really ... conservative in those days.

I didn't join the Green Party - though I might have been very close to them with my own ideas - because I missed a real program, a political perspective in the 70's.

It wasn't until the 80's that I finally became a member of the Social Democrats. Have been in town and district councils for them, worked for our member of parliaments (European, federal and state), edited/wrote for a local quarterly paper ...

But I've stopped now being politically active, besides being a poll worker for the party every couple of months ...
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:43 am
@dyslexia,
Unbelievable.

I imagine that had more than a little to do with you ending up as an advocate for children.

I went to high school during the late '60s and early '70s, during forced desegregation. There was a lot of violence in my school and armed police in the hallways every day. I was an office aide, so I was close to the conflict. Kent State and My Lai (sp?) were major issues among the students, too. I was among the first 18 year olds to get the vote in 1972. I registered as a Republican and voted, like my parents, for Nixon.

I was subsequently so disillusioned by Watergate that I refused to vote for several years. During those years at college in the '70s, I found my own set of values which turned out to be quite different from my parents'. It shouldn't have been a big surprise to them or me. I never had agreed with their racism and typically suburban intolerance. I re-registered as a Democrat, where I felt much more at home. Still do.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  5  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:46 am
Interesting thread!

I think it probably starts with a very firm sense of "fairness" from when I was really little. Unfair things pissed me off, then and now, and I've always wanted to do something about that. I was the president of some sort of kid's rights group in maybe 3rd grade, because I thought that kids should be able to do more (I don't remember specifics unfortunately).

That just continued, and I tended to befriend people with similar sensibilities. In seventh grade, a friend of mine and I both were bored by English class (we weren't learning anything), and we persuaded the principal to let us try to test out of the class. We did so, and then had a free period where the English class used to be to decry the state of the world and decide how to save it. We formed another club/ organization with the acronym of "PEACE" but I don't remember what it stood for (Political and Environmental Action Committee for Education, perhaps -- hey we were in seventh grade).

My friend and I had constant arguments of a type that pretty much everyone who has had political arguments with me on A2K would recognize -- she was for radical, revolutionary action, I was for working from within the system. She became an anarchist and got me involved in some kind of shady political stuff. Mostly we went to lots of protests (Iran-Contra days, lots of anti-Reagan stuff), organized some protests, etc. Palestinians/ Israel were also very much on my radar (wore my Palestinian scarf to the Jewish community center, fun).

After high school, she went into some much more hardcore stuff, squatting in New York, traveling to Mexico to do stuff she can't really tell me about because it's better I don't know, etc. Now she is very focused on environmental action stuff (we're still in touch).

Anyway, I've just continued in the "that's messed up --> what can I do about it --> do it" vein from way back. I do less than I'd like but more than nothing.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 11:49 am
What caused me to become politically aware was the recognition that man's inherent nature has not changed for thousands of years.

However technology has changed.

Thus politics reflects the sameness of man's nature, but now with more dynamism due to higher levels of technology whether that be through war machines, geosynchronous communications satellites, the ubiquitous internal combustion engine, etc.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:55 pm
I have been politically aware since the day I realized I could be sent to Viet Nam to die for no reason in a useless war with no purpose other than the big dick contest that was going on. Little has changed in that respect.
0 Replies
 
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 02:55 pm
@engineer,
Nothings changed. Their still all up for sale.
0 Replies
 
rabel22
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 03:03 pm
Like Bi Polar bear said the Vietnaum war made me aware of politics. I was raised as lower middle class and realized early on that the Dems were more focused on the middle class than the repubs were in the 1950s. How things have changed. Neither party is interested in anything but themselves and money for themselves.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 03:41 pm
I'm fit to spit. I just spent a half hour or so writing my political history. Went to post it and the cursor did its shimmy and wild ringing bells thing. No way to save. I've occasionally been able to get the computer out of that mode, but not this time. Gone.

I could make a joke about censors but it was just coincidence. Grrrr.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 03:58 pm
At 16, I was a pallbearer for a neighborhood friend killed in Viet Nam. I have been political ever since.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:38 pm
I've just spent a considerable amount of time reading through all the posts from overnight. This has been a very interesting read. I hope others have found it as fascinating as I have (so many different ways to reach similar a similar place!) ... I do hope there will be more posts yet.

Osso, I hope you have another try. I'm interested.


squinney, you made me cry, too.:

Quote:
In Jan. '90 I brought my son home from the hospital and spent late night/ early morning feedings watching bombs drop in Baghdad and a newsman reporting from under his bed. And, I cried that the world was different than I wanted it to be. That was what I remember being the moment that woke me up to the need to pay attention to politics and get involved.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:32 pm
Eva wrote:
I registered as a Republican and voted, like my parents, for Nixon. [...] I re-registered as a Democrat, where I felt much more at home. Still do.

This touches on a question I always meant to ask: What's with this voter registration business in America? As an immigrant getting acquainted to the political culture here, I find this tradition absurd, almost repulsive.

America is a democracy, where people are the sovereign rulers. Political parties are supposed to report to the people, not the other way round. The people, in turn, are free to change their minds from election to election. Indeed, what would be the point of voting if people never changed their minds? And yet, American voters willingly let their parties brand them like cattle. They even do the parties' branding work by registering as their supporters. Why in the world would people do that?

I can't see any good reason why. You can vote just the same by registering as independents. You can even vote in a party's primary -- a different one every four years if you want to. What thing of value do parties give back to Americans in return for this undignified branding? I looked, but haven't found it so far.

Why would grown-ups do such a thing?
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 09:44 pm
The system certainly has its faults, Thomas. No argument there!

In my state, we are required to register as Republican, Democrat or Independent. We have closed primaries, meaning you can only vote in the primary election of your party. In my state, local and state politics were heavily weighted toward the Democratic Party until fairly recently. For that reason, many people registered Democratic even though they voted Republican in national elections. They didn't want to be left out of the local and state primaries. Due to the fact that there are very, very few candidates registered as Independents (often none), Independents often don't have any voice at all until a general election occurs.

Does that explain anything you didn't already know?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 10:30 pm
@Eva,
It's a good start, thanks. Smile

I understand that you have to register to vote. I guess what I don't understand is why you have to register for a party. What would happen, for example, if you were registered as an independent? Couldn't you pick one party whose primary to vote in? It works in New Jersey. If this is typical, why isn't everyone registered Independent?

EDIT: I guess I simply assumed that all states have open primaries.
 

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