Photo courtesy Tom Lurtz
Thanks for Tuba Christmas
We would like to thank all the folks who gave us another year of Tuba Christmas. Celebrating 24 years of the event locally, Fred Tempas led a group of assorted tubas and their players through a wonderful hour of tunes.
We appreciate the effort of all the ensemble to volunteer their time and energy to play for the public each year. I think everyone left with a smile and a few Christmas tunes still playing in their head.
We would also like to thank the McKinleyville Shopping Center Management for providing a warm, dry venue for this year’s crowd. It was a lot more fun to listen and sing out of the rain.
Hope everyone can keep a few friendly notes with them for the season.
Jingle bells, jingle bells….
Tom Lurtz, Linda Gleye and Noah Lurtz
Blaming the poor
An astonishing NIMBY article on the homeless appeared in the Times-Standard on Nov. 29, 2012. This article was filled with the usual obfuscations and deflections common to those with a negative agenda.
The author lists a barrage of impressive actions the community has enacted, but nestled amongst the virtuous activities are four assertions answered with a definitive “Yes” or “No” but absolutely bereft of clarifying facts.
This is the sort of polemic offered — but still unacceptable — by sophomores in high school. And what of the irrefutable nonsense of her claim that “there is only so much money available for donations.” Really? Is that non-sequitur the pivot of her argument?
But the saddest part of this diatribe is not the broadside splattered against the unpalliated population of those less fortunate than the rest of us, it is the lack of differentiation entered into the equation. She postulates a dichotomy of finite resources vs. a target population, the homeless. Neither supposition is an isolated or uniform concept.
Finite resources are our problem — those who construct our economy — the great washed. It is the very people who have prospered in this economy who seem most readily to succumb to the fear of (you name it). This fear may be likened to a fear of losing what you have so strenuously eked out of your trials and tribulations.
Therefore, it is YOURS, your certifiable and cherished attainment. The homeless, accordingly, have not been doing what they should have, and certainly not anything comparable to what you have done. So, how now Pussycat, do they deserve any more from your feed bowl?
Well, the economy is the point. Build-in or allow inequalities to manifest and it is no surprise that the immense distances between those who have and those who would like to have is crippling our society. I have no idea if the author of that article is a “have” or “have not” but she certainly writes with closed eyes.
The most important omission in her article is the amalgamation of her target group into an isomorphic non-entity. The homeless are a burden. Well, I’ll be dog-gonned. Add to this the notion that they are undeserving and the discussion need go no further.
But examined in the light of our recent history, and lumping homeless into any category, makes this an exercise for fools. Once the great humanitarian, Ronald Reagan (he of the “once you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all”), shut down the mental hospitals, the inmates became the “burden” for the rest of us. What this percentage is, is anyone’s guess.
But G.W. Bush produced a major source for the continuance of this population when he falsely claimed that Iraq needed sequestering or we would be deprived of their oil. Oh, he may have said that only among his closeted conferees, but he directly produced 25% of the homeless with those ungrateful wretches, our unappreciative and unappreciated vets. Add to this the families of our vets who have lost their breadwinner and now prowl our streets wreaking disarray and dismay and you have a soup no one wants.
Implicit in NIMBY arguments is the “blame” the homeless must bear. Often a semi-intellectual disclaimer such as “it is their own fault” is added. It is much easier to point a finger than it is to lend a hand. But short of bankrupting ourselves (and thereby joining their numbers), society — the We in “We the people…” – can never do too much for our downtrodden.
Larry Hourany, PhD
Donate to Hum. Literacy
On behalf of the Humboldt Literacy Project and our 100+ tutors and learners, I would like to thank Paul McNally, General Manager of the Ingomar Club, and staff for their hospitality at our annual Tutor and Learner Recognition Night, Nov. 27. It was wonderful! Entering the front door, one child even exclaimed,“We’re in a castle!”
Now, not all of us fortunate enough to live in a real castle. But if you’re thankful for how you do live, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Literacy Project online at http://www.humlit.org, by mail, HLP, 537 G Street #202A, Eureka, CA 95501 or by phone, 707-445-3655.
Literacy’s castle has enough room – and enough wonders – to amaze us all.
Humboldt Literacy Project