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Jeff H
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Question, if government funding (at any level) is being used for education, and a specific religion is put forth as part of the education, and children are mandated to attend school, is that not the government mandating that children be indoctrinated in the specific religion being taught? Parkay, the supreme court ruled in 1994 that "Government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion." Remember that many of the europeans that came to the colonies came for religious freedom, to avoid religious persecution. The question I always ask when people bring up prayer in school is, would you be offended if your child went to public school, and the teacher led prayer 5 times a day toward Mecca, and the prayer was to Allah? Or what if the teacher led the prayer to the great earth mother, or any of the many other deities? If you would be offended by this, then why do you think the parents of other children should not be offended when you push your specific religion to be used? (btw, I attend a Mennonite church; I don't call myself a Mennonite, to the chagrine of those there; I consider myself a Christian).
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on House balances Senate at Unfettered Letters
Jazz-man, no offense, my friend as I agree with you off and on about other topics, but... that's a huge part of the problem, thinking the ridicule and prejudice will just happen anyway, so it should just be expected. I know, we can't change people's prejudices, but the ridicule part can be changed. I have a coworker who is in a biracial marriage. 50 years ago, she would have been, not just ridiculed, but potentially fired for acknowledging that; in fact, in many states her marriage would have been either unacknowledged or flat out illegal just 75 yeras ago. But non-discrimination laws have changed that, to the point that in the majority of the US, folks don't blink twice at seeing an interracial couple walk down the street. If we work to end discrimination, we can see improvements. No, it won't happen all at once, but we can legally eliminate on the overt discrimination, and educate folks (especially our children) that discrimination, hatred and ridicule of someone who is different is just wrong. And eventually we'll be looking back on this bit of discrimination just as we do so many other forms practiced in the past, and think "Wow, did we really do that back then?" And as with the past discriminations we have dealt with, the only ones still practicing this discriminations will be the whacko extremist fringe... (As someone who has had several close friends who have been gay-bashed to the point of hospitalization, I tend to be very passionate about issues of this sort).
Shoot, most of the folks I know who over-cologne are those who grew up trying to figure out how to smell decent in a smoke-filled bar or restaurant, and how to walk out after only 10 minutes of being there without smelling like a half-filled ashtray...
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on O.D. cologne at Unfettered Letters
Kee, remember, joining the military isn't the only way to "serve your country". On the topic at hand, though, I'm a firm believer of legalizing it, then regulating and taxing it like we regulate and tax tobacco. Then use the funds generated strictly for education and treatment programs (I'm tired of folks taxing tobacco, then pulling the tax revenue generated and using it to fund all their little pet pork projects... but that's a side issue). Taxing marijuana will do a lot more to discourage its use than prohibition... and shoot, I'm trying to remember the last time I heard of someone smoking pot, then going out and getting in a fight, or getting behind the wheel and wrecking... Though I have seen folks so addicted to their cigarette that they have no anger control when they have to go without...
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on Stop demonizing marijuana at Unfettered Letters
My cat meows a lot... hope that doesn't offend the neighbors, too...
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on Barking dogs are a nuisance at Unfettered Letters
Oh, the irony... the side that has long opposed government-run health care because "private insurance companies can handle it so much better than something that is government run" are now bashing Obama because the vaccine isn't getting out in a fast enough manner... the funny thing is, the vaccine is being manufactured and shipped by PRIVATE COMPANIES. To date, the delays are all the result of private companies claiming they could meet the needs and the deadlines set, willingly accepting the money that was used to purchase the vaccine, but then not delivering in a timely manner. So much for "private industry ALWAYS does it better." The funny part is, some folks are so blinded by their hatred for Obama that they can't stand for something to not be his fault and his fault alone. It's sad, really.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on A dose of sarcasm? at Unfettered Letters
Can we then assume that Maj. Evans feels that if someone acknowledges being heterosexual, they should be dishonorably discharged and prosecuted? I mean, if people should be keeping their personal ideas ad behaviors out of the workplace, and not be making their preferece known, then that should be universal, right? Otherwise, it's just another case of double-standards, a hypocrite claiming rights for himself that he would deny others.
Arminius, I hadn't heard of the bokashi technique, which I'm reading makes use of anaerobic microbes but keeps everything sealed up so the smell isn't an issue and the process can be sped by adding a specific mix... interesting!
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2009 on The downside of composting at Unfettered Letters
Kate is correct. You can't just throw all your biodegradable trash onto the heap and expect everything to just work itself out... my Amish grandma had a compost heap when I was growing up and staying with her, and I don't recall it ever having very strong an odor... but then she kept it regularly turned to aerate the pile. If your neighbors' compost heap smells like rotting garbage, it is likely they haven't turned it enough, and anaerobic microbes are growing in the pile (not only do they stink, but they take a lot longer to decompose your compost)... It is also possible that they are adding things which really shouldn't be composted, like meat scraps, which really draw in the pests... Just some thoughts!
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2009 on The downside of composting at Unfettered Letters
Linda, well-written. Too bad some here automatically take everything personally and attack everyone who says anything that might imply that the attacker is in any way flawed...
The irony is, under the last administration, the right regularly blasted anyone who disagreed with that administration's decision as being unpatriotic, un-American, with the typical response to anyone who disagreed with the policies being, "If you don't like it, get out." And now that the shoe is on the other foot, such statements are un-called-for, mean, and evidence of how far this Country has fallen... hmmm...
doh, I have to take back what I just said... I just reread and saw your last paragraph... my apologies for judging you, Ms. Meyer. That was wrong of me.
Unfortunately, Ms. Meyer, you fall into the same trap that so many others do when looking at "us vs. them"... you appear to be guilty of judging the whole of that faith on the actions of certain segments, ignoring that other faiths (including portions of our own) are just as guilty. Remember that the Catholic Church has very strongly delineated rules as to what women are and are not allowed to do in the church hierarchy. Remember that there are sects of Christianity that basically consider women to be baby-making machines, subservient to their husbands in word and deed. Likewise, different branches of Christianity still hold extreme prejudices and support discrimination on other grounds besides just gender. Thankfully a significant portion of us are beyond the second (and are working our way past the third), but many still don't have a problem with the first. As with Christianity, there are multiple branches of Islam, some that are very backward when it comes to treatment of women. But there are other branches that are very progressive. Rather than attacking the entire religion for the actions of the backward groups, actions that are taken by branches of our own faith, it would be wiser to encourage and support the progressive groups in both our faith and theirs, and then take care of business in our own back yard before considering ourselves morally superior. Only when we have pruned out all the weeds in our own garden (and in ourselves) can we claim that ours is superior to anyone elses...
One recent Fox lie was the full-page ad they took out in the Washington Post, New York Post and Wall Street Journal on 9/18, with several doctored pictures of the teabaggers march on 9/12, claiming that ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN all "missed" this story and did not cover it... and when it was pointed out to them that each and every one of the networks they blasted DID cover the march, Fox VP for marketing Michael Tammero claimed that the other networks "ignored the story, marginalized it or misrepresented" it... basically, he's in denial that his network paid to have lies printed about other networks, and is trying to justify it now... As for Rush, he'd be funny if it weren't for those who think that he is a real political pundit, that everything coming from his mouth is God's-Honest-Truth, instead of realizing taht he's just a shock-jock using them for ratings and, as was pointed out, to line his own pockets...
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2009 on That risible Rush … at Unfettered Letters
It's been all over the news today that in NJ today a crowd of teabaggers/protesters mocked and heckled a woman in a wheelchair who wanted to speak in a town-hall there. When another woman talked about her disabled daughter being dropped from her blind husband's insurance, someone shouted "It's your fault!" Others screamed things at the host like "You should have been aborted!" And these are the ones who call themselves the "religious right" (they sure don't represent true Christianity), the "compassionate conservatives" (COMPASSION?!?!?), the "true patriots" (because it's so patriotic to make threats when someone has a different political opinion). Yeah. It's obvious that folks don't want to hear what's inconvenient for their side of the argument. Ms. Hughes is hardly alone, when there are 45 million Americans currently without health insurance, and who knows how many more on COBRA. I only had to do it for a 3 month period when changing jobs about 10 years back, but it was still ridiculous even without pre-existing conditions. I have not yet been without health insurance in my adult life, but even I can see how broken the system currently is.
The fact that there are threats flying around out there, let alone death threats, just shows how stupid the extremists are on both sides. Those who find it necessary to shout down and belittle anyone who disagrees with them (as was happening at Claire's showings) obviously are incapable of making a logical argument and so feel the need to try to make it so any logic stated by the other side just can't be heard (better to hide their own ignorance by making sure the opposition doesn't get a chance to demonstrate it). Whoever made a death threat at Jenkins, whoever made threats at Moore, those are the anti-democracy nonpatriots we should all be coming down on... those who must shout or threaten to make sure their side is the only side heard only suppress true democracy, and make a mockery of our country.
Bree, good point. Does that curriculum also do the "Glow Germ" demonstration? It's a great way to show kids (from toddlers to full grown adults) just how well they are cleaning when they wash their hands. (I think the powdered glow germ was found to have traces of lead in it, but the lotion based one may be safer?)
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2009 on Shaking hands spreads germs at Unfettered Letters
TinaMcG, look at basic health history. When folks take efforts to behave in more healthy manners (ie using clean water rather than plain river water, bathing regularly, washing hands regularly, immunizing young children) it gives those immune systems more of a chance to protect that person's health and life. God also gave us the opportunity to develop common sense, to learn from the past. Look at the last few measles and mumps outbreaks in the midwest over the last few years. The vast majority of cases were in people who either chose for themselves and their families or had parents choose not to take steps to protect them, ie immunize them. If we choose not to protect ourselves, then we have only ourselves to blame when we get sick.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2009 on Shaking hands spreads germs at Unfettered Letters
Kee, if you'll notice, I didn't single out those in opposition of health care that is accessible to all. I specifically stated that anyone who is disruptive and shouts down a town hall meeting is defeating the purpose of the town hall, regardless of whether they support or oppose what is being said by the host.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2009 on Town hall meetings at Unfettered Letters
Kee, where in the constitution and its amendments does it say that the Bill of Rights only applies to American Citizens and to people we like? If someone was taken while in the United States, then they are covered by the constitution of the United States. You and many like you have believed every bit of propaganda that Cheney et al have put out there, and you get very defensive of your beliefs. I'm just saying that if you actually believe they are guilty of something, then why are you so opposed to CHARGING AND TRYING them for their crimes? If there is actual, valid evidence, then produce it. Otherwise, your assertions that they are "scum" are nothing but rank prejudice. FDR's Germans and your VC would have been classified as prisoners of war, and therefore subject to the Geneva Convention if captured. But many object to calling them that, because it would entitle them to basic human rights. Why are you so adament about denying basic human rights to others, especially if there is no actual evidence? And if there is evidence, why be so afraid of producing it? If it exists, it exists. If it doesn't exist, then no matter how hard you argue that you think they are "scum", the fact is they cannot be proven guilty.
Kee, where in the constitution and its amendments does it say that the Bill of Rights only applies to American Citizens and to people we like? If someone was taken while in the United States, then they are covered by the constitution of the United States. You and many like you have believed every bit of propaganda that Cheney et al have put out there, and you get very defensive of your beliefs. I'm just saying that if you actually believe they are guilty of something, then why are you so opposed to CHARGING AND TRYING them for their crimes? If there is actual, valid evidence, then produce it. Otherwise, your assertions that they are "scum" are nothing but rank prejudice. FDR's Germans and your VC would have been classified as prisoners of war, and therefore subject to the Geneva Convention if captured. But many object to calling them that, because it would entitle them to basic human rights. Why are you so adament about denying basic human rights to others, especially if there is no actual evidence? And if there is evidence, why be so afraid of producing it? If it exists, it exists. If it doesn't exist, then no matter how hard you argue that you think they are "scum", the fact is they cannot be proven guilty.
I have said it before and I'll say it again. If we have a legal, realistic reason to be holding them, then charge and prosecute them. If we don't have a legal reason to do what we have been doing to them, then we are no better than what we accuse them of being.
So what is the huge opposition to moving Gitmo detainees to American soil? Are we that opposed to actually having to obey our own laws that we want to keep it outside of our borders, allowing us to ignore the laws we self-righteously impose on everyone else?
When "questioners" show up with bullhorns, with the express intent of doing nothing but shouting down and drowning out anyoe who disagrees with them, it renders so called "town halls" useless. A town hall is intended to discuss the intentions of the host and get feedback from the public. Loud rants in opposition/support are not feedback, especially when the rantor does not want to listen to anyone else's position, be it the host or other attendees. Logical questions about the topic are feedback. Expressing frustrations or fears, and then *listening* to the host's response is an appropriate use of a town hall meeting.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2009 on Town hall meetings at Unfettered Letters
And more personal attacks from Kee. Again, it is clear when one must resort to childish name calling that one is incapable of coming up with a logical, realistic response.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2009 on Town hall meetings at Unfettered Letters