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Red/​Blue, Strict/​Nurturing Families, and Inherited vs. Negotiated Commitments

I know that I read Red Fam­i­ly, Blue Fam­i­ly: Mak­ing sense of the val­ues issue by Doug Mud­er sev­er­al years ago.1 I clear­ly remem­ber post­ing a link to it in Suzette Haden Elgin’s blog, and hav­ing her pick it up and pass it on enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly.

A friend post­ed a link to it again this week, and I re-read it today. I don’t know why, but it made even more sense this time around. Mud­er uses the work of George Lakoff (Moral Pol­i­tics : How Lib­er­als and Con­ser­v­a­tives Think and Don’t Think of an Ele­phant: Know Your Val­ues and Frame the Debate – The Essen­tial Guide for Pro­gres­sives) and James Ault (Spir­it and Flesh: Life in a Fun­da­men­tal­ist Bap­tist Church) to explain things that have pre­vi­ous­ly seemed inex­plic­a­ble.
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Some of Today’s News in Atlanta

I man­aged to avoid the crime news, which is always hor­ri­fic. Okay, I most­ly avoid­ed it. The three boys under 10 who are being charged with kid­nap­ping and rape1 is get­ting to me. That poor lit­tle girl!

Transgender candidate misled voters, suit alleges2

Actu­al­ly, the­se guys seem to be suing every­body but the dog­catcher down there in Riverdale.

What does Ms. Bruce’s gen­der have to do with how she’ll per­form as a city coun­cil mem­ber? Noth­ing, of course Ir’s been brought up because a cou­ple of sore losers just won’t let go. Ass­hats!

Trumpet the news: Elephant is going to be a mom3

But she won’t deliv­er until some­where around April 1, 2009! 22 months of preg­nan­cy. Dum­bo nev­er men­tioned that lit­tle fact.

In metro Atlanta, profile of those in need during the holidays has changed4

It isn’t just dur­ing the hol­i­days, either. Food banks across the coun­try are see­ing more and more work­ing peo­ple who need help. They’re hav­ing to reduce the amount of food given to each per­son or fam­i­ly because the demand has out­paced the sup­ply so much.

I can’t say that I’m sur­prised. I know too many peo­ple who are just bare­ly scrap­ing by, and it isn’t because they’re irre­spon­si­ble. It’s just how the Amer­i­can econ­o­my is, and some­thing needs to change very quick­ly.

1 http://​www​.ajc​.com/​m​e​t​r​o​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​m​e​t​r​o​/​c​o​b​b​/​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​/​2​0​0​7​/​1​1​/​1​9​/​a​s​s​a​u​l​t​_​1​1​1​9​.​h​tml

2 http://​www​.ajc​.com/​m​e​t​r​o​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​m​e​t​r​o​/​c​l​a​y​t​o​n​/​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​/​2​0​0​7​/​1​1​/​1​9​/​r​i​v​e​r​d​a​l​e​s​u​i​t​_​1​1​2​0​_​w​e​b​.​h​t​m​l​?​c​x​n​t​n​i​d​=​a​m​n​1​1​2​0​07e

3 http://​www​.ajc​.com/​l​i​v​i​n​g​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​l​i​v​i​n​g​/​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​/​2​0​0​7​/​1​1​/​1​9​/​e​l​e​p​h​a​n​t​_​1​1​2​0​.​h​t​m​l​?​c​x​n​t​n​i​d​=​a​m​n​1​1​2​0​07e

4 http://​www​.ajc​.com/​h​o​l​i​d​a​y​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​h​o​l​i​d​a​y​g​u​i​d​e​/​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​/​2​0​0​7​/​1​1​/​1​9​/​f​o​o​d​_​1​1​2​0​.​h​t​m​l​?​c​x​n​t​n​i​d​=​a​m​n​1​1​2​0​07e

I’m a Girl Scout!

Yep, I’m a 39-year-old Girl Scout. In fact, all three of the humans in our house­hold are reg­is­tered Girl Scouts — myself, Katie, and yes, even Sam. Men can be reg­is­tered as adult Scouts. Katie’s troops have always asked that at least one, and prefer­ably both (or more if there are more!) par­ents in a fam­i­ly reg­is­ter as adult Scouts for var­i­ous rea­sons.

I’ve been a troop lead­er in Junior and mul­ti­level (Rain­bow) troops in the past. I had one year of Brown­ies and one as a Junior Girl Scout when I was a girl. I didn’t have great expe­ri­ences, and want­ed to make things bet­ter for my daugh­ter and oth­er girls, so I stepped up to be a lead­er when need­ed. I found that I enjoyed it every bit as much as the girls do. As just one exam­ple, I had nev­er gone camp­ing until Katie became a Brown­ie, and thought I’d hate it, but it was real­ly fun. 

There are some mar­velous resources on the net for Girls and their par­ents and lead­ers. Katie is going to share her favorite links with oth­er girls, so I’ll con­cen­trate on the adult stuff. Since I’m rel­a­tive­ly new, I don’t have any­thing like the list of links some sites have, but I want­ed to share the best of what I have found. 

  • The Nation­al GSUSA site has far more infor­ma­tion on it than most peo­ple ever real­ize. If you don’t already know what local coun­cil serves your area, you can find out here.
  • We’re in the North­west Geor­gia coun­cil. That site also offers a wealth of infor­ma­tion. Pay spe­cial atten­tion to the reg­u­lar­ly-post­ed Learn­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties, which is the sched­ule of class­es offered for adults and some­times for old­er girls. Coun­cil events are also post­ed here. We would have missed out on some mar­velous oppor­tu­ni­ties if we wait­ed for some­one else to tell us about them instead of check­ing the council’s site reg­u­lar­ly.
  • The Scout­ing File Cab­i­net is a col­lec­tion of links, songs, cer­e­monies, activ­i­ties, infor­ma­tion for par­ents — you name it! It’s part of a larg­er site, the Leader/​Guide Cyber Coun­cil, which is mar­velous.
  • Scout­ing­Web offers an aston­ish­ing range of mate­ri­al.
  • New Moon Mag­a­zine isn’t specif­i­cal­ly for Scouts, but it’s a mar­velous mag­a­zine for and by girls that does occa­sion­al­ly fea­ture some Scout­ing mate­ri­al. They also have a great mail­ing list, care­about­girls. The list is “for adults who care about girls: par­ents, teach­ers, coach­es, coun­selors, pas­tors, troop lead­ers, rel­a­tives, researchers, etc. This is for every adult who wants to help raise healthy, con­fi­dent girls and make the world bet­ter and safer for girls.”

Some­one expressed sur­prise when learn­ing that I’m a Girl Scout lead­er because she was under the impres­sion that Girl Scout­ing is only for Chris­tians. I wrote an arti­cle to clear up that mis­con­cep­tion, “Is There a Pen­ta­gram Badge?”

I espe­cial­ly encour­age home­school­ing fam­i­lies to explore Girl Scout­ing as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for their daugh­ters. We use the GS badge require­ments along with unit stud­ies and they’ve given us many great ideas.