All about ideas…


with 7 comments

I started this blog for fun. The title is exactly what I wanted it to be: all about ideas.

Ideas that come in the middle of the night or on the ride home or while watching TV. Just lots of random “oh, wow” moments, covering everything from business to religion to politics to books. Maybe even my crazy, in-your-face cat!

My life’s journey began as a military brat. My dad was a Master Sargeant in the Air Force when he retired with for more than 20 years service. I went to nine schools before I graduated high school at age 17. I don’t recall living anywhere more than two years and a couple of times not more than three months. That kind of life tends to make you feel like an outsider…like you don’t really belong. A through-the-looking-glass view of the world.

But it also gave me a reflective mind, watchful and noticing. And somewhere along the way I became curious. In college, all my friends used to tease me, saying, “curiosity killed the cat!” My reply rapidly became, “And curiosity brought it back to life again.

I think that’s how life should be lived: with curiosity.

Written by Valerie Curl

September 8, 2008 at 6:09 AM

7 Responses

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  1. i found this reassuring as a conservative

    Bradford Berenson, Conservative, Member of Federalist Society, Harvard Law, class of ’91; associate White House counsel, under George W. Bush 2001-’03:

    Some of the people who are not as happy as others, I think much to their surprise, are some of the African American people who believe that now it’s their turn:

    Bradford Berenson:
    Absolutely right, absolutely right. I think Barack took 10 times as much grief from those on the left on the Review as from those of us on the right. And the reason was, I think there was an expectation among those editors on the left that he would affirmatively use the modest powers of his position to advance the cause, whatever that was. They thought, you know, finally there’s an African American president of the Harvard Law Review; it’s our turn, and he should aggressively use this position, and his authority and his bully pulpit to advance the political or philosophical causes that we all believe in.

    And Barack was reluctant to do that. It’s not that he was out of sympathy with their views, but his first and foremost goal, it always seemed to me, was to put out a first-rate publication. And he was not going to let politics or ideology get in the way of doing that. …

    He had some discretion as president to exercise an element of choice for certain of the positions on the masthead; it wasn’t wide discretion, but he had some. And I think a lot of the minority editors on the Review expected him to use that discretion to the maximum extent possible to empower them. To put them in leadership positions, to burnish their resumes, and to give them a chance to help him and help guide the Review. He didn’t do that. He declined to exercise that discretion to disrupt the results of votes or of tests that were taken by various people to assess their fitness for leadership positions.

    He was unwilling to undermine, based on the way I viewed it, meritocratic outcomes or democratic outcomes in order to advance a racial agenda. That earned him a lot of recrimination and criticism from some on the left, particularly some of the minority editors of the Review. …

    It confirmed the hope that I and others had had at the time of the election that he would basically be an honest broker, that he would not let ideology or politics blind him to the enduring institutional interests of the Review. It told me that he valued the success of his own presidency of the Review above scoring political points of currying favor with his political supporters.

    This is but an excerpt. Rest can be read here:


    October 19, 2008 at 11:39 PM

  2. Heath,

    What Mr. Berensen said is exactly why I believe he is better at this time than John McCain for President. I like his pragmatism, his inclusiveness, his willingness to listen to opposing arguments, and his desire to do what is best for the country even if it angers his own constituency.

    I want a President who is curious and able to think for himself and not be led down some ideological path.

    I also was reassured when many of the people who know him well said he has “a velvet glove and an iron fist.” I like that. It reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt.

    Valerie Curl

    October 21, 2008 at 2:20 AM

  3. Hi

    I was hoping we could use your ’scribing’ talent for our website.


    You blogged about Fareed Zakaria which is one of our featured “BSwatch”
    shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally
    contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a
    recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

    What’s in it for you?

    Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay
    but the site has
    a lot of promise and we’re pretty excited about getting it off the
    ground. Let me know what you think


    Tem M.T.
    Junior Editor

    Tem M.T.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:04 AM

  4. JaBze5 Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!


    March 8, 2010 at 5:49 AM

  5. I was somewhat surprised by the fact that you were an airforce brat, as was I. I never went to the same school twice, and often changed schools in mid-term. My father was killed when I was 17 but I never did stop the wondering until much later in life.

    Along with the feeling-like-an-outsider and the watchful curiosity, I also gained a fairly good insight into human nature (you had to be quick at this when you didn’t have much time at any one place), a mistrust of getting close to people, and lots of flexibility. I also learned how to pack up an entire household in a couple of days, and how to make any spot on earth a home with just a few pictures, some flower/plants and bright colored cushions.

    Thanks for the regrouping 🙂

    Sandra Bell Kirchman
    Wizards and Ogres and Elves…oh my!

    Sandra Bell Kirchman

    December 30, 2010 at 6:06 PM

  6. It’s unusual for me to find something on the internet that’s as entertaining and intriguing as what you’ve got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are outstanding, and what’s more, you use source that are relevant to what you’re saying. You’re certainly one in a million, good job!

  7. Val, I don’t check in as often as I should but really enjoy your writing when I get a chance to drop by. Always sorry that you couldn’t pull some of the old audience from Taplin’s blog when he went on hiatus, as you are as wise and deserving of readers as Jon ever was.

    Ken Ballweg

    September 13, 2011 at 8:30 AM

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