Author Topic: Political Processes - Can we talk?  (Read 74801 times)

serenesheila

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2012, 07:50:25 PM »
A few years ago, I became aware of how much violence we see in commercials.  It horrifies me  It isn't just movies, or TV!  Anger, rage, violence, are also a part of many of our commercials.  I find it extremely sad,

Sheila

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2012, 11:26:13 PM »
Wow - this is the current blurb among the college aged kids as the try to come to terms with Newton.

Black guy kills some people.
Society: Criminal.

Muslim guy kills some people.
Society: Terrorist.

Latino guy kills some people.
Society: Criminal.

White guy kills some people.
Society: Mental illness. (lost soul, complicated psyche, quiet loner, misunderstood, frustrated with life, experienced recent, traumatic, life-altering events that set him off; not to mention all the positive descriptors that are attached to him, i.e. intelligent, PhD candidate, honor roll student, etc.)

Frybabe

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 07:49:26 AM »
Interesting, Barb.

ginny

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2012, 12:53:38 PM »
Unfortunately,  the current stock  of assault rifles and guns  appears to be, according to the news, flying off the shelves, since people fear they may be banned. With so many currently in the hands of who knows who, I can't see disarming the one force that stands between us and the rampages, that's not fair to the police. Perhaps they could limit the sale of the types of magazines that go in these things.  Of course people could stockpile same as well. I'm afraid the barn door is open and has been for some time. They can't recall these things.

They were saying on NPR that you can today buy a gun in a parking lot with no background checks or anything else, they didn't specify how one goes about it.

I know we have assault weapons out here, you can hear people target practicing with them. Sounds like a WWII movie.

That is an interesting set of quotes, Barbara.  I think I am as tired of hearing the mother, (who herself was a victim) being vilified as I am people struggling to find some reason for the assassin's acts.

People are shocked, angry (very angry) and grief stricken, and want to blame somebody, want to find reasons, so this won't happen again.  I think the children need protection, first, visible protection,  even tho a lot of schools currently have protection, apparently breaking thru a window, shooting out a window,  did not set off alarms.  That could be fixed.  I'd like to see the premises of every school  more secure. I'd like to see a ban on the type of bullets/clips/ magazines  which these military type guns use. Sooner or later they will run out, maybe not in our lifetimes but eventually they will be obsolete,  and there will be empty clicking. And I don't personally see why the homeowner needs any sort of military repeating gun.  I think repeating guns of any type should only be sold to the military or the police.

I personally don't want to hear anything about him, his psyche, anything, after what he did,  I don't care, and I wish the TV would shut up about it.  I can't get to it fast enough to turn it off: he's being made into a celebrity, his 15 minutes of fame cost the nation dearly.   I can't imagine, just can't imagine the grief of the parents.

 I think the superintendent of a local school district said it well on the news last night: the shooter  was a coward; he killed himself when he heard the police coming. I expect this type of thinking is what's behind the call to have visible police in every school. They hope this person, the known presence of this policeman will deter the idea from forming in the first place, since the cowards will look elsewhere. Again, tho, with the sheer size of the high school campuses in our area, it would take more than one man per school.

They said on the news they are going to use real police here in the schools, or off duty  police  or some taken off the job and replaced by new men on the force, and this is going to take a lot of money: to pay the new man and his replacement.  I would think you would  need a man with that type of experience, tho, in a crisis when people are shooting at you.

It's a problem, they must do something first to protect the children from these deluded maniacs. But then what? How about the malls? How about train stations?  Bus stations? Department stores? Movie theaters? What has this country come to? I myself don't go to a movie theater now that I don't watch everybody who comes in. There was a man recently who carried a sort of case into a 007 movie I was watching. I watched him more than I did the movie, what a world we live in. And I'm not the only one, either.

 Is it the movies? The culture? The video games?



BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2012, 05:23:45 PM »

Frybabe

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2012, 09:21:51 AM »
I just ran across Jack London's first full length novel. It is called A Daughter of the Snows, published in 1902. London's was early on plagued by accusations of racism.

When reading up on Mr. London, I discovered that he was an advocate for unionization, socialism, and worker's rights. Here, I always thought his novels were about strong, INDEPENDENT types. The only one I actually ever read was Call of the Wild, his third novel.

A Daughter of the Snows (as do others) apparently shows, if not his views, the common views of racism of his day through his characters. In that light, I would be most interested to see how heavy a hand he applies racist comments compared to Earl Biggers Charlie Chan series or even Agatha Christie's portrayal of prejudice against Poirot. And we all know what a stink Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Black Sambo makes these days and how the publishing powers proceeded to change names to make it politically correct (these days it isThe Story of Little Babaji, version by Fred Marcellino). I guess that got changed because it is a children's story.

I posted this in the fiction discussion, but maybe it is better suited here. In light of the second paragraph it may open a discussion of racism in literature in the last century or so. 

mogamom

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2012, 09:50:59 AM »
Great link, Barb!

I came to SeniorLearn for Latin for a host of reasons, one of which was because I believe we can learn from the ancients; there is nothing new under the sun.  so I am signing up for the Constitution courses from Hillsdale and, if anyone else is taking them, I would like to 'compare notes'.  The books we have spoken of earlier regarding the formation of the Constitution were written by men who did read the ancients (as well as contemporaries) in their original languages and who did have a firm grasp on the political scene of the past 500 years.

But to follow-up on gun-control;  I heard an ex-military man on the radio who was quite annoyed at politicians who are labeling these guns as 'military' and 'assault'  weapons.  They are not.  And while the individual in the Sandy case had other weapons on hand, he actually carried out the attack with a couple of hand-guns which would not have been considered 'assault' weapons.  The point being, how do un-armed individuals defend themselves?  In other cases, including the most recent mall attack, legally armed citizens stopped the shooter.

A town in GA that some friends moved to was so beset by violence (thought to be originating from the local college) that heads-of-households were 'required' to get a gun (there were many exceptions given) and crime dropped dramatically.  A coward goes where no one can defend themselves.  The police can't be everywhere. 

As a mental health professional I do want to remind people that legislation was passed in the 70's that put many mentally ill patients, who had been hospitalized for their disorders, out on the streets, and changed the rules for retaining individuals especially in regard to involuntary admissions. In our state a person has to be in 'imminient danger of harming himself or others' to be held for a psychiatric evaluation - that's very often a very difficult call to make.  And while there has been great advancement made in supporting patients and families to ajust to community living, we just can't always know what/when a person may be 'set off'.

nlhome

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2012, 02:01:55 PM »
Is there something about unions or workers' rights that requires a person to be dependent rather than independent and strong? I think there are lot of strong individuals who advocate for workers' rights and unions.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2012, 04:01:21 PM »
Any rancher feeding cattle at 4: in the morning in a blizzard or a wind storm sees no value to organized anything since he never had anyone helping him unless he pays them and even then they are snug in the bunkhouse -

Most news organization or folks who live several states away from this life do not realize a whole swath of this nation has that as its unifying myth just like we have the  myth of freedom and Ben Franklin or Paul Revere is a myth that identifies how we feel about freedom - And so in those parts of the country that still believe their identity is tied to those ranchers who work much of the land in their state their understanding is the individual versus nature and groups who want to tell him what to do - as to roads and electricity that are supported by group taxation, most ranchers had to build their own and string their own wire so they see little going on that helps them within any collective body - some have banded together to sell orchard products but many establish their own markets. This myth keeps alive a pride in the individual.

nlhome

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2012, 10:22:34 PM »

Most ranchers had more help than they admitted or recognized - those markets didn't exist in a vacuum.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2012, 03:12:24 AM »
Like any sales you have to find the folks who want to buy your product and so they too had to find a market just as I have to contently look for clients who want to sell or buy a house - the market I work with is either an individual or a builder or an investor - most ranchers sell to a large market, much as a builder is a large market for Real Estate. Some ranchers, especially those who are still raising grass fed cattle find small markets like restaurants or farmer's markets or, sell online or, have days during the week when someone is at the ranch to sell or, some sign up buyers in Spring to buy half or a full cow that when it is matured is slaughtered for you. There are some very large operations that sell abroad but they are usually owned by big investors. That system happened some years back when eastern banks came to the west and that is another long story - Again, the situation today is not as it was 50 or 100 years ago and yet, folks carry the myth just as our Freedom is not what it was 50 or 100 much less 200 years ago and the concept of freedom established with the story of folks who made it happen is still alive as a myth celebrated during 4th of July or other community celebrations.

Just as we cannot understand the various myths held by folks in the near east that is wrapped up in their religion and is part of their national legal system and just as Israel likes to remind folks and their identity is about the land they populated 2000 years ago therefore, it should be their nation - we all have myths that are our identity - in many of the ranching states there is the myth of the rancher/cowboy, who does still exist but not as they were 100 years ago - just as the minute men are no longer as they were 200 years however, the characteristics of these myths is what drives an attitude. For many states the attitude is the individual being strong, proud and independent - that is not changed any more than the myth of being free through the efforts of those who fought the Revolution.

To say we are not as free and we have many laws on the books that curtail our freedom and therefore, we should accept an attitude of less freedom to make room for others who see their myth in the freedom to practice religion (that has become a force in politics) suggests we should not deny the Muslim to influence our laws - the idea of Shariah law incorporated in even local law seems more than we can accept - that is an example of how folks who feel they are strong, proud, independent individuals who see little help from unions or government feel about supporting anything that takes away from the concept of the independent individual -

Arguments can be made to show them as wrong or, don't they see this or that but, that is simply another viewpoint trying to convince people to give up their identity, to adopt a view that they have little association  - These folks are not foreigners who must change to be an American and for the most part they are not asking those who believe in a group effort like a union to change - just don't be trying to change their operation or culture - Sure you can say we are all connected and every business is connected but then, no connection is getting up to find and feed cattle, at 4: in the morning in a winter blizzard or a Spring sand and wind storm - they simply want to be left alone to do their job and to continue living their identity. In other words go away - their thinking is, don't try to cram other myths and values down our throats.

As to pay scale helped by unions - that is an issue that needs a close study because every-time we put more restrictions on farmers and ranchers more give up and if you have ever driven through northern Mexico the corporate farming extends further than the eye can see as the desert has become a fruit and vegetable center for at least 25 years extending its size every year.

The consumer market wants produce cheap - we are the consumer market - and so if the restrictions put some farmers and ranchers off the land because they cannot compete with Mexican or any internationally grown food and cattle then as more US farmers and ranchers give up, the produce we buy has less flavor, more pesticides, foods grown from genetically altered Monsanto seed that is replacing even the seed in our new Bread Basket, Africa, and even the watering, picking, shipping and handling does not match our health expectations.

Just the watering - have you never purchased a head of lettuce or other leaf products not prepackaged and found clumps of hair close to the root or core - fields are flooded before the seed is planted by opening the dykes with sometimes sewage flowing onto the fields - sure after the fields are planted a system of long arm aerators are used.  Buying loose leaf lettuce in plastic containers may seem less work but it is hiding a multitude of sins. That is the outcome of not being able to satisfy the market's desire for low prices that forces grocery chains to buy from outside the US because the US farmer and ranchers can no longer compete.

All to say those who are wanting a Unionized America need to understand how some products have different needs and how we may be one nation but there are various areas of this country who identify with a different myth.


mogamom

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2012, 12:08:58 AM »
I am not sure I'm understanding how you're using the term 'myth'?

The biggest problems I see with those who want a strong federal system are:

1.  The farther away the governing body,
       a.  the less responsive to special/area-specific situations/needs,
       b.  the less accountable to the individual voter and the more reactive to high-pressured lobbies/groups,
       c.  the more costly/less efficient the 'service' (even the citizens facing the after-math of 'Sandy' can tell you that friends/neighbors/family/community and church groups - whether local or distant - generally do a better job of giving much-needed aid than government institutions do); and,

2.  If I don't like the laws I am governed by in my state, I have more power to change them or to choose a state that is more in line with my best interests; if the law is federal, I have no such choice.

I thought we just spent forty years saying: 'live and let live', 'you can't legislate morality' (although that is, indeed, all you do legislate), and 'you have no right to impose your beliefs on someone else.'  Yet it seems that the fight really is about who will be allowed to impose their values on the rest.  I, for one, would like much less government.  And I would like to see a greater adherence to the Constitution and the principles that established our government. 

I shudder when a congressman states that 'congress really can do anything it wants to' (while exempting its own members from compliance to laws imposed on the citizen), when a president announces that he is 'going around congress' or when the justice department (whose members swear to uphold and defend the laws of the country) announces which laws it refuses to enforce, and a judiciary that attempts to re-write the law rather than just determining its constitutionality.  All of these statements/behaviors seem to me to undermine authority for law itself, as well as the principle that we are all equal under the law and equally under the law).

For those who believe that the Constitution is antiquated and would like to see it changed I would respectfully ask, 1.  if you have a good understanding of it as it stands and the issues/discussions that went into its formation (I am appalled at the seeming number of politicians who appear to have, or state that they have, little knowledge of the Constitution); and 2.  how would you change it? why? what would these changes be based on?

I do hope all are having a wonderful Christmas and, again, appreciate this forum for honest, reflective discussion!


BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2012, 01:58:06 AM »
We probably each have our individual idea of appropriate governance - my concern is that there are different needs, desires and viewpoints appropriate for various parts of the country - some of these viewpoints are because of historical experiences and the use of the land - my wish is that all areas understood theirs is not the only way nor are the needs the same. My belief is that the more understanding about the differences the more negotiations rather than, an up and down vote or labeling folks, which I think comes about because of this lack of awareness and subsequent lack of understanding.

It is one thing not to agree and have different views but, it is another thing to assume those different views are because both see the problem from the same viewpoint and are therefore, in contention. Where as, some folks have no experience seeing life from this other viewpoint and are therefore, interpreting the reaction as wrong or stupid or unworthy or unjust or non-compassionate.  

As to myth - we all have our myth - the story that identifies who we are as a people - even families have myths - the things that happen and how we handle them, the things we experience that make us proud to be who we are -  as small children hearing the stories we can see ourselves acting as a Minute man or Paul Revere and we are proud of how George Washington handled his army as well as, the personal strengths included in his story - we are proud of our role in various wars - we remember with pride key moments in our history that help form our values -

Not every historical event is remembered accurately, nor does it include all the factors but, the key points that we choose to highlight become part of how we keep the story alive as part of who we are as Americans. Some of our stories are not explained well enough to allow us to walk in the shoes of a Southerner or Northerner or other parts of the country that have a common story, down to the myths/stories that identify us as a people from a certain state or a certain city - Some of us assume what we consider our national identity is shared equally in all parts of this nation

Since our conception as a nation there are folks who identify themselves with the land which allows certain living patters and certain kinds of work - others see through the eyes of their work and their experience assuring they are valued for their work from professional ball players to coal miners - still others use their family myths including their experiences in church, school, home - still other groups identify as Americans by how we express ourselves in the arts or their pride in and struggles to preserve our wilderness.

The proud-fully remembered stories of ourselves build the myth of who we are. However, each American experiences a different America that is too often not only at odds but not understood by those from other areas or work etc. These differences are far more than just the city mouse versus the country mouse

Frybabe

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2012, 08:34:44 AM »
I've started reading the US Declaration of Independence. The preamble is pretty much all that I remember from school way long ago. On my reading list (so far), but not in order:

The US Constitution (including the Bill of Rights and all the Amendments)
The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalist Papers
On Liberty - John Stuart Mill
Democracy in America - Alexis de Tocqueville
A Discourse Upon the Foundation and Inequality of Man - Jen-Jacques Rousseau
The History of Freedom and Other Essays - John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (First Baron Acton)
The Magna Carta
Constitutional History of England - Henry Hallam
The Writings of Thomas Paine (includes The Rights of Man)
Second Treatise of Government - John Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Books I-IV - John Locke

Mogamom, thanks for reminding me of the online course at Hillsdale. I hope they still have it when I get to reading the Constitution. Something on the French Constitution would be nice to find so I can compare the differences.

Barb, I see your point about how cultural/national myths can shape thinking and actions in the current day. Oddly enough, I am reading a SciFi series at the moment where a myth has grown up around a person thought to be dead but found alive one hundred years later (the miracle of cryogenic hibernation or close to it). The protagonist must now deal with a hero status he does not feel he deserves nor feel up to in order to keep a battle fleet together. The myth has attributed things to him that he never said or did. Everyone who looks up to the myth expects him to live up to this mythical persona. Myths involving real people often have a way of growing and distorting until the real person would barely recognize his or herself.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2012, 06:28:52 PM »
I remember reading the The Magna Carta in a museum in London - bits and pieces and then later reading more - I remember then being shocked at how much church land was handled like the King's land that excluded timber cutting, hunting, trapping, fishing etc. to only the owners and those representing the owners - only in recent years did I read enough and attend enough classes to understand the church and the monarchy was one and the same power in most of Europe. It always takes our breath to hear the draconian measures attributed to the church since now we see the church as a connection to our spirituality rather than as a political governing body.

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2012, 04:44:18 PM »
That's some reading list!  In a history course in collegel we did read one Federalisy paper. one written by Madison, urging states to ratify the new constitution.  I remember he stressed what he considered the most valuable part of the constitution: the provision for amending it.
Barb, surely the regional plantation owners of theante bellum  South had their own way of life, and just wnated to be left alone to practice their "peculiar institution" as they wished.  With a terrible war, I guess the Union"crammed its values down their throats" and millions today thank God they did.
The ranchers you describe are not isn such flagrant violations of human rights ,but their way of life is waning, isn't it/   
And please don't curse labor unions.  There must always be a tension between labor and management in a captialist society; unions help to level the playing field.
and when people start bashing government employess as lazy and incompetent and inferior to the
independent worker" , remember the public employees who went into the hell fof the Worl d Tradde Center or the teachers who tried to shield children with their  bodies in Newtown.  All union members.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2012, 01:44:59 PM »
Not cursing Labor just helping folks understand why the entire nation is not behind introducing unions into the workplace - and not waning - the way of life is still very strong but more, folks identify with the concept of the cowboy individual -

An example in this state - The Texas Rangers are one of our strongest law enforcers and they still track down the criminals that are often gangs with one Ranger -

As to the south you have to remember that many signed up for that war before it was about freeing slaves - they were often from the parts of the south where there were no plantations like the mountains of Tennessee, Northern Alabama and even the mountains of North Carolina - they signed up for the war thinking they were fighting over states rights - and yet, they have been blamed for slavery - and treated very badly after the war. The Federal government treated the southern soldiers, the dead and the states deplorably so that the concept of support for governing as a region and as states is far greater than supporting the Federal Government.

None of these differences are a right or wrong issue - it is about understanding there are other viewpoints with strong rational other then the viewpoint from the Northeast - or at least from Wisconsin down to  Indiana eastward. That is the part of the country where everyone seems to identify with working in a group situation - even the top CEO cannot work independently - he has a board, he must do right by investors, and if he does not show a high enough profit quick enough to satisfy both the board and the investors than the company risks  a takeover. Group thinking trickles up and down and is part of the fabric of the community - there were and may still be town halls - all very different than in other areas of the country -

Yes, in the big cities further west there is some of that but again, the identity of a people determines how they think and operate - in much of the west the identity regardless, how accurate it is for every person is the individual - History reinforces that viewpoint - in this state school age kids can tell you practically how many bullets were in the walls of the Alamo but ask them about Plymouth rock or the Liberty Bell and they say huh

Civics is no longer taught in elementary or high school - that is why Sandra Day O'Connor is championing Civics in education and has a free program for schools to use - but since it is not a class measured by testing for government funding, the schools are not running to adapt her program - and yet, in this state you do not graduate from elementary school, again in high school and if you attend a public Texas collage with out a term of Texas History so that is 3 terms of Texas history that includes how the state had to be organized post-Civil War which created a complex, arcane, restrictive and, in the end, contradictory founding document with which Texas continues to be saddled today.  In this state the power is no longer since the Civil War with the Governor nor the state congress but for us the Railroad Commissioner and the Lieutenant Governor are the most powerful positions.

Knowing these regional differences or at least finding out more about these differences I would hope helps folks understand a bit of why folks think and act differently, often wanting different things in this so called one nation - too often I hear folks talk as if we are all coming from the same national identity - we are regions with differences - even the landscape alters how we think, act and imagine a national fix -

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #57 on: December 30, 2012, 06:59:53 PM »
How difficult will it be to maintain "regional identity" with our youong people going to school  and taking jobs across the country, moving every few years to different states, and add immigration with all its ideas of identity, and and the social media revolution and you have regional differences. And yes, I rmember that theCivil War began over states' rights, but which right were they most worried about?  Slavery was wrong then, still is.  Lincoln issued the emancipationproclamation in order to free ppossible black soldiers to join the Union side. But he pushed that amendment  that ament- I forget the number- because he knew the Union was going to win and the seceded states would be back in the national congress and could vote for  states' rights, including slavery.
I really don't think  most people deny that we are one nation.  I have lived all my life in one state, but I never think of myself as a' Massachusettsian'  ,instead of an American. At the same time I am proud that mstate has universal health insurance, that our schools are so highly ranked, number 1 according to exgovernor Romnehy, and that we have lots of things to be proud of , the first state to recognize gay marriage, I think the first to elect a black governor, the lowest divorce rate - slthough I suspect that is because a lot of young people just aren't getting married! - and the highest percentage of college graduates. But I respect other viewpoints unless they support  the violation of a universal human right. The Constitution is the foundation  that unites us a

mogamom

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #58 on: December 30, 2012, 07:50:20 PM »
But I respect other viewpoints unless they support  the violation of a universal human right.
I would suggest that we might not agree on what these rights are - or where the right comes from?

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2012, 10:57:09 PM »
I am simply suggesting there are other valid viewpoints that we only see through our own eyes - just as many keep coming back to one issue for the Civil War - until there is an understanding of the other issues and acknowledge the post-war treatment of the South by the Federal Government and go into those shoes there is little compassion for today's political differences. Those points are as if we only see the Revolution as a reaction to injustice by the King of England rather than, also seeing it as a new beginning of a Democratic society where in a written document men are given certain rights. Today, celebrating on July 4th we hardly ever think we are celebrating freedom from a king. We celebrate from the victor's point of view further defining the war and its reason for being from our victorious point of view. That view is part of our myth and basic to subsequent decisions.

If the Civil war was just about the injustice of Slavery then as many say, anyone reacting from that loss is difficult to understand - to realize the reason for the war was switched in mid-stream after many thousands of men pledged their allegiance to a war over a State's Rights agenda, that we are still battling today, then the wrangling today can be better understood - States Rights was not given its due by the victors and it is the victors who have established the reason for the war - not to say there is lots of unnecessary anger by many today who are just plain angry that there was a change in an extension of the same freedoms to include blacks, browns, women.

However even the view of the average can only be read with compassion while reading Flannery O'Connor's Everything that Rises Must Converge - here is the link - the story is symbolic of the south - not just about a group of biggets.  
http://faculty.cbhs.org/jbrummer/Everything%20that%20Rises%20Must%20Converge.pdf

My recent confusion coming from my viewpoint was about this bit of a newspaper publishing the names of those who own guns - took me a bit scratching my head to figure out why that was news or upsetting - here it would be welcome to know who we can turn to for quick protection and while in the city you cannot shoot an animal in trouble however, a couple of miles down the road, just outside the city that is a needed and welcomed neighborly thing - in most counties we do not have nearly enough Game Wardens much less Sheriffs - call a Sheriff and you can easily wait an hour.

I know at Girl Scout camp I was glad we had more than one gun on site as we held someone trespassing in the camp with 6 units of 30 girls each at night as we could hear the wail of the Sheriff's vehicle for over a half hour that was just the time we could hear him - the trip took him just shy of an hour and this camp is only about 40 miles in the next county from Austin where there are city police.

Knowing about and depending on City Police all your life gives a different, taken for granted viewpoint than those who do not live with 'beck and call 5 or 10 minute away protection' and therefore, know they are their own protection.

My hope is we not look at the issues as right or wrong or moral versus immoral but to realize there is a ligament difference that could be respected - respecting and understanding those living in various regions we can be open to the differences that frame the argument and most important, we realize there is no one answer fits all making it either a yea or nay choice.


bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2012, 12:02:56 PM »
the paper Sunday reported the sale of 32,000 rounds of amunition to a pribate buyer.
What on earth for?  the vendor had to deliver it all in a truck.
Lst week firfighters were killed by a maniac who was a convicted faleon, not eligilbe to have a gun.
he got a neighbor to buy it for hijm.  That practice of "straw buthyin is something I think we can all agree must be stopped, with severe punishments for ghowe who falsify the identity of the buyer. Prison term vor sure.  Incidentally, the neighbor, a woman, knew the man's crime.  He beat his 90 year old mother to death siwh a hammer. , and police found himan remains in the house after the shooting; possibly his sister. 
Yew, it is an emotional issue, but we can find somethings like that to agree on, right?
How about liability isurance for guns like for cars? It would protect gun owners who have their guns stolen from civil liabilituy for untimely death of innocents.
The news also reports a lawsuit filed by a victim's family, for damages, against the town Of Newtown for failing to protect their child. '
Also, the Supreme Court left open the possibility of governental bodies to place restrictions on the "right to bear arms.  Is it time to start emphasizing the "well regulatedd" part of that ahmendment?
I think this qustion is so emotional that it could sink this worthwhile site.  Could we wait and see what is proposed by the President and the group headed by joe Biden? 
If the title of the site is "the PROCESS of government, not the policies of a specific issue, could we discuss the influence of money in our elections, a real threat to  our demcracy?


 

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2012, 01:55:30 PM »
that is why I think we need regional laws - guns where there are police that respond in 5 or 10 minutes and where there are more people around to not only protect but also more crazies need a different legal arrangement than areas where there are no local responders in less than 30 minutes to up to a couple of hours as in most ranch and range land -

We also have the issue again of the concept of rights being manipulated with language to take away rights that have been a traditional part of what made this country work. Those areas that believe life is based on individual accomplishment with work, ownership, protection etc. etc. that is an example of the mind set different from those who are used to police protection and living in communities with close neighbors where you can drive to all services in less than an hour. Outside a large city and especially in ranch land it would be not normal to be without a gun. However, it is often not the practical reason for gun ownership as it is carrying on the identity with who we are as a people, in charge of our own destiny -

As to rounds of ammunition has there been a report as to why - could be for a practice shooting range - or a hunting operation that supplies everything you need - or a gun club that holds a monthly or annual competition.

The movies have done a good job of indoctrinating people to seeing a gun as an instrument of war and criminal behavior - like fire - it is a good thing and can be a bad thing - some places building a fire is appropriate and other places it is not - and some kids play with matches just as some crazies set fires but we still build houses with fireplaces and backyard barbeque's are the rage every summer.

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #62 on: December 31, 2012, 05:01:49 PM »
the paper did not report the name of the buyer of the 32,000 rounds of ammo.  Privach concerns I suppose. 
It must be unnerving to live far away from police protection.  Some one like thatrancher  could need a gun - confronting a rogue bear, perhaps, or a stranger approaching the house at night.  Let's hope it's not a tourist needing directions, or as  has happened, his own kid.  I believe the "stand your ground law" says it's okay to kill first and ask questions later
\Yes, fire can bue used for good or bad.  so can the bread knfe in the kitchen. So cruld almost anything, including the frozen leg of lamb in the freezer a la alfred Hitchcock.  But unlike fire of bread knives, the sole intrinsic   purpose of a gun is to kill.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #63 on: December 31, 2012, 05:35:26 PM »
Yes, the sole intrinsic  purpose of a gun is to kill. and it would be nice but we do not live in Disney land - lots of reasons to kill including an injured animal more often than a rouge animal - as to anyone killing their child the Federal Government is great at that - look at what they did in South Texas - and we are supposed to depend upon them for protection?

Again, in a world where police protection is nearby owning a gun is not as easy to wrap your head around but owning to use a gun is understood in a large part of America that is seldom respected much less understood. When a viewpoint is minimized that is minimizing the identity of a people - we are saying there is only one way that should be popular and understood and accepted.

With a one viewpoint decision that is saying, only part of the nation is valued and the only people then that count are the ones who agree with that viewpoint or live where that viewpoint holds sway. What should the rest of the nation do - live unprotected and work to satisfy the needs and maintain recreation areas for those whose opinion is not practical therefore, they cannot continue living where they live.

Guns, their use and availability appear to be more a state issue and yet, there are many who for whatever reason that we do not know will purchase and hide them in states with more severe laws even though they live where there is no humane shooting of animals required or where there is fingertip police protection - to stop them by banning guns is to leave too many families vulnerable.

I do not like assault weapons anymore than most folks here or there or anyplace in-between - we had a ban that was not renewed - the only thing I hear is that when you have a ban it is too easy over time to increase the ban - but we did have one - now if it worked I do not know. That is worth finding out how well the 10 year ban worked. I would not be surprised if Obama is successful initiating a renewal on that ban. I think that may be why we are seeing so many who see that as an infringement on their rights piling up the weapons now - they too suspect a ban - I cannot support that activity but I am curious and would love it if there were several interviews done so they can explain their wanting these weapons instead of us guessing from our perspectives.

Looking up the history of guns and it appears they have been around since the 12th century in China and the 14th century in western Europe - dueling is no longer allowed which stopped one aspect of killing with guns - I have a difficult time seeing the culture change when certain groups continue to have weapons and others are told they cannot - and so, I am not sure what is the answer - however, we could be barking up the wrong tree - the rational for using a gun may be what we want to address.

marjifay

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #64 on: December 31, 2012, 06:02:07 PM »
I see no reason for individuals to own automatic or semi-automatic assault weapons.  I heard someone suggest that some people like to use them for target practice.  He said he thought that they should only be made available for target ranges and people could rent them to use for target shooting.  That seemed reasonable to me.  You sure don't need an assault weapon to shoot rabbits or deer.

I wonder what our founding fathers would say about them if they were alive today?

Marj
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BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #65 on: December 31, 2012, 06:55:41 PM »
Marj - I've seen that comment "I wonder what our founding fathers would say about them if they were alive today?" - I wonder also but then I also realize that it was still rural in the Eastern US and every farmer had his weapon or there would be no minute men or first defenders till an army was assembled - I do not know enough about how the army was issued weapons - seems to me the men owned their own.

As to the tragedies with guns there were mass killings before automatic weapons - that guy who killed 52 or was it 58 grade school children while they attended class in Minnesota back in the late 1920s did it with dynamite and Whitman off the UT Tower killed 13 plus his parents and wounded 32 before automatic assault rifles - what I do not hear when the news links availability and knowhow to weapons in the same breath with either violent TV, Movies or Video Games is the biggest killer of all the automobile that is used by these mass murderers to get to their site with just as much availability and know how.

I keep thinking we are looking at an easy fix that will not address the issue - there have been just a few news articles about the sorry condition of mental health facilities - as to the average teacher or citizen making an ID on who is vulnerable to act out - do not think we can trust that approach - but do we really know what sets some people off - we are used to nations and large groups starting a war but now we have individuals starting wars without an army behind them.  Certainly the Sandy Hook killer is no worse than the Taliban who blow themselves up taking many with them - I keep wondering what is the thinking or emotional loss of control behind these mini wars. 

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #66 on: December 31, 2012, 08:27:21 PM »
I suspect it will all come  down to whether the N.R.A. can come up withsuffieicnt  money to  buy enough congressmen to defeat any proposal regarding guns.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #67 on: December 31, 2012, 09:38:24 PM »
Bellemere I can hear through your posts how earnestly and heart felt you feel about getting guns out of homes and off the street - not sure if it is all guns or automatic and semi-automatic - there are many issues we feel strongly about that we wonder why others do not see it in the same way and want to shake them - I'm also hearing how you feel cut off from the democratic system that will listen to those with millions of dollars to influence the Representatives who we thought were working for us - it is sad and difficult and it scares me -

I'm not a member and I do not know anyone who is a member but from what their spokesmen says the NRA is not representing just a bunch of non-thinking power mongers - there may be some give but their issues have to be understood - I do not agree with much of their stand but at least we can make the effort to understand how they can think as they do - as of now everyone is talking past each other and so a large financial (bribing) contributer representing only one side, like the NRA, becomes the decider.

Right now I am not as pessimistic that nothing will happen - I do think there will be some control - probably not as much as many would like but a start that will keep intact the use of guns through out the nation. I still do wish there was more focus on mental health care and, as the campaign to rid much of the nation from smoking, it would be great to see a campaign to eliminate automatic assault weapons. However, as long as police and criminals have access I am not as confident we can see those weapons eliminated.

Bottom line, cities could ban the use and selling of weapons - maybe that is a start for you Bellemere - our neighborhood with less than 50 of us recently made a big change - to keep folks who own less than 10 acres from trapping deer. A horrid inhumane practice and we had some angry heavy hitters trying to influence the council to allow trapping. Stats, neighbors interviewed and a few who know the law as well as, making friends with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden  and Wildlife Rescue made the difference.  I bet you would feel less resigned by making a small change with a group of your neighbors to do something about gun control in your county/city.

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2013, 09:52:57 AM »
Barb, it is really good hearing your views  But I still think that guns in every house, every school, churh shopping mall, theater, etc. wold be terrible. My niece, an R.N. just posted on facebook that she always called when her sons were small, and inited to play at somebody's house.  A gun in the house was a "deal breaker" even though her sons hated her to do it. 
She said she had taken care of too many kids in the intensive care unit of Philadelphia Children's Hospital who will never again have a normal life.  and she lives in one of the largest cities in the country with police present everywhere.  Why guns in a house?
Your point that owning a gun is not a matter of "killing" but rather continuing the identity of who we are as a people.  Who is we?  Do people in your state actually think of themselfes as Texans first and Americans second?  That can't be true. 
Anyway, my bottom line is to work for a ban on assault weapons; to publish the names of gun owners in the local paper so parents have achoice of letting their children play in those houses, and some form of liability insuranc s for weapons, severe penalties for those who violate existing gun laws by falsifying the idetity of the buyer. Can yor agree with any of that?  Hope so.
Just re=read Washington's  Farewell to his troops at the end of the Anerican Revolution.  He reminds the troops that it was men from every differnt part of the country, with their own pracitces and prejudices, that came together to fight, endure terrible suffering, loss, and finally to achieve a great victory. He uges them to remember that when they go back to their own states as civilians, that we are one "band of brothers in peace as well as war.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #69 on: January 01, 2013, 02:18:06 PM »
Yes, many do think of themselves as Texans first and then Americans and those who think of themselves as Americans do so with a lessor concept of  National Government support than what I hear is typical in some areas of the country. Since our State Constitution still contains language to assure the right to succeed and Texas was a nation before joining the US, the state has a strong sense of Independence - in other words the cowboy/rancher - the strong capable individual.

As to children not playing in the home of someone with a gun the kids would be pretty lonely with no one to play with. Even in town - over the years many sellers had several guns that if they were not in a security-locked closet that could only be opened by an appointment with the seller then we recommended they be stored in another home to prevent their being robbed - No one ever worried, including me that they would be used by someone previewing the house who did not know how to use one and an accident would happen.  I have even showed property where the buyer had his hand gun with him and he or she would put it in my locked glove box then I also locked the car while we went into a house that was for sale.

I do notice many of those who move here from other areas and whose children never marry someone whose family has lived in Texas, often still carry with them the attitudes and political views from where they came from. Example; a good friend has lived here, in Austin for 40 years and the children married someone from Oregon and Germany and she still cannot wrap her head around how the state supports or rather, does not support social issues as they do where she lived during the other half of her life. She has no concept of Ranch life or small town Texas life and she remained with those values that work elsewhere. She and her husband, who recently died never adopted or understood the Texas myth much less the western myth. Her background was from that area of the country where unions and group thinking is typical.

As far as I know none in her family own a gun but it was never an issue - just like you do not ask if someone eats white bread or wheat bread you take for granted they probably eat bread - some eat rice but it is a detail that is not part of the conversation or thinking - it just is... Outside a big city there is little funding for adequate police protection - you take care of  yourself - in the large cities it is a different manner however, many only have the city house so the children can receive a better education and once they graduate back full time to the ranch or small town with few government amenities.

Although, Austin is changing with so many moving here from mostly the west coast with the High Tech industry - that is the part of the country I have not lived in although, my youngest and his family lived outside Portland for just under 3 years however, I do not have an understanding of their myth-identity.  They do seem to want and push for public transportation that is seldom used and is an anathema to the Texans who are moving out of town in droves as the city changes. Austin is a blue dot in the middle of a sea of red however, the redistricting during the past 20 years carved up this town so it has little voting influence.

maryz

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2013, 03:01:01 PM »
Barb, I haven't gotten into the gun discussion, but I have to comment about native Texans.  My parents were at least second generation Texans. I wasn't born in Tx, but did grow up and marry there, and all our children were born there.  I'm sure my father and grandparents did some hunting at some time, but none that I was personally aware of.  And we never, to my knowledge, had a gun in the house when I was growing up.  The only gun that's ever been in our house is a BB gun .  We've never seen any need for one.  (We have been in TN for 50 years..).
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #71 on: January 01, 2013, 03:23:46 PM »
Enlough for a while, huh?  let's wait and see what happens with the Presient's initiative.  But that computer pogrmmer who just moved to Austin and wants not part of owning a gun may also be a strong independent man or woman -' in charge of his or her own destiny'  Let's keep looking fot the things that bind us together  and minimie the things that divide us.
Shalom.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #72 on: January 01, 2013, 03:28:42 PM »
Yes, I agree Bellemere - no disagreement intended only trying to show another side of the issue that is alive and well.

MaryZ - there is a variety - some do not own guns just as I have worked with many a buyer who did not have a handgun as compared to those who did - my point being we cannot ridicule or dismiss the viewpoint of gun owners - there are too many and if we want to be fair what works in some areas does not work in others - we need to be able to respect the different attitudes in order to come up with any national law that is agreed to and practical or else there will be more anger and less cooperation when other differences become an issue.

My experience is with family who own large ranches and because of listing and selling lots of homes owned by those who are several generation Texan both in Austin and in the surrounding area as far west as Blanco and Johnson City - one piece of property over in Dime Box east of Austin. Helped a family who moved back to Schulenburg and many who moved in or out of places in-between. Lots of friends who were active in state politics, many friends in South Texas, my son is over north of Houston and my grandsons are up in Lubbock - My daughter-in-aw's grandfather was a well known and respected judge - the Austin juvenile detention center bears his name - I am sure there are others who have even a better understanding of the state however, from this soup of hearsay there are many who do own and some who do not own guns - here guns currently is not a lively topic of conversation suggesting change.

mogamom

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2013, 12:30:08 AM »
2nd Amendment Text
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I wonder if we aren't missing a couple of points here.  I believe the NRA has a long history of ensuring that gun-owners understand the responsibility and proper use and care of guns.  But the founding fathers were clear that guns were not just for hunting.  They had had experience with governments gone seriously awry.  And the citizen is responsible for the care of himself and his family.  We all know that Washington was speaking to farmers, trappers, etc. that had come to fight carrying their own guns, right?  And even Dianne Feinstein has a license to carry a concealed hand-gun (surely not for hunting!) - even while advocating that we not have that same right.  And it was recently reported that, in California, as gun sales have gone up, violent crimes have gone down.

I have no problem with states passing regulations for their citizens; but I do not believe one group should force its 'fix' on everyone else.  I don't understand why people want eveyone to live under their set of rules; want to nationalize everything.  I believe guns are more of a problem in cities; but no one seems to have difficulty getting them there, and buy-back programs don't seem to put a dent in it.  And anyone living in some areas of some cities probably feel - and understandably so - that ten minutes is too long to wait for police to respond.

Lst week firfighters were killed by a maniac who was a convicted faleon, not eligilbe to have a gun.
he got a neighbor to buy it for hijm.  That practice of "straw buthyin is something I think we can all agree must be stopped, with severe punishments for ghowe who falsify the identity of the buyer. Prison term vor sure.  Incidentally, the neighbor, a woman, knew the man's crime.  He beat his 90 year old mother to death with a hammer. , and police found himan remains in the house after the shooting; possibly his sister. 

I live here.  Was this terrible?  Yes, indeed.  And at first the talk was on controlling guns.  But then people moved to seriously consider the whole penal system, where plea-bargains and over-crowded jails allow a man to go free after serving 17 years for bludgeoning his grandmother!  But that is a more difficult problem.  It's like when the country had a war on drugs - and when we couldn't solve that problem, started attacking the problem of smoking.  Now, ironically, we have states making marijuana legal, so here we have smoking AND drugs.

It's easier - not better, but easier - to go after guns than to search our cultural soul for answers to how we have contributed to a violent mind-set, or have failed to encourage appropriate values towards protecting human life.

marjifay

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2013, 10:46:52 AM »
When my sons were young, I refused to get them toy guns for Christmas presents, despite the arguments from my police officer husband (now my ex).  Happily my sons never seemed to care because they preferred to play music (drums and guitars), not cowboys and indians.

A bit off topic, but I also wanted to get them dolls to play with, but my ex absolutely refused, and I gave in.  But when I was young our Kindergarten class played "house" and the boys as well as the girls played with dolls.  I could never see that that was wrong, and still don't.

Marj
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mogamom

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2013, 03:32:23 PM »
In our state both boys and girls take home economics and shop in high school.  The issue is, I think, that you are free to decide how to raise your children - by your own standards/values.  Statism forces everyone into the same mold.

I was born in the Adirondacks and attended a one-room schoolhouse.  The boys ran their traps before school, came in early and started fires in the fireplace and pot-belly stove.  They left early in the fall/winter to hunt.  Because the boys took care of the fire-wood and drew water from the well as needed, the girls fixed lunch and cleaned up.  There is nothing wrong with how we were all raised either.  What would be 'wrong' (here meaning contrary to the founding principles) is if I expect you to raise your children that way, or if the federal government forced either of us to comply with what they believe to be 'group norms/values'.  As far as possible we should be left alone to decide these things for ourselves.

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2013, 10:16:36 PM »
that's funny, my eighht grade home economics course consisted of sewing(an apron)and cooking (something called Eggs Goldenrod, acutally not too bad) and the boys took "shop".  They made a shelf or a box with a lid. Nothing aoubt parenting; guess they didn't want to give us any ideas.
My first year out of college I taught in a 3 room schoolhouse in a country town, but the good folks came up with the money for a part-time janitor to handle the heat and the cleaning.

bellemere

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #77 on: January 06, 2013, 11:36:35 AM »
When we first moved to our neighborhood, my children made friends with two little 5year old twin girls   across the street.  Their father  routinely punished them with a belt.  It was terrible to hear there screams; my children wept. None of us neighbors ever interfered.  Should we have? This was forty years ago.  I think today I would havecalled authorities,  but at the time the "freedom to raise your own children according to your own standards" held sway with us, too.
Funny how the spanking of children came under criticism.  I spanked, but just with a firm nand to the bottom and only for potentially dangerous behaviour.  My children say then never spanked.  "time out" periods and loss of privileges like TV bare now the norm with Thom.  Their kids seem no better or worse than  any others.
Incidentally the two girls who were whipped with a bot turned out fine: they had a loving gentle mother. But after she died, I heard that they never had anything to do with their father again.

Frybabe

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #78 on: January 08, 2013, 08:01:59 AM »
Interesting tidbit I learned this morning -

While on my daily cruise through Gutenberg, I ran across Edward Bellamy. The name sounded familiar, so I looked him up. As it turns out, he wrote nothing of which I am familiar. He did write one very popular Utopian science novel called Looking Back 2000-1887. They couldn't print it fast enough. It turns out that Bellamy was a socialist. His cousin, Francis, was the one who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. Here is Wikipedia's bio of Francis and how the pledge came about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bellamy According to to Fox News, which references Dr. John W. Baer, The Pledge of Allegiance: A Short History; The American Legion:

"Several variations of the Pledge are in use by groups espousing differing social and political principles. Pro-life activists sometimes add the words "born and unborn" to the end of the sentence, while liberals will often add Bellamy's original "equality."

Last fall, actor Tom Hanks created a stir when he recited the Pledge on a televised Sept. 11 fundraiser and omitted the phrase "under God."

I thought it most interesting that the whole thing morphed from an advertising campaign to give out flags with a magazine subscription, then to getting flags into every school room, and then to a Columbus anniversary celebration for which the pledge was actually written. The other thing that surprised me was that Francis Bellamy had socialist leanings. The socialist movement must truly have been popular back then; it seems to have influenced all kinds of people for quite some time.

maryz

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Re: Political Processes - Can we talk?
« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2013, 08:17:39 AM »
Frybabe, re Tom Hanks leaving out the phrase "under God".  When I grew up and learned the pledge, that phrase was not in the pledge.  It was added during Pres. Eisenhower's administration.  I leave it out, too.
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."