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  #131  
Unread 12-17-2012, 01:57 AM
John Whitworth's Avatar
John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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We've had the THING longer than you, Pedro, since our parliamentary democracy is older. After all we actually had constituencies with no voters at all. The word migrated fairly swiftly I think. There is no reason to suppose our politicians are more virtuous than yours. Tony Blair is the living proof.
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  #132  
Unread 12-17-2012, 03:26 AM
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Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling is offline
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David, I did not have your post specifically in mind. My comment was a reflection about the entire thread and was thunk off-screen, off-thread.

I do share your concerns about all the social ills. I am sure you are aware of that.

I think one can fight on more than one front if the army is large enough. I hate using that military terminology, but it's a fact that it is a battle, even a war and not the first "war on poverty", or "drugs war" or "fight for education, women's rights, civil rights", etc. ad absurdum in the richest, most powerful and greediest nation on earth.

It may not be the richest or most powerful for long, China is gaining, gaining, and so is India and Brazil. Two of them have the unthinkable, the bomb.

The only way to stay ahead, maybe even the only way to stay afloat, is to utilize the country's entire human resources reserve, give every child in present and coming generations access to a decent living standard, a decent health standard, a safe living environment, and an education that will allow them to support themselves and make a contribution.

A child deprived of protein in its formative years will have irreparable brain damage and that is a fact for huge chunks of the third world today, and appallingly also for many children in the US. As a teacher, you will be aware of this, so I needn't tell you.

Capitalism, as it functions today, raw, greedy capitalism, with its hedge funds and consumer ideology and soft drink machines in schools but no free lunches, will NEVER willingly provide that for the fringes, it won't even provide jobs for the the educated population.

I could rant for pages, but I won't. I've ranted enough in this thread.

A concerned citizenry can make a miracle happen.

One more thing concerning the second amendment and the founding fathers. I am curious to know what "militia" meant at the time of the writing of that amendment.

Modern dictionaries refer to militia as "an army of soldiers who are civilians but take military training and can serve full-time during emergencies" but back in 1791 that is all there was.

The US now does not need a pistol-packing militia. In 1791, the new nation did not have a standing army and was required to rely on armed citizens to protect it. But now, NOW there is a professional army filled from the bottom classes with kids seeking an education or a job, the nation has a massive military budget and technological weapons such as drones and see in the dark goggles.

The second amendment has served its purpose and is as out-of-date as the pre-tractor mules. Second amendment groupies are as ignorant as flat-earthers.

I said I wouldn't rant...

Last edited by Janice D. Soderling; 12-17-2012 at 06:36 AM.
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  #133  
Unread 12-17-2012, 06:47 AM
Nigel Mace Nigel Mace is offline
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Janice - The second amendment was to mollify Anti-Federalist sentiment (defeated at the time of the ratification of the Constitution) which had been focussed by the militia interests of some New England states, especially after problems with out of control elements of militias in, for example, Massachusetts. The phrase "to keep and bear arms" was drafted purely in reference to the existence and regulation of state militias as was clearly shown by the major contemporary debate being concerned with a possible exemption for citizens on grounds of religious conscience. The whole 'constitutional' basis for the claims of the NRA is historically and, speaking as a law graduate as well as a historian, legally nonsense. There's an excellent article on this to be found at http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/FinkelmanChicago.htm

Last edited by Nigel Mace; 12-17-2012 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Typo
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  #134  
Unread 12-17-2012, 07:02 AM
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Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling is offline
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Thank you, Nigel, I'll access that link after today's snow shoveling stint.

I think, as Rhina pointed out, as did you, that profit interests and lobbyists, more than patriotism, is what drives this issue. Though of course the adherents of pro-gun would never admit that they are manipulated by commercial interests.

Everybody in every country, gets touchy at the mere suggestion that they are not a rational and free thinker or that their ideology isn't the best one for the rest of the world.

I'm shutting up now, I've spoken quite enough here. My thoughts will remain with those stricken families though.
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  #135  
Unread 12-17-2012, 07:50 AM
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To reduce the friction of the rants, mine and those of others, I'd like to offer this poem by Elaine Feinstein, one of my favorite English poets.

Prayer

The windows are black tonight. The lamp
at my bedside peering with its yellow
40 watt light can hardly make out the chair.
Nothing is stranger than the habit of prayer.

The face of God as seen on this planet
is rarely gentle: the young gazelle is food
for the predator; filmy shapes
that need little more than carbon and water,

evolve like patterns on Dawkins'
computer; the intricate miracles
of eye and wing respond to the same
logic. I accept the evidence.

God is the wish to live. Everywhere,
as carnivores lick their young with
tenderness, in the human struggle
nothing is stranger than the habit of prayer.

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  #136  
Unread 12-17-2012, 05:02 PM
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Virgil Sell Virgil Sell is offline
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Hello Tim,
I want to thank you for your original post about the Newtown, CT. tragedy. Neither do I know what to say, really, but if we say nothing, nothing good will come of it (I think). And like many who have responded here, I want something goodto come of this senseless thing. I understand that opinions may differ when it comes to suggesting causes and/or solutions. As such, I am but one opinion.
I’ve read all the posts (to date) and while I appreciate the spirited discussion about guns, I find myself more interested/ concerned about the multifaceted concerns of a moral vacuum and of mental illness with regard to our children. Andrew’s post # 116 http://thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/ at least hints at the real issues that our society (US) needs to address. I fear it won’t be easy.
I’ll try to speak to some of the components without pointing the proverbial finger.
I’m not sure about other (US) states, but in mine the mental institutions have been closed for years. Some will recall the closings were in large part because of “abuses”. But as with most things, agendas tend to find their way into the mix. I’m thinking of government budgets, of litigious actions, and of ‘political sensitivity’. Patients were moved to hospitals or prisons and eventually (with overflow and lack of funding) found their way to the streets.
In my childhood, learning disabilities like ADD and ADHD (not autism) were not commonly identified. Getting appropriate treatment for these children has had its own hard road (drug treatment). But I think most of these children are missing physiological help. It is left to parents and teachers. (I could be wrong about this.)
No one (here) has mentioned some of the other influences children face today. Video games have become more and more violent since Pac Man and more realistic. Our entertainment industry bears some responsibility, I think. Rated T for teen isn’t adequate. As an example to loony (TV) entertainment, I watched coverage of Shady Hook that broke to a commercial for the video game “Call of Duty”. Unbelievable!
Last point—
It is my opinion that another missing component is the moral one. I was one of those who pulled back when others said my views were intolerant. I find it odd that since the Shady Hook massacre I’ve heard calls for prayer from journalists (newspaper, mags, radio, TV), politicians (even the President). But where I live prayer has been removed from schools and public places. I wish now that I had spoken out more, not less. Now, I truly pray that we, as a concerned society, can talk about and actively address the whole issue.
Respectfully, Virg
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  #137  
Unread 12-17-2012, 05:13 PM
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I was one of those who pulled back when others said my views were intolerant. I find it odd that since the Shady Hook massacre I’ve heard calls for prayer from journalists (newspaper, mags, radio, TV), politicians (even the President).

Prayer in school will not change things. Psychology, and not religion, will solve the mental health issues. As for morality, well, there are some of us who aren't religious, don't pray, even homosexual(!) and are sound and moral creatures.

Why "even the President" unless you assume he is not a believer? He's a liberal Christian to be sure but his call to prayer is not surprising at all.

Don

Last edited by Don Jones; 12-17-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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  #138  
Unread 12-17-2012, 05:16 PM
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Laura Heidy-Halberstein Laura Heidy-Halberstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil Sell View Post
. But where I live prayer has been removed from schools and public places. I wish now that I had spoken out more, not less. Now, I truly pray that we, as a concerned society, can talk about and actively address the whole issue.
Respectfully, Virg
Just wanted to point out that prayer was certainly not removed from places like The West Nickel Mines School in PA. or at The Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin or at Oikos University in Oakland, California or at the Holocaust Museum in DC and if anyone's forgotten what happened at any of those religious institutions I'd suggest they look it back up.
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  #139  
Unread 12-17-2012, 06:53 PM
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Virgil Sell Virgil Sell is offline
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Engel v. Vitale (1962)
Abington School Dist. v. Schempp (1963)
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Through
Santa Fe Independent School Dist. V. Doe (2000)

Columbine H.S. shooting---April 20, 1999
Virginia Tech shooting---April 16, 2007
West Nickel Mines School shooting ---July 25, 2008
Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C. ---June 11, 2009
Ft. Hood shooting—Nov. 5, 2009
Oikos University, Oakland, CA.---April 2, 2012
Wisconsin Sikh Temple---August 5, 2012

Plus others.
All since prayer removed from our schools. Point made.
Respectfully, Virg
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  #140  
Unread 12-17-2012, 07:07 PM
Don Jones's Avatar
Don Jones Don Jones is offline
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All since prayer removed from our schools. Point made.

Really? That correlation does not point to causation. This is not at all convincing. That's like saying "since prayer was removed from our schools, the American manufacturing sector began its precipitous decline."

Respectfully.

Here’s another angle. Most of the murdered at Sandy Hook were female. All murdered adults were women. Most of the children murdered just happened to be girls. But consider this, women are identified with young children, with spending more time with children than most men do. Whatever the perverted motives for murdering first grade school children at an elementary school, the fact remains that this is a brutish example of more violence against women and those precious beings which are most readily identified with them: children.

School massacres are all the rage these days but an elementary school is a fairly woman-dominated place and this particular killing field of young children is the kind of venue that shows a deep line has now been crossed in the U.S. In war, this would be called a war crime. Whatever happened to good ol' fashion bank robbery? I mean, at least with bank robbers you can kinda see the motive. Yes, stealing is wrong but, murdering children?

Let’s also not forget that the murderer first committed matricide. I don’t care how bad your mother is, you don’t kill her! How can you kill your mother? After killing your mother it’s easy to kill little children. Case closed. Hatred of women and children is nothing new. An elementary school is the perfect place to execute that hatred.

Indeed, this heinous crime is another indication of women under assault – regardless, yet again, of the to-be-revealed individual and perverse motives of the murderer.

May I say, though, that it was women who demonstrated the highest public virtue and honor let alone a courage I find staggering: the principal and psychologist who confronted the assailant to stop him and the one who hid her children and faced the killer alone. These three women are now dead. A first grade teacher, who survived, kept telling her students when they were hiding out that she loved them so much; she wanted those words to be the last thing they heard were they to die.

These women are towering humans and my heart aches for them as well as the parents and families. But make no mistake, these women, the ones who died while staring death and evil in the face, and the ones who lived, are nothing less than heroes. In this case I sacrifice the feminine form of this word. They are superior beings to many, many men, especially that execrable mommy-killer, who exemplified the very worst among men.

Don

Last edited by Don Jones; 12-17-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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