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Time for a Revolution?

Is this something to be concerned about?s

  • Time for a violent revolution to reestablish the Constitution of the United States of America

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • I'm worried about my country's direction with this decision.

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • Its much ado about nothing.

    Votes: 9 33.3%
  • It's OK by me.

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • It's about time the man quit shoving God down my throat.

    Votes: 7 25.9%
  • I have other opinions on this subject not reflected here.

    Votes: 2 7.4%

  • Total voters
    27

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
When the government leaves the people behind is it time for a change? This just in!

Pledge Declared Unconstitutional

By David Kravets
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, June 26, 2002; 2:31 PM

SAN FRANCISCO –– A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and cannot be recited in schools.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1954 act of Congress inserting the phrase "under God" after the words "one nation" in the pledge. The court said the phrase violates the so-called Establishment Clause in the Constitution that requires a separation of church and state.

"A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for the three-judge panel.

© 2002 The Associated Press
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Who the &%*&?!?

And why did this man not come forward 30 years ago and complain about the "under God" portion? That's ludicrous, how about we get rid of any mention of God or any other being anyone belives in?
There has to be a line that we draw as a country to say suck it up and get on with your life. We've become accepting of everything so much so that it's allowable to now be whiny sniveling babies that do not want to take care of our own children and our problems are obviously a direct effect of our free-loving hippie generation, or so we'd like to blame and take a laissez-faire approach to our problems.

By the way, I belive in the power of felines, so I'm going to petition my courts to allow us all to say "one nation, under felines"....
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
As someone who does omit the "under god" part of the pledge, I'm not offended. I think it should be changed, but people can choose what they want to say. I'm sure many will continue to say it as is. Others may choose my route.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
I don't really celebrate the fourth of July because not all Americans were free in 1776. That's my personal choice; I'm not trying to appeal to the Supreme Court or Congress about endorsing an all-inclusive holiday. I agree that people need to get on with their lives and focus on more important issues than personal ideologies and such.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
29
Geez, nobody seems to mind earning and spending money that says "In God We Trust" on it. Anyone want to boycott money?
 

Glomer

Member
Messages
207
Points
9
All of you liberal, whining, have nothing better to do than worry about hurting one persons feelings, we are victims please feel storry for us, crying little magots need to get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How can pledging allegiance to the country that provides such a great thing as the constitution be unconstitutional?????

Every child of every PUBLIC school should stand up every morning and show respect to this country. If they don't want to say the pledge, or the three letter word GOD (because it hurts their feelings or they aren't confident enough in their own belief system or lack there of to say a word), then that is fine, don't say it but show respect for the country that allows you to believe in what you want to believe.

Sorry, but this topic pushes a button for me.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Forget the housing stock – Preserve Middle America!

When I read the article today I began thinking that I have so little in common with that judge in San Francisco and the mindset of those that want to destroy middle - America. They wonder why those like me think the way we do and vice-versa. I wonder how one becomes an Alan Dershowitz. What trauma must have befallen him to twist him and those like him in to America haters?

I can't help thinking we are becoming two very different peoples in these United States. And neither side likes the other very well. The constant playing of the race, sex, sexuality, income and other cards has divided so very many people out from traditional American values that people are now most likely hyphenated Americans. And to push this analogy to a ridiculous end. - It is that weak part in the middle of “Something-American” where we will be snapped in two.

Planderella, I understand why you may be upset about all of our people not being free on our original independence day, but I can't help but think this nation's life is a journey and not a destination. No one in the world had it right on July 3, 1776. But a few old white guys did start us in the right direction the next day.

We are all free, in the US and many other places, now as a result. Perhaps that is worth celebrating? Most of my people were not free on July 4th, 1776 either, but we are now and I celebrate that fact vigorously this time of year. I have seen much of the world and we have it quite well over here.

Here's hoping you light a firecracker this year!
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
29
It seems to me that forcing someone to say "under God" would be the unconstitutional part. Part of our freedom is that anyone can choose not to say it and not be arrested, imprisoned, or looked down upon.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
What about money?

I seriously hope this man does not spend "In God We Trust" money, pay his lawyer with it, and I certainly hope the man doesn't give his daughter allowance with that "dirty money" as that would be against what they stand for.
But really, that'll be the next thing, and once again we'll have some judge politicing in San Fran trying to last one more year in a liberal city.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Hmmmm, sounds like a Tracy Chapman song...
:)

But seriously, probably another reason why a person should be required to be licensed in order to talk to an attorney. Between loony cases such as this and "law suit lotto" running amuck our nation truly is under siege!
:(
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Oh, and here's to one nation "under God"!
(feel free to define "God" as fits your personal beliefs)

 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
I was just a "non-sayer", since I'm agnostic. But what bothered me most about that line wasn't that it was "there", it was when it was PUT there. 1954? Isn't that a TAD late, considering it was first published in 1892?!

McCarthyism sucked... just asked the people who were blackballed just by being labelled a communist. Lives were ruined by witch-hunts conducted by jackasses who often did it "just because they could".

And a nation bought into it...
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
KMS,
I agree no one should be forced to say anything they don't believe in, even little kids. But I read the article as stating that those that wanted to say the pledge would be prohibited from saying it in a govenmental venue. Perhaps we need clairification on this point.

Mastiff,
As to commies - I personally miss them. They were a much better enemy than these taliban fellows.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Yeah...

El Guapo wrote:
As to commies - I personally miss them. They were a much better enemy than these taliban fellows.
And you can't kick their butts at the olympics, either.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
29
El Guapo, I get your point. Our local news featured the story, so I understand the issue a little more. A prof at Pitt doesn't think that the US Supreme Court would uphold the judgement, if I heard him correctly. I understand that it can't be said in schools; I guess that means public schools. The man who brought the suit was quoted that his daughter was ridiculed or looked down on because she didn't say it (the pledge or the part). So, is the problem with the people who scorned her, or the system? The system is an easier target.

People are eagerly litigious. I've seen or read about so many reactive people on the news lately - the woman who pled with viewers not to judge her son badly because he escaped police custody and was on the run for a month, and that he was justified because the police didn't go into the bathroom with him, so they made it easy for him. Come on!! Another - a police dog in pursuit of a perp bit a boy (a black boy), a council woman wants the dog put down because the DOG IS RACIST! (I think they should assign the dog to desk work until the investigation is finished :) )Enough said.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
OK, let me add to my position - I am certainly patriotic - a veteran, even if at times critical of some of our country's policies. I agree, I would like any school my kids attended to recite the pledge in the morning. I myself stand to say it along with anyone else. People should have the right not to say it, or parts of it - that is our right to free speech. But there is a question whether that line, "under god," really belongs there. As for our money, maybe that is another one to consider. Or maybe we should all use Canadian money. Then again, we could just use credit cards for everything.
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
Try looking at the Userfriendly cartoon of the day. (BTW if you look at it after 26th June, you'll need to go into the archives) It's a bit "ouch", but it does seem to fit in with what we hear over this side of the pond...
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,337
Points
53
Journeymouse wrote:
It's a bit "ouch", but it does seem to fit in with what we hear over this side of the pond...
Very much so. Although I support the US government in its anti-terrorism efforts, the prevailing attitude seems to be:

1) The federal government can do no wrong. To question the government is to be unpatriotic.

2) If you practice anything less than sheer, unbridled Norman Rockwell painting-style patriotism, you're a traitor.

3) Blame anything wrong on the liberals. Bad decision in the Circuit Court? Clinton's fault. Damn liberals -- they're all that way.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Taliban Olympics

Mastiff wrote:
And you can't kick their butts at the olympics, either.
Mastiff - I've got a great MPEG Video of the Taliban Olympics. I'll try to dig it up for you!
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Sand down your quarters!

This will all go away. The San Francisco appeals court is the most overturned branch in the entire country.
 

adaptor

Member
Messages
123
Points
6
I guess it's a good thing our City Council isn't under the SF jurisdiction. They open every meeting with the Pledge and the Lord's Prayer. This in a state where a judge has defied an order to remove the 10 Commandments from his court room.

If there's a short explanation for these kinds of suits I suppose this is as good as any:
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Re: Taliban Olympics

bturk wrote:


Mastiff - I've got a great MPEG Video of the Taliban Olympics. I'll try to dig it up for you!
I'd love to see it!
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Afgan National Sport

I hope this works.

It didn't - look for the video at REMOVED

I'm only going to leave it up for a day or two. Can't have that kind of thing on offical web sites now can we?

OK, One more f*(%^&%$&$&^ time.

It now works.

Warning 2.1 meg download.

I think this was origninally a Monday Night Football Advertisment telling Americans how lucky we were to have MNF because this was what the foreigners were watching on Monday night. They dised a series of different nationalities. I belive this was supposedly Turkish TV.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
This says it all...

http://www.satirewire.com/news/june02/pledge.shtml

Once again, my favorite...err.. second favorite... web site says it better than I can.

PS Mastiff - I sent you an email via Cyburbia but it won't let me send attachments. I included my email addy - send me a response so I can send you the MPEG.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
Stupid Arguments

My biggest problem with the media attention of this are the stupid arguments that they are broadcasting without questioning by their guests and "experts".

How about this: "It's been that way for 50 years, it's part of how we grew up, it's part of our heritage, so it's OK"
Well, slavery, and denying women the right to vote, and segregation were all around for at least 50 years. Were those OK just because people grew up that way?

Or this: "This country was founded by religious men, this country was founded for religious freedom, so it's OK." Well, this country was also founded by Christian men, so would it be ok to say "In Christ we trust" and "one Nation under Christ"? Would jewish people, muslims, atheists, agnostics, hindus, buddhists, native americans be alright with that? Some of the people who founded this country were also the religious minority (at least back in the homeland) and they came here to escape a majority that didn't respect their freedom to practice a different religion (or practice it in a different way). They helped create a society where the majority has to respect the "inalienable rights" of the minority.

And even if you disagree with the guy who brought the suit, and the judges who ruled in his favor, you at least have to respect his right to defend what he believes are his rights and the courage to do so in the face of an overwhelming majority. He pursued his legal options and is exercising his right to bring this to a court of law. He didn't hold the school hostage at gunpoint or demand monetary compensation for "emotional damage" (at least not that I'm aware of). He saw something he thought was wrong and tried to fix it in a legal, civil, peaceful way. And in America, we've got a system where we can ejudicate these matter without violence, and overturn this decision if it's wrong without a new "revolution". In many places in the world, this guy and his family might have been punished, banished, or killed for disagreeing with the state or the majority.

BTW, I don't think that the pledge as written is a serious infringement of someone's religious freedoms. But, it is certainly possible (and probably easier than we think) for the state to impose unfair religious expectations on individuals. I'm glad we have people (like the guy here) who are watching out for this and have the courage to question the actions of larger society.

Well, I've vented long enough. Thanks for listening. (reading?)
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
Canada's national anthem - not the theme from Hockey Night In Canada, the other one - had the words "God keep our land" inserted. This was done fairly recently, as I seem to remember the changeover when I was young (okay so maybe it wasn't that recently). I'm no believer, but it never really bothered me. Same went for the Lord's Prayer - in fact, I preferred that to the morning "spiritual thought" they adopted when the LP was thrown out. I'm not religious in the least, but que sera sera.

The only problem I see with the two "God" examples, is the lateness in the changes. If they were in the original, then fine - it's the way it was meant to be and a reflection of heritage of the nation. But to change it in the face of a more pluralistic, multi-cultural and mulit-faithful society seems really odd.

BTW, we also have some people who object to the line in our anthem that goes "In all thy sons command" as well...

Why can't we all just get along?
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
29
Tranplanner... I don't know about in Ontario, but out here in Alberta, there are four public school systems: regular public school, Catholic Public School, Protestant Public School, and the Francophone system. In St. Albert, where I work, there is no non-denominational school. The two public schools are Catholic and Protestant. Granted, you don't have to be either to go to these schools (and there really isn't a choice!)... this is probably the weirdest thing to me here as a transplanted American.

I'm so used to the separation of church and state, this still wigs me out a little. What's the system out east?

BTW... I'm all for the US government taking out the "under god"... but then, I'm an agnostic leftist. Go figure!
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
In Ontario, there are two "Public" school systems. The Public Board (non-denominational) and the Catholic Board. Catholics got public funding under the constitution when Canada was set up. Back then, the public system would have been the "Protestant" system. Up 'til about twenty years ago, the Catholics only got funding for primary school - you had to pay to go to a catholic high school.

Within the two public systems, you also get English and French splits - so yeah, there are basically Four "public" systems. You usually don't get a French-Public board in most places though.

The province has introduced legislation for a tax-credit (I think it would work similar to the vouchers in the U.S) for parents who send their kids to private schools.
 

Glomer

Member
Messages
207
Points
9
We have the freedom OF religion.......Not the freedom FROM religion.

We are at a time of war.........terrorism........nuclear war...........middle east problems...........and we get bogged down with something as stupid as what someone hears. It isn't enough that this guys daughter lives in a country that allows her the freedom of speech,,,,,if you don't want to believe in a God, or say the word God, you don't have to, but this guy was suing because his daugher had to hear the word.

Again, we have the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.

If this were to be unconstitutional, then so is:
Our National Anthem........(the 2nd verse that we never sing)
The Oath (Do you swear to tell the truth.......so help you God)
The constitution itself is unconstitutional


Can't people just be OK with the idea that our nations structure, value system, core, has strong roots in christianity. Be happy that our country allows you to interpret God as anything you want......but don't make a mochary of the nation that gives you the right to do that.

We should worry about more important things.........like why there are 10 hot dogs and only 8 hot dog buns.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
HIJACK --------->

We should worry about more important things.........like why there are 10 hot dogs and only 8 hot dog buns.
I have a theory! It may be because some guys will play "walrus nose" with those two extra dogs before grilling. The wife sees that happen and thus makes the man give the two dogs that were up his nose to the family dog. Thus - 8 buns.

Sure, the theory needs work, but I didn't see any of you offer one.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
24
Re: Sand down your quarters!

bturk wrote:
This will all go away. The San Francisco appeals court is the most overturned branch in the entire country.
at first i was outraged...then i heard the decision came from the 9th Circuit...then i laughed...they are a bunch of yahoos anyway...this will stick like eggs on teflon.

...but i had a back-up plan...to sue the gov't for removing the "under God" because it constitutes a govenment establishment of religion...athiest...if you'll open your dictionaries...religion is defined in a number of ways one which is:

A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

i would say that this gentleman pursued the rejection of God from the pledge in such a manner.

i mean c'mon...do you really feel that compelled to believe in a God because its in a pledge...please fwd your american currency to me at my office...i'll take care of it for you.

just because i do not believe in the jewish faith doesn't mean i don't respect their traditions and cover my head in temple. this is a nation founded, whether people like it or not, on judeo-christian beliefs. we don't reject religion, we embrace religion and the many forms it takes. i'm tolerable of others, so why can't folks be tolerable of our tradition?

i'll get off my soap box and turn off this "Battle Hymn of the Republic" now...
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Glomer wrote:
The Oath (Do you swear to tell the truth.......so help you God)
It's been changed in the courts so you can affirm...

Glomer wrote:
The constitution itself is unconstitutional
What part of the Constitution deals with god? You lost me... Am I missing an article?

The words being there have never bothered me, but as stated before... when and why they were inserted does. Not that I'd give enough bother to sue someone.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
29
One sad thing is that the man pursued this because of how his daughter was made to feel because she didn't want to say or hear the God part. How do you think the little girl is going to feel after her classmates hear this coverage and their parents' comments, and repeat some of this around her or to her? If the father did this in part to make his daughter feel better, I'm afraid he failed, at her expense. Either way now, she'll probably be singled out.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
24
kms wrote:
One sad thing is that the man pursued this because of how his daughter was made to feel because she didn't want to say or hear the God part. How do you think the little girl is going to feel after her classmates hear this coverage and their parents' comments, and repeat some of this around her or to her? If the father did this in part to make his daughter feel better, I'm afraid he failed, at her expense. Either way now, she'll probably be singled out.
i have a hard time with people who do things in the name of thier children like this. i think that this was HIS agenda. i really have to question how much this really affected her. i belong to an organization that starts its meetings with the pledge of allegance and at then end of the pledge (with liberty and justice for all), the group as "born and unborn" to the pledge. I have a hard time with this because this group is strongly pro-life and i am uncomfortable with that statement, but i don't say it and i just deal with it. i have to understand that i may not agree with everything that the group does and make my choice to bow out from what i do not feel comfortable with. does that statement harm me or cause anguish? no. like i said, i understand that part of being in this group is having to be with others who feel a certain way. does that mean that my rights were violated because i was never made aware of this before i joined? no. i also have the right to leave the group or not say the addedum.

i think that this case is yet another example of how litigous we have become as a society. we need to accept that our society is not a 100% fit for 100% of the people, at best, it's a 100% fit for 51%.

besides...i hear cuba is nice this time of year...
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,803
Points
29
I agree that it was his agenda; it just looks more wholesome and selfless to have done it in the interest of his daughter. We all know it can be hard to be the kid with different beliefs. Now, the poor kid has the publicity associated with her.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
This whole thing just kills me. Fine then. Just take the "under god" out. I'm pretty sure that most schools have taken it out already - at least I think around here they have. It was put in for such a bogus reason anyway. But if some one REALLY wants to say it that way, let them. But to make it unconstitutional to recite a pledge of allegiance? So ridiculous.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
What part of the Constitution deals with god? You lost me... Am I missing an article?
While these phrases from our Constitution don't really "deal with God," but certainly would seem to be a nod in the general direction of religion...

Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2:

"If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him..."

Why Sunday? No doubt some creepy Christian Fundamentalist plot...

Article 7:

"The Ratification ...done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven ..."

Year of our Lord???? YEAR OF OUR LORD???? Seems IMHO that in the minds of reasonable people this kind of language doesn't really establish a state religion...I fail to see how even the unreasonable that could get their knickers in a twist over the pledge would overlook these though.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Ah, si, El Guapo, I have often of you amigo! You are no doubt my friendly, more handsome soul-brother! We've never met, which is okay since as my name implies I'm so ugly you wouldn't recognize me anyway.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
As a confirmed religious skeptic and someone who is uncomrftable with people who are little too screaming at the top of their lungs patriotic, I'm not too thrilled with all of the TRUE BLUE AMERICANS running around screaming about their little McCarthyist phrasing. To quote a great old 60s song called Cathedral: "Too much blood in the Name of Christ for me to hear the call"

Nonetheless, my response is: what a waste of time! This bozo is as fanatical about his atheism as any rock-ribbed baptist. Look at the photos-he just oozes self-rightous smugness. There are too many important things to worry about, like the government just "deciding" that the Constituion doesn't apply anymore to some people.

I'm sorry, the idea that a pledge mumbled (typically incoherently) at sporting events and in the morning "scars" his precious little daughter just makes me laugh. How many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours were wasted on this charade? And, El Guapo-its taxpayers' dollars that were wasted!
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Damn fine point BKM. I'll bet we find the "All Things Considered" staff is in his basement cooking up more shots at good Americans!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,337
Points
53
Long, somewhat rambling rant follows ...

... and I only wish I had the time to make it longer.

I don't know about a revolution, but I see the makings of a "Second Republic" at hand.

The United States is supposed to be the Great Experiment, the Shining Path That Will Lead The Rest of the World. We're supposed to set the course for human rights, protection of personal liberty, and allowing others to pursue happiness. In my lifetime, though, it seems as if things are slipping, as if the United States is no longer the leader. No, we're going backwards. In a world that, thanks to nearly instantaneous transportation (relatively speaking) and telecommunications, is getting smaller, the United States is doing more to isolate ourselves, to turn around on the highway that we've built and head back for the dirt road. We've passed the baton of progress to Europe, Canada and Australia, and are now running down a completely different path. Alone.

The United States, along with a few very fundamentalist Arab nations, has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The treaty urges nations to remove barriers to equality for women in education, employment, marriage and divorce, health care, and other areas. Why the opposition? It's a feminist plot to "promote abortion, legalize prostitution and weaken traditional family structures." The United States also stands alone in opposing a world court, and in not ratifying the Kyoto treaty. How do we expect the world to support the United States in the "war on terror" when we're doing everything possible to ideologically isolate ourselves?

While the rest of the world , including Canada and Mexico, has adopted a digital radio broadcasting standard called Eureka 147, the United States alone will be using IBOC, a technologically inferior standard that is incompatible with the Eureka standard, under the pressure of the broadcasting industry. Just as Communist countries deliberately adopted different broadcasting standards in the 1940s and 1950s to prevent Western broadcast media from reaching an audience in the Eastern Bloc, this decision, a pandering to corporations such as Clear Channel, will further isolate the United States. Yeah, it's a minor thing, but consider the cumulative result of such acts.

There's increasing self-segregation on the part of ethnic minorities. Witness the now-widening gap between "black culture" and the mainstream, and the increasing resistance of blacks to assimilate into what should be seen as AMERICAN society, not just "white society." Immigrants no longer want to "become American," or even become part of the "mosaic" as Canadians see their ethnic fabric, but rather be stirred in their own pot, shine in their own window; economic power and respect will come not from assimilation or hard work, but from crying "racist!" at every perceived slight. If anything, many minorities don't see themselves as American. After September 11, I didn't see any more flags flying in predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhoods. Black children that excel academically are looked down upon by their peers, for being "too white." Whatever happened to integration, to the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, to the longing of immigrants to be seen as "American?" Apparently, it was replaced by the "kill whitey" rantings of gangsta rappers and bad Colombian novelas on Univision.

Nobody cares. The "for sale" signs still pop up like mushrooms after the rain if a middle-class, hard working African-American family moves into a subdivision inhabited only by whites. Black leaders scream about how bad their lot has it in the United States, and they're getting offered tickets for one way non-stop flights to Nairobi International. They're running away, albiet on their own, but now we're screaming the equivalent of "good riddance." Sad. United ... nope, no closer than in 1960, although it looked good for a while.

As Western countries continue to separate church from state, the United States seems to be going in the other direction. Yes, there should be freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion -- the government should not be responsible for spreading religious beliefs. It's understandable to have military chaplans, or teach about the world's religions as part of a history class. To run our government subject to the principles of fundamentalist Christianity, however, is another thing. What next -- "one nation, under the Lord Christ Jesus, with liberty and justice for those who have accepted Christ Jesus as their own personal lord and saviour"? How many prisoners have been released on parole because they were "born again," as opposed to those who just proved that they could become productive members of society again?

Radical athiests want the government to totally disavow the collective spirituality of the American population, but far more fundies want to make their fire-and-brimstone form of Christianity a state religion. The latter seems to have far more power in federal government than the former. To be honest, I can't say that I know very many right-leaning people who would oppose the concept of a state religion. "America was founded by Christian men as a Christian nation," I hear all too often as justification for scrapping the church-state divide. There's the Church of England in the UK, the Roman Catholic Church in Italy, the tax-sponsored religions in Germany ... and the Southern Baptist Convention as the official US state religion, if some folks get their way.

Criticizing the Ninth Circuit's Pledge decision, President Bush made the following statement:

I believe that it points up the fact that we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. And those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.
What does Article 6, Section 3 of the United States Constitution say?

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Of course, it's wrong of me to criticize any policy of our President now, since it's unpatriotic and therefore treasonous.

That's just a few. Don't get me started on health care (no single payer or universal coverage, unique in the western world), the death penalty (only first world Western country that still executes people), our inability to stop poverty (show me slums in Australia or Canada -- go ahead), political correctness (appearently, being offended is something to be feared more so than the fear of your plane blowing up), the Presidential election (Bush won fair and square, but he still wasn't elected by a majority popular vote), political partisanship that has caused gridlock in government (liberals and conservatives are seen in each other's eyes as evil, with party beliefs becoming practically a religious edict to be followed presicely among its followers), the near-total elimination of locally owned broadcast media, and the prisoners who rot for years in prison because they sold some Doctor Who kindbud to their friends. The large majority of Americans hates billboards and telemarketers, but we still have them, because they're embraced by our elected officials -- or at least the donations of their lobbyists are. Our government is no longer "representative."

"But there's more important things to worry about, like September 11." We're planners -- we should be the last people saying that. "Why should you worry about signs or landscaping, when there's more important things to worry about, like crime and traffic?" How many times have we defended our work against those who try to discredit it by deeming it irrelevant, compared to some "more important" issue? Just because we are at war doens't mean that we should drop everything we're doing --- would the lawyers and judges in California be looking for Bin Ladin if they weren't arguing some case regarding the acknowledgement of God in the Pledge? Yes, there's more important things -- but there's also more important things than architectural regulations, curb cuts, public transportation, and greenspace.

I still fly the American flag on my house, in accordance with accepted flag protocol. I support President Bush in the war on terror, although not unconditionally. I also believe in God (my spiritual beliefs can best be described as "Christian light, with 99% less dogma), but after a lot of thought, I agree with the 9th Circuit Court. Consider the words of Thomas Jefferson at his inaugural address"

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Hell, read his whole speech. It's at http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/writings/jefferson1.html . I'm definitely not some libertarian who uses the words of Jefferson to back his beliefs, but I think he'd be disappointed to see the state of federal government today. Proud at the prosperity of the people in the Republic, yes, but sad to see that the ideals that this nation was founded on are being pushed to the wayside, or misinterpreted in the same way fundamentalist preachers use the Bible to justify hatred of gays or non-believers.

I don't always agree with the likes of Michael Moore, or his conservative equivalents, Bill O'Reiley and P.J. O'Rourke, but I agree with them in that there's something very wrong with the path my country is taking. From the looks of it, progress is no longer going to happen from within. More people I know feel that something just ain't right, and they feel increasingly more frustrated because they can't do anything about it. They're on a bus; they see the driver making a wrong turn; they all point it out ... and the bus driver ignores them.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
Wow! Dan, you must have taken a while to write that one. Unfortunately, right on target.

In Wisconsin right now, we are facing a huge budget deficit, part reduced revenue, severely compounded by the unsound nature of the original budget. Our governor has proposed solving the problem by eliminating funding for cities, villages and towns, who he calls "big spenders." Oh, part of the money he would take would be used to pander to special interests to give them new programs like prescription drugs for seniors.

Our legislature has worked for months to resolve a miniscule number of issues in coming up with their own plan. Again, more pandering - "reduce taxes on business" or "don't touch school funding." One rep, the leading contender for attorney general, resigned for "health reasons" and was shortly thereafter charged with 18 felonies related to illegally using state resources to run his campaign, destruction of records (ala Nixon) and faking expense reports. He won't be alone. We expect charges against both the number 1 and 2 reps and senators in both parties.

Leadership and statesmanship are dead among most of our incumbent politicians. To them, it isn't about good government, good policy, rational thought or making a better future. It is all about getting and keeping power. If that means policies that will bankupt us in the future, if that means idiotic resolutions and grandstanding, if that means trampling the rights of our citizens, if that means denying the rights and even bombing the citizens of other nations, it as all ok by them.

I wonder what will happen in the next election. We need to remove these scum. We need new leaders who will act in the public's interest, not their own.

My two cents.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Michael Stumpf wrote:
I wonder what will happen in the next election. We need to remove these scum. We need new leaders who will act in the public's interest, not their own. /QUOTE]

Mike - Not to mention Wisconsin has historically been touted as a model of Clean Government. Now that the legislative caucus scandals are leading to indictments, we might as well be annexed to Illinois!
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,110
Points
26
Cool, look what I dug up! Just in time before the Supreme Court makes a decision!
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
28
Well, I guess I will jump in. Not because I care much one way or the other about this particular lawsuit, but because it symbolizes a lot about the point EG made much earlier in this thread. I agree and I fear that we are polarizing the nation. When I go back to where I grew up, a small rural place, I don't recognize it. There has been the usual out-migration and virtually all those who are left seethe inwardly with anger and resentment about the world. I once saw a semi quite intentionally run a van full of tourists off the road because they were not exceeding the speed limit by at least 15 mph. Why?

Fundamentalism. These folks have stopped being mild-mannered Methodists and Presbyterians and attend a plethora of fragmented fundamentalist churches whose doctrine is: life sucks, but if you come here God will make it up to you later, so if you beat the wife and kids, or spend your check down at the tavern, or dump some herbicides in the river, that's ok, Jesus is coming back soon. Nothing you do here matters.

Bush and his corporate sponsors are taking ruthless advantage of these folks to feather their own nests (before the end comes, I guess?). I feel like those of us who actually care are (even though we are still a majority) being shoved increasingly in the direction of a handful of enclaves where civility, rational thought, and the other things the Founders held sacred are still honored, while the rest of the nation is dominated by fear, resentment, anger, and intolerance. As someone who doesn't necessarily want to live in Berkeley or Boulder or Burlington, I am not pleased by this trend.

So, I will not be unhappy if the 9th Circuit is upheld. We need every possible reminder of what this nation is (was?) all about?
 
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