Friday’s Odds and Ends

Posted by mcm0704 on September 16, 2011 |

Pointing out the dangers of labeling people, Juan Williams, has this to say in a recent interview in The Dallas Morning News, “Most black people tell me I’m a conservative. Most white people tell me I am a liberal. But this paradigm is a shortcut for the lazy. It is for people who want the ease of not listening.”

In the interview, Williams, whose new book is Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, talked about how public debate has gotten skewed. He also answered questions about getting fired by NPR for comments he made about being nervous seeing people in Muslim garb at the airport. First he clarified that the comment had been taken out of context from statements he was making about the fear of terrorism in America since 9/11. He was referencing in general terms that having that fear is natural for most Americans.

Then he went on to talk about how difficult it is to have civil public discourse when everyone is labeled, and that label assigns a certain mindset that others react to. A Democrat can’t listen to a Republican, because they are polar opposites. A liberal has nothing to learn from a conservative.

Toward the end of the interview Williams made this point, “The key to expanding debate is to make it solution-oriented. Be very suspicions, even disdainful of people who use speech codes or personal attacks to stop enlightened discussion of the best ideas for moving America forward.”

Amen to that.

In that same issue of the newspaper, I read an interesting column by Helen Zoe, an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing. She was asking for a little respect for home economics classes. What I remember of those classes was making an apron, trying to learn how to set a proper table, and cooking something that did not resemble old shoe leather.

Zoe pointed out in her column that “…that producing good, nutritious food is profoundly important, that it takes study and practice, and that it can and should be taught through the public school system.”

She is offering that thought as one way to help fight the issues of obesity and chronic disease that are plaguing our society today.

Sounds good in theory, but I think good eating habits start in the home with parents who eat healthy and teach their children to eat healthy. Sit-down family dinners with meat and vegetables as opposed to fast-food take-out, is a good start.

How about you? Does your family eat healthy? What are the challenges you face in trying to maintain a healthy diet?

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