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An Open Letter on Why We Need the NEA

To Anyone Who Thinks We Should Cut the National Endowment for the Arts: Civilization and culture are what happen after someones basic needs are met. They can go forth and be the best that humanity can be, rising above “where is my next meal coming from?” When you look back on cultures throughout history what do you think of? You think of their way of life, perhaps their government, and always their art. Architecture, music, painting, sculpture, writings. We think of who they were, their culture. Not just where on the map they lived. Our culture is what we make as humans that we pass to the next generation, it is the story of who we are as a people. I am a capitalist. I believe that the best things in this life come when you have a government that lets you follow your passion. And lets you serve others to the best of your ability. That service is rewarded with money, which you then have the freedom to spend in the best way you see fit. I believe in a limited government. It should get out of my way because I have things to do. I believe in nice people and in communities that help each other. And, I’m okay if you believe I am wrong. And while all of that is true. While I am a capitalist, and lean heavily towards Libertarianism, I also believe in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). It protects our culture. It promotes our civilization. You want to make America great again? America is already great. You want to cut the...

Reducing Plastic Use – Grocery Store

If you read my prior blog post you know that our family recently decided to do something about all this plastic in our lives. Today I went to the grocery store. Whoa. With my eyes wide open on plastic use, boy did I notice a lot of it! Today I wanted to make some small, easy changes to get us started. There is nothing like immediate success to keep oneself motivated! My first goal was to use my reusable bags (which meant putting them in the car, and taking them into the store. Easy sounding, but this is real life folks!) My second goal was to not use plastic bags inside the store. Today I shopped at the new Winco in town. I headed into the store, went right over to the produce section, and thought, “How do I get this in my cart?” Sure, I could just gently lay it down atop my reusable bags, but then I thought the checker might kill me. A friendly produce guy showed me that they had brown bags next to the mushrooms, so I did that for the mushrooms. Then I grabbed a few extra bags. I headed over to carrots. There were baby carrots in plastic, large carrots in plastic, a ton of juicing carrots in (you guessed it) plastic….I spied the organic section a bit further down and found some loose carrots. Success! I threw them in the brown bag. I grabbed some zucchini, into a brown bag. I found avocado and thought, “Hey, these are already wrapped!” and put them in the cart sans bag. I put the cilantro and...

Plastic Salad? What happened here?

Why does my salad look like a bunch of plastic bags? This was the thought that rolled into my mind as I made my lunch. I’ve become more aware lately of how much plastic is creeping into our lives. I am great with plastic when it is truly needed for the job, like medical supplies. But this is just getting ridiculous. I looked down at my salad. The kale I had removed from a plastic bag. The celery and carrots were still in their respective bags. My cutting board is plastic. And to think that on our block we seem to have the smallest amount of trash on our curb during trash day. What is going on here? Why I’m Not So Keen on Plastic Plastic items take 450-1000 years to breakdown. As they aren’t make of organic material, they don’t really “decompose.” Imagine if Van Gogh had drunk water one day out of a plastic bottle, that bottle would still be around. Yikes! Glass can do a lot of the jobs that plastic does, and it can be recycled endlessly! There are a few “garbage patches” in the Pacific Ocean. Basically these are areas that have a LOT of garbage floating in the ocean. Due to ocean currents all the garbage ends of condensed in an area. Not good for any fishes, birds or other marine life that is looking for a snack and eats the plastic instead. Or gets caught and trapped in it. Our family is going to change. A little here, and a little there. Reducing Plastic Use. Grow our own vegetables this summer. We have a...