recent Metroland contains a little report of a study
indicating that conservatives and Republicans profess greater
happiness than liberals and Democrats [Newsfront, May 8].
The headline: “Happy assholes.”
The story suggests “that conservatives are able to rationalize
economic and social inequalities that trouble the conscience
of liberals.” Liberals seem to believe they alone possess
consciences, a kind of virtue and human feeling that others
lack, and that only liberals want the best for humanity, while
conservatives don’t give a shit. In other words, that liberals
are good people and conservatives are, well, just assholes.
Conservatives do tend to take a different view from liberals
concerning issues of equality. In a nutshell, they generally
believe that, by and large, people who are successful and
wealthy achieve that by earning it, and not at the expense
of other people, but rather by contributing to the welfare
of other people, by providing them with the goods and services
they want and willingly pay for. That, in fact, is what creates
the wealth of society—without which the less fortunate would
be even worse off.
It is not surprising that people who have this basic understanding
are happier with life than are those who instead think all
disparities of wealth are simply a form of injustice. To label
the former “happy assholes” is—at the risk of stating the
obvious—patently offensive, juvenile, and moronic. It can
only serve to indicate that the underlying political viewpoint
is likewise juvenile and moronic.
But I actually don’t think liberals (apart from whoever wrote
that headline) are assholes. I believe they are sincere in
wanting what’s best for humankind. I only wish that belief
take issue with the Steck campaign’s assertion [“Steck in
the 21st,” Newsfront, May 15] that he’s the only candidate
with support in Rensselaer.
Tracey Brooks has been endorsed by Troy City Councilwoman
Ginny O’Brien, former Rensselaer County Democratic Chair Lynne
Mahoney and well-known Rensselaer County community leader
Rocco DeFazio, to name a few. Tracey Brooks also has the support
of numerous Rensselaer County Democratic committee persons.
Nonetheless, while endorsements are nice and always appreciated,
the primary race in Rensselaer County—like in all seven counties
in the 21st Congressional District—will not be decided by
party or elected official endorsements but by the voters.
And from what we’ve seen so far, the voters are looking for
new leaders—like Tracey Brooks—with a clear vision, the right
priorities, a different set of experiences and the ability
to make change happen.”
Tracey Brooks Campaign
Can Be Deceiving
very strongly agree that school libraries in New York State
need additional funds to purchase library materials and employ
certified library media specialists [“Read ‘Em And Weep,”
However, I do not want the public to think that most of the
books in school libraries in New York State are out-of-date.
I am the library media specialist in a school of approximately
700 students in the Capital District. Like most librarians
I know, I weed our book collection periodically to remove
books containing outdated information. This year alone I purchased
over 600 new fiction, nonfiction, and reference books. Would
I like to purchase more new books? Certainly I would, but
our collection is reasonably current. Examining the average
copyright date of a collection can be misleading because some
“old” books are timeless works of fiction or are about historical
Please support budget increases for school libraries, especially
for high-needs districts. However, recognize that “schools
just aren’t buying books anymore” is an inaccurate generalization.
The study conducted by New York Library Association, which
was outlined in the aforementioned story, surveyed the average
age of school library books, not the average copyright date.
The study determined that the average physical age of a public-school
library volume is more than 20 years old, and that the average
public-school library can afford to purchase only one new
book for every four students. Having the funding to purchase
600 new books for 700 students is heartening, but it is well
above the norm.
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