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Charles Shaughnessy Blog: Read this and WEEP!

Yes.....I'm baaaaaack!!! After a brief interlude as a cowboy, I am back and brimming with even more indignation. I honestly TRY to find other things to talk about ( and am planning a new iBlog to do just that later today,) but right now I have to break one of my own rules. I just read this article written by a Republican staffer in Washington DC, who has also "had enough." It so clearly expresses my own view of what is going on and WHY we can't go on hiding behind this same bleating cry of " Why can't they BOTH get along," or " They're all as bad as each other!" NO! They are both bad, yes, but NOT as bad as each other. One side and one side ONLY has vociferously declared that they will do ANYTHING they can to make sure they win the next election and if that means sending the economy and the American people to Hell in a be it. The ends justify the means, right? So, despite my own ban on simply re-printing or linking 3rd. party articles....Read this and, literally, weep!


  1. Charlie, we think way too much alike. I had previously read this article and also felt like weeping regardless of the fact that it did not provide any new information.

    I recently had a discussion with my nephew regarding Warren Buffet’s opinion piece in The New York Times. He being a conservative felt like Warren Buffet had lost his mind. Now mind you, my nephew is not even close to being wealthy so the ideas presented by Mr. Buffet would not affect him in the least. Nevertheless, my nephew argued that it was unjust for the government to show class biasness by raising taxes on the rich. Of course, there was the old standby, “We are robbing from the rich to give to the poor.” Also, “Fifty percent of the people don’t pay taxes—how is that fair?” And then last of all he called an effort to increase taxes on the wealthy a case of ‘Class Envy’. I responded that I seriously doubt that Warren Buffet has a case of ‘Class Envy’. Nevertheless, I agree with my nephew that it is not right for the government to treat classes differently and wanted to present to him just a few examples of how the government already favors classes and the rich definitely come out the winners.

    1. Why can someone who is able to afford to buy a home write off the interest portion of his mortgage payment, while someone who can only afford to rent gets no such write off? Which class does this favor?

    2. Why does someone who works for his income pay a much higher tax rate than someone whose income is earned through Capital Gains? Which class does this favor?

    3. Which class is racially profiled?

    4. Are the classes treated the same by our military? Which class is losing the lives of their sons and daughters to protect the freedoms of this country?

    My nephew definitely is not hearing these arguments from Rush Limbaugh. The thing that made it so frustrating was that he presented his arguments as ‘fundamental truths’.
    Unfortunately, I backed down when it came time to give these examples to him because being surrounded by Republicans, I truly wonder if I have any friends left. The large majority of those around me simply do not want to admit that the wealthy ARE being favored. Frustrating!

  2. Charlie: Before you injure yourself jumping to conclusions, step back, take a deep breath, relax, and think about what is going on here. Both sides are disgruntled with what is going on in Washington. Admittedly, some Republicans (not all as you imply) have declared that they will do anything they can to see Obama fail. Just like some Democrats have drawn the proverbial line in the sand and won't budge on their ideals and will stick to their ideology instead of looking out for what is best for the country (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid come to mind on that side). It's not one side bad, other side good--members of both sides are responsible for the mess we currently have. Once you accept that reality, then your chances of having a coronary will decrease rapidly.

    And, since it seems appropriate to include article links (hey, you opened the door), here's one that might provide people with "food for thought":
    If a conservative like Pat Toomey is willing to consider tax reform, then I'm ready to see liberals on the Super Committee come forward with recommendations for spending cuts. It's not just increasing revenue; it's also decreasing expenditures. The debt ceiling crisis (which conveniently has been postponed until after the next presidential election) will not be resolved until both sides agree to compromise. You cannot solve the problem just by increasing revenue.

    In Lofgren’s article, he mentions that virtually everything that goes to the Senate is subject to a Republican filibuster. Does anyone realize what a filibuster is? It is debate. It’s debating an issue. If the Democrats don’t think that it is important to debate and discuss and issue/policy/procedure, then I think something is wrong with the process. To quote Stephen Hopkins in “1776,” Well, in all my years I ain't never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about.” Perhaps if debate and discussion had occurred more vociferously on the health care reform package passed last year, it wouldn’t be viewed as a bastardized program that hopefully will be scuttled as an unnecessary expenditure. I’m not against government-supported health care (after all, I do live with someone who has Medicare); I’m against a program that penalizes small businesses—and people—because they can’t afford the premiums (and, in effect, makes it cheaper for companies to pay the fine instead of providing affordable health insurance for their employees). Granted, filibusters aren’t always positive; Southern Democrats used it in the 1950s and 1960s to block civil rights legislation. They weren’t always as polite as James Stewart made it look in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

    (to be continued)

  3. (continuation)
    Now, onto the three key points of Lofgren’s article:

    1) The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. I’m not sure which Republican Party Lofgren is referring to, but from my experience that hasn’t been the case. I know for a fact that my GOP state representative cares about the people in his district—and I don’t live in the richest area of the Commonwealth (although there currently is an abundance of discretionary spending from out-of-state people who have moved here for jobs).
    2) They worship at the altar of Mars. Uh, so do the Democrats. Wars started during Democratic presidencies: War of 1812, Mexican-American War, World War I, World War II. Wars started during Republican presidencies: Civil War (and that is a technicality, since secession began under a Democrat), Spanish-American War. Plus, Korea and Vietnam were started under Democratic presidents and concluded under Republican presidents (who pledged to end the wars). The current conflict in the Middle East did start under a Republican president, but the Democrat has not stopped it (despite his campaign pledge to do so).
    3) Give me that old time religion. Fundamentalism and the GOP? That is a recent phenomenon. Probably the most famous fundamentalist politician was William Jennings Bryan, three-time Democratic candidate for President.

    One final thought (at least for now)...and I apologize if this repeats comments that I made in a previous blog. Lofgren mentions in the article that the Republicans held the Democrats/nation hostage in the debt ceiling extension discussions. What he fails to address are two key factors of this “crisis”: (1) it was manufactured by Obama, who artificially established the deadline; and (2) it could have been handled during the 111th Congress (when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress) instead of being delayed until the 112th Congress was seated.

    Off to ponder how I’m not a Real American because I’m an intellectual who votes Republican…but I’m sure I’ll be back.

  4. Hi Charles:
    This was an excellent article and I agree with your viewpoint 100%. Our country is quickly circling the drain and unfortunately the only hope we have would be if the democrats grew a pair and stopped apologizing, placating and surrendering to the republicans. They also need (desperately) to learn how to market their ideas to the masses like the republicans do. The truth is that people do not normally take the time to be informed regarding the workings of our government and usually base their opinions on very brief simplistic catchphrases and slogans. I've not quite figured out how working class people who make 30 grand a year have somehow become so empathic towards billionaires who don't pay as much in taxes (percentage-wise) as they do. The very people who need help seem to vote against their own best interests all the time, based simply on republican marketing/dogma.

    The other thing that really scares me lately is the vilifying of science and logic. It seems like the republicans are determined to make being stupid and ignorant a positive attribute. Calling yourself or being called an intellectual has become an insult in our society. Of course if you believe the corporations are holding the republicans strings, then it all makes sense because ignorant people are always more easily lead to the slaughter.

    To reverse all this we'd need a leader who's extremely, extremely, (yes I said it twice) intelligent, not beholding to the corporations and lobbyists (or their money) who can state his/her case is short concise compelling statements, highly decisive, with loads of charisma and balls the size the planet Jupiter. Not only would he/she have to unite and motivate the democratic party, but more importantly the country. Obama has not proven to be in this league, and maybe there just isn't anyone who can fill those shoes right now. Unfortunately Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln aren't around right now. -- Boy, would the republicans hate Jefferson! - Talk about a liberal intellectual!!

  5. Karen, NO a filibuster is specifically NOT a debate. It is a procedure whereby a member can "run out the clock" on a debate by reading from the phone book, if he so wishes, so long as he remains standing and speaking and can find even the most remote relevance. In fact, even that caveat has now been compromised through arcane reforms to procedures. And I think you will find that Obama's budget plans already consisted of a LOT of spending cuts, where the Norquist Republicans were sworn to a zero-tolerance of ANY revenue increase in the form of taxes ( even letting the Bush tax CUTS run out!) ....and MCL, I couldn't agree with you more..... soundbites and slogans are far more effective now than real research.Apparently, Obama wants to tax everyone out of existence and spend it all on lazy dolts, while Boehner and company have only the country's interests at heart.

  6. (don't really want to be a "blog hog," but I couldn't let this go without a response)

    @MCL1550: Jefferson as a liberal intellectual? Not really. Jefferson wasn't what we would call a liberal today (although he definitely was an intellectual). After all, he certainly wasn't in favor of equality for all mankind--that was quite obvious from the way he lived his life. Plus, today we would have considered him a reactionary in the way he approached the changing relationship between the British North American colonies and Britain during the 1760s and 1770s, not a liberal. The last thing the Founding Fathers wanted was true democracy and the equality of all mankind; that is why they had property, gender, and racial qualifications for voting (and, in the case of Southerners like Jefferson, enslaved a portion of the population to labor on their plantations). So, in that sense, Jefferson definitely was NOT a liberal. None of the Founding Fathers were liberals. They are perceived to be liberals because they were "revolutionaries" when they declared independence from Britain--when, in reality, the last thing they wanted was a true revolution in which the common man took control of the government.

    Would the Republicans hate Jefferson? Well, let's take a look at Jefferson's political beliefs: (1) Strict interpretation of the Constitution (as in if it explicitly does not state it in the Constitution, you cannot do it--for example, nowhere does it explicitly state that the government should provide health care). Sounds like the Republicans would have approved of Jefferson's Constitutional views. (2) States' rights over the power of the federal government--again, sounds like the Republicans to me, since they generally object to the increasing intrusion of the federal government in our daily lives. (3) Pro-farmer--which political party is more aligned with the farmer? Republicans, not Democrats--mainly because farmers see themselves as "small businessmen" and not as laborers.

    Yes, there are parts of Jefferson's political ideology that are similar to the Democrats of today (such as looking out for the interests of the common man), but many of his ideals parallel Republican Party ideals today. So Republicans would not have despised Jefferson, despite what people may think (because they presume that the party of Jefferson is a direct ancestor of the modern-day Democratic Party, when, in fact, party goals and beliefs shifted over time). Remember, it's the Democratic Party that was racist into the 1960s, not the Republican Party. The Republican Party was the party of Lincoln, the president who freed the slaves. Not until the 1930s did the African Americans who could vote ally with the Democratic Party--and that was because of the impact of the New Deal relief and employment programs on their lives.

    And, while we're at it--why does the "ideal" candidate have to be someone from the Democratic Party? Why couldn't it be a third party candidate--or (and this will get some of the readers--and Charlie--to shudder)...a Republican?

  7. Well, Karen said a lot of what I was planning to say. This insistence on the part of the left that their side is corrupt but "those people" are more corrupt is such a big part of the problem here. Who's more corrupt? The party that admits to being for the corporations....or the one that is in cahoots with the corporations in a back room while spewing anti-corporate rhetoric? I've often said..the R's are married to the corporations, the D's have a sham marriage to the people but are having an affair with the moneyed elite. The left loves it when an R politician who preaches family values is caught in a scandal....yet the Dems are doing the same thing with the corporations. Ranting about how evil they are...while sleeping with them. BOTH SIDES ARE A MESS, and all because of filthy lucre.
    I'm paraphrasing my current favorite politician(Marco Rubio), but perhaps there is gridlock in Washington because there is gridlock in America? The nation is divided basically 50/50..and each side has sincerely good ideas with a clear vision for America(not the politicians but the people). And each side has their own list of things that are non-negotiable. I don't know what the answer is(or I do, but I fear it).
    Jeannie..I totally agree with you about the Capital Gains being taxed lower than Work Income(and that's the reason Warren Buffett has a lower rate than his secretary). Those tax codes were MEANT to keep the wealthy businesses in the US, hiring Americans, etc. Instead, they've taken the tax breaks AND outsourced the work! It's horrifying.
    And MCL1550(welcome!!!)..please don't assume that all intellectuals are liberal Dems who spout the glories of "science" Some intellectuals are Evangelical Christian,Creation-believing, conservatives. Those things do not indicate stupidity, ignorance, or lack of ability to think for ourselves.
    The qualities of the POTUS that you listed...why do you assume that perfect specimen will be a Democrat? You want extreme intelligence? The President with the highest IQ was Richard Nixon. "Who can state his/her case is short concise compelling statements, highly decisive, with loads of charisma and balls the size the planet Jupiter"? You've just described Ronald Reagan. Of course, if you want someone who's not bought by corporations, well good luck with that. Scary, isn't it?
    The far left and the far right get all the press, but most of us are in the middle...frightened and disgusted. But it's frustrating to read(over and over on these blogs) about how the R's are the source of all evil in the universe, while the D's are just lacking backbone, and every bad thing that happens is because they gave in to the Reps. The Dems are doing the evil that they intended to do in the first place, and get to blame it on someone else. And Obama has honed that to an art form.

  8. Oh Charlie...the irony is delicious. You said "soundbites and slogans are far more effective now than real research." You mean, like "hope and change"? Slogans like that? Sound bytes taken out of context are the new normal for politicians, on both sides. The people ARE doing real research...and we're finding all manner of corruption, sweetheart deals, bribes etc. Apparently, conservatives want to keep all their money and have a white Christian theocracy, while the Dems just have the country's best interests at heart. You know that's not true, just like I know Obama doesn't want to tax everyone out of existence.

  9. Charlie: Thanks for participating again! Your definition is correct, as is mine--the word 'filibuster' has several definitions (one of which refers to a type of parliamentary procedure that is the right of an individual to extend debate; another refers to a prolonged speech that obstructs progress). Of course, there is still another definition: an adventurer who engages in a private military action in a foreign country. I don't think either of us are referring to that definition of a filibuster.

    And, while we're on the subject--why has it been okay for the Democrats to obstruct progress in the past with filibusters, but it's not acceptable for the Republicans to do it now?

  10. Hot dang! I love this blog! Great discussion already here so far. @Jeannie: i so agree with you. Especially your last statement about the frustration as well as the lack of admittance toward the wealthy being served. @Charlie: Super duper article. You certainly have an Amen from me! I was reading it and saying: "Stick!" several occasions. Comparisons to a hostage situation/political terrorism. Willingness to do ANYTHING to win the next election. The disregards for the loss of all those jobs. Crimeny! @Karen: loved your info about Jefferson and your feedback. Interesting and thinking not many of us can give Charlie a good run for his money. lol

  11. Went back to finish reading this link and now i am in fact weeping. Very sad that all this is happening in our country and we are also damaging to our country's future. Shocking to find out that Americans are among the lowest taxed rates. The dollar to be replaced as the global reserve currency. Really sad. The way they make "entitlement" sound so selfish after folks contribute funds. Predisposition toward WAR? Been thinking along those lines too. Reminds me of the George Carlin clip; "We like war!" "Give me that old time religion." That article made me laugh out loud. That was the only time this reading go around. President Eisenhower's comment to his brother just floored me. "Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs etc." wow! Talk about a crystal ball! Is he turning over in his grave? Okay another bad joke. Sad but true article here. In my opinion this link says much of what we democrats have been trying to scream on this blog but to little appeal am afraid. Thanks again for great summary here Charlie. Kudos! PS looking forward to next iblog too. Thinking he loves to like those fireworks under us. But we need a shake now and then. Wait, perhaps again bad joke with all these quakes lately. Keep thinking maybe something to this Armageddon tales or Mayan calender but not really interested in revisiting any old time religion.

  12. The Democrat party of today is not even close to that of John F. Kennedy's day. It and the GOP are completely and unutterably corrupt which means one has a choice between pure, unadulterated evil and just plain evil. No easy choice that but I cannot support anyone who thinks it acceptable to take the life of an innocent, unborn child or who believes it is okay to send our hard earned tax dollars to the corrupt government of Saudi Arabia when they are already getting enough from us in the profits they are raking in on petrol. I did not vote for BHO because I sensed that he could not be trusted and so far he has proven my intuition correct. He shows a proclivity for prevarication which is unparalleled in modern politics and has betrayed our nation over and over. I concur with the gentleman who said he "....pulled a cynical bait & switch and hasn't stood fast to a single important principle." Not one modern politician has proven immune from the lure of enriching themselves at the expense of the working man ending up leaving our nation impoverished beyond this and many generations to come's power to pay. May God have mercy upon us all.

  13. As usual you are still only seeing one side and again Karen will present the other side and will either be wrong or ignored. Well here is my input and my link try I will not vote for Obama or any Democrat(Biden, Pelosi etc.)or Republican with this view. Oh and by the way during the video note what he says about his girls and babies. So I guess that is what he would do to his own grandchildren. Just hearing him talk like that scares me. Also you can try to say that this Republican or that one has the same view but I won't vote for them either. When a person supports killing a innocent baby really what does that say. Don't try to say oh this is not important and this issue doesn't matter when it comes to choosing a president. Let me tell you a president who is willing to do that to his own grandchildren never will have my vote. So you can ramble on about the Republicans or the Tea Party but as for me I am still choosing the most moral candidate I can. If yourself or the other bloggers have a different morality that is theirs and your choice but don't put me down because mine happen not to be yours. I cannot and will not vote for a man who is so morally bankrupt. All the articles you can dig up or happen to find just can't change that fact. I am not ashamed of what I have said. Oh and by the way no one will make me feel guilty for my opinion. We need to put decent,godly,honest men in office because Democrat or Republican immoral men and women have ruined this country.

  14. Oh and by the way Charles I wept for all those unborn children when Obama was nominated and became our president. I wept the whole first night and then every day since. So read this and WEEP.

  15. In reply to jeanniewaters, not all those who purchase a home are wealthy but many are hard working Americans and the homes they purchase are not all dream or model homes but ones which need a great deal of work but are all they can afford because the house payment is less than rent would be. My husband and I resisted the temptation to purchase a home when we could not afford to do so when so many who couldn't afford it ended up putting the real estate market into the tank, we rented for 21 years. Everyone has their own frame of reference and perspective and should not be so quick to judge others.

  16. i'm so sick of hearing that O'Bama is not doing anything he did not start this mess but he is being blamed for not fixing it in 3yr's are you kidding me this problem is not his fault he did not make this mess and it took more than 3yr's to make this mess.

  17. Geez I can't believe that ADR1952 sees Obama for what he really is. Too bad the people in this country where so blinded by his words. Well now the people in this country see that Obama can't be trusted. The Dems now have to try to convince the people of this country how wicked only the Republicans are. Well until the Dems change their views on abortions and planned parenthood, they are still the worse of the two parties. Look at your congressmen and women. Look at what they stand for. What honest, caring person could condone such a horrendous act. Wake up America and see where the evil really is.

  18. Mr. Shaughnessy - I admire your passion and thank you for giving other the opportunity to express their passion and opinions.


  19. i would like to just say all this talk about the rich and poor and middle class do we really have a middle class any more? it's just everyone i talk to tell's me how they can't make end's meet so does that mean i live in a poor city hell i don't know all i do know is that at one time i had a great job i was a union worker and when i was growing up that's all i was ever told get a really good job get in the union but the company i work for started down sizeing all the job's wear being outsourced and the funny thing about that is that the job's would go out wrong so the customer would call and my department would have to make it all over again so how did that save the company money if my department had to always redo the order but the company said that's ok we are still saving money how is that? we went from 350 union worker's in my department to 125 because Mexico would do the job for 2.50 and hr's but the company would give them washes and dryer's as bonuses and we wear alway's being told that if we did not speed up our job's wear going to china they could do the work alot faster and cheaper and when it came time for a new union contract we would only get a 2.5 or3.% raise and i worked for a fortune 500 company wich made over 2 to 3 million in profit and we paid for our owne ins,so i guess a union job is know longer a great job but is it a poor job are is it called a middle class job?

  20. @Joann: You make good points there indeed! Simply have to agree! @skdonavan: Here here!

  21. `
    @Karen: Of course you are a real American! I could not and would not beg to differ and i surely hope you will be back! :)

  22. In response to ADR1952 my comment did not say anything about one who chooses to or not to buy a home, but rather was a simple statement regarding the reality of our tax code. One who buys a home gets a tax write off and the more mortgage interest one pays the greater the write off. A wealthy person is more likely to have a greater write off than one of a lower income level, and, of course, there are those who cannot afford to buy a home at all. They get NO write off for any part of their rent. I am completely confused at how this could be considered the least bit judgmental. Personally, I applaud those who did not buy a home when they knew they could not afford one, however, I still think it is unfair that one who rents does not get the same tax write off as I do.

  23. @Diane: Course you are most certainly entitled to your own opinions. What blogging is all about. I enjoy blabbing mine! Dang i must be in a good mood today as not wanting to argue. Nothing wrong with morality.


  25. Charlie just letting you know i'am hear as skdonovan2010 but i'am Donna Bearden i love the way we can come to vent i hope that we all do realize we are in this together when it all comes down to it so let's not forget that. i also have no problem with some one voiceing thier opinion as long as they don't have a problem with me voiceing mine the bottom line is is that we need to get are country strong again and i will never understand how if someone who makes enought money to support thier family and it don't take that away would not pay more taxes we exspect men and women to give thier life to save are country but we who can aford it don't want to pay to save our country to me that is wear the saying comes in how much is enought just a little more than i got!

  26. @Donna You said "i'm so sick of hearing that O'Bama is not doing anything he did not start this mess but he is being blamed for not fixing it in 3yr's are you kidding me this problem is not his fault he did not make this mess and it took more than 3yr's to make this mess."
    And not meant against you personally, but I'm so sick of hearing about THAT. Funny how everything that happened in the Bush years is Bush's fault, but NOTHING that has happened in the past 3 years has been Obama's fault. It's Bush's fault AGAIN, the Tea Party, the Arab Spring, the Japanese Earthquake, the dog ate my homework, mommy he did it first. The problems we are facing now have been caused by CONGRESS, over the past 3 decades. Do you know who was a part of that Congress? BARACK OBAMA!(well, when he showed up for work...his MO is to win an election and immediately start campaigning for the next job up the ladder, while being paid to do the first one). Who else? Hillary, Kerry, Biden, Pelosi, Frank, Reid.
    Obama inherited this mess from HIMSELF, and if he was surprised to find the mess..then he's pretty clueless about how government works, the role of Congress, and the current situations in the world. And since he knew ALL about the problems when he was giving his speeches in the campaign...I doubt that he's clueless.

    @ADR...your post was wonderful. Thank you for joining us. I also loved that comment about the "bait and switch" in the article. I do feel very badly for my liberal friends who worked hard, donated, and sacrificed for Obama, only to see him do the exact opposite. And it frustrates ME to see him doing the exact things he reviled in the campaign...and still not being made to answer for those lies(and when he is asked, he lies AGAIN, even though we have video clips as proof). Oy...I'd better stop now. This isn't a bash-Obama blog, it's a "what can we do about this corrupt government" blog. But we can't "do anything" as long as people still continue to hold out hope that Obama will suddenly become the man that only exists in their imagination.

  27. Luckily you have in the U.S. only three possibilities. I choose the Republicans or the Democrats or you do not go to vote. No matter whether Republicans or Democrats have the power of the government, it promises to do better each want to. At the end, but always asked the little man to the checkout. It would always have the interests of people first.

  28. Good blog everyone! Thinking not a good time to bring up my pro-choice views. These debates can get very heated. Lots of strong feelings afoot. @Joann: Can't hardly believe it myself but still finding myself in agreement mostly with your comments. Is it a world gone mad? Twilight zone maybe?

  29. JoAnn this is just what my grannie say's is called passing the buck and don't tell me if O'Bama don't win that the next man in well not be blamed for something because he did not fix it fast enought an are you saying Bush did nothing wrong please! you know it take's a great man to stand and fight even Bushes owne father was puzzled by some of the thing's he did. the bottom line is UNITED WE STAND DIVIED WE WILL FALL!

  30. @Kerstin: Generally, it's a two-party system here in the U.S. (Democrats and Republicans), but there are assorted third parties that do attract support. Two U.S. Senators, in fact, are Independents: Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders, although Lieberman is a former Democrat and Sanders is a Socialist. In presidential elections, often we will see 3rd party candidates on the ballot (Socialist, Green Party, Reform Party, etc.), but they don't attract enough of the vote to get elected.

    @Donna: Regarding your comment about only getting a 2.5-3% raise--that is what the union negotiated in the contract; that is not something arbitrarily imposed by management (i.e., the Fortune 500 company you worked for). As a union member (and a former officer in the local chapter), I'm familiar with what goes on during negotiations, and if those were the wages and benefits negotiated by your union, you did have a voice when it came time to accept or reject the union contract. You cannot legitimately complain about the profits earned by your employer (and how little of it shows up in your paycheck) when your wages were negotiated through collective bargaining. Now if you didn't have a union, or if your wages were affected by external forces--that's an entirely different issue. In my case, I'm happy with the wage freeze this year, because it beats a wage cut or having my position eliminated (which has happened in other states). By the way (and this applies to everyone, not just Donna), the union I belong to is a faculty union, and the “external forces” include state appropriations and federal funding for higher education.

    @Jeannie: I love the idea of being able to write off a portion of my rent as a tax deduction—although I guess if I was really serious about this, I would go ahead and help my mother (who lives with me) apply for the rent rebates for seniors program. I cannot do so in good conscience, however, because the program is designed for seniors living on a fixed income—and my income certainly is higher than their threshold and is not fixed (even though hers hasn’t changed in 3-4 years). In my case, I rent because I don't want to be burdened with the hassle of owning a house; it's not because I couldn't afford one. So it's not just the poor who don't own homes and are unable to take advantage of writing off their interest payment when they file their taxes. Some of us middle class folks don't get to benefit--and federal housing loan programs do assist people with low incomes in purchasing homes.

  31. Glad to hear from you Charlie! I wish the Dems could please stop pretending that they do nothing wrong and the Reps are only out for themselves. Oh to add another to the ever growing list that I am tired of hearing: the reps will do anything it takes to get into the white house. GIVE ME A BREAK like the dems didn't use everything they had up their sleeves in 2008 including saying McCain didn't even know how to use a computer. I am not living in a dream world any one in politics is out for themselves plain and simple. About the whole "inherited mess" I am pretty sure Obama knew what the job required when he was campaign. If he was so worried and concerned about the economy he would have announced his economic plan already instead of going on vacation and campaigning.

  32. When you place your trust in a man who will abort his own grandchildren, I guess you get what you get. Just don't blame the Republicans.

  33. Karen we got that 2.5% and3% raise because we did fight for it they wanted us to take nothing for the frist yr' and 2% for the second and 2.5 for the thrid yr's but said noway so we took 2.5% and 3% so yes i no how it work's you also have to remember that are job's wear being taken to china so we really had a hard fight we whent from 350union worker's to 125 what do you think we wear going to do when a corporation was welling to give all are job's to china what would have done? when you got corport greed looking you in the face.

  34. Sorry guys but i have decided to put my two cents in. In my opinion and possibly statisically speaking. Not for certain may have to research this. Speakiing from my own views as being poor, abandoned, and homless in my lifetime. Unwanted unborn babies = absused and neglected fatherless chidren transpires to tommorrows criminals and welfare receptiiants, drug addicts, and metally challenged. Sometimes we should be careful what we wish for sad to say. That baby you saved could rob your house some day, no offense. The reality of life crashes down sometimes in that all boils down to money. Those who have been hurt, hurt others. Sorry but i have a dark perspective sometimes. A hard life will do that to you i reckon.

  35. @MCL 1550: Ha! you go! great comment! Ride on your bandwagon any time!

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  38. Mr. Shaughnessy I just wanted to say I told you so. that congress would rather see this country six feet under, rather than work with this President. It is not about poltical party, or his character it is about the color of the man skin.

  39. Devin Romney i agree with you 100% and i really Don't think that O'Bama is for useing abortion as a from of brith control but i do think that it should be used only for rape are if the mother's life is at risk and even then it should be up to the women not the public and this really is not what the problem is in the world right now this is about pepole haveing job's and paying taxes and keeping are country strong and as for as the housing market go's i know pepole who wear told what they could afored and said no but wear told by family and friend;s that you have to listen to what the tell you they know more then you do if they say you can afford it then you can and ever thing was fine it was all working fine till one of my friend's wanted to do some remodling and was looking for a loan and her husband and her wear aproved but they but everything in one loan so they world not have two loan's and was given photo's of homes in there area and wear told that the homes wear worth more than what they paid for it so they wear so happy turn out 2mth's later that the home's in thier area wear not wearth more so the real issue hear is that it is not always the fault of the byer you also have a lot of company's lieing and makeing pepole think they can aford more than they think and we are suppost to be able to trust these company's i mean why would'nt we it is thier business but it just go's to show that it is easyer to blame someone who trust inthe company they are working with then put any blame on the company any way my friend's lost thier home but they also wear but in a law suit aganist the company and won so it is not alway's the byer's fault.Oh forgot to say why they lost thier home it was because when they when to do the final paper work well they waited for thier loan officer to show but he never did and they found out that the intest rate they wear geting was 12% not the 4% he told them the hole time it was areal mess he was fired and they did get a nother home and thing's are tought but they are very careful now so you learn by your mistakes trust noone i think that it is so sad that we just can't trust any one any more what pepole will do just for a easy buck makes no sence to me.

  40. Sorry everybody, but I did not know that Devin Romney was logged into his Google Account on my computer so my post accidentally got posted under his name. Therefore, I am now reposting it under my name.

    I am still greatly surprised that there is anyone who believes that Obama did not inherit the current economic mess in which we find ourselves. I do not know if it should be blamed on Bush, Congress, or some other person or entity, but how can anyone deny that he DID inherit it. Also, it is shocking to me that people actually think he should have been able to fix it by now. Although the majority of foreclosures, short sells, and mortgage modifications have already taken place, they are not fully complete. My daughter, for instance, is currently in the process of purchasing a home on a short sell. How can the damage caused by an economic crisis already in motion be averted? It would be like trying to clean up the damage done by a hurricane before the storm has completely passed. So, I guess you could say that I am quite dismayed by continually hearing that Obama did not inherit this mess. I am not saying that Obama has not made any mistakes; he certainly has, but he has not made any more mistakes than any other president. Yet, he has certainly received more than his share of grief. He also is not the first president to blame challenges on the previous administration—Bush included, and Bush was not left as big of a mess as was Obama.

    Further, as much as I believe that abortion is a serious moral issue, I do not believe it is the ONLY moral issue we face as a nation. I believe, for instance, that sending young men and women to die in unnecessary wars is immoral. Are these young people’s lives less precious than an unborn baby? I would not have aborted my sons’ life in the womb and I do not want their life taken on the battlefield to satisfy the egos of power-hungry leaders. I believe that innocent children going to bed hungry or homeless while others live in mansions is immoral. Likewise, I believe that healthcare being reserved only for those who are lucky enough to be able to afford insurance is immoral. My list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I believe that these things reflect just as poorly on our nation’s morality as abortion. Before I get blasted and judged as so many unjustly accuse me of doing, let me say that I am against abortion accept for rare cases of rape, incest, or a mother’s life being at risk, but I believe it is a lie that abortion is the ONLY moral issue we face as a nation. Now one may decide that abortion should be their personal hot button. That is a right which I respect, but I personally believe it is wrong to call others immoral simply because they see different principles reflecting the moral bankruptcy of this nation.

  41. @Devin Romney: Of course we recognize that Obama inherited a mess. Every president inherits a mess from the previous administration (even Washington did--only his was from a previous system of government). The problem is that too many Democrats blame Bush for the economic mess that Obama inherited, when, in fact, Bush inherited a financial mess from Clinton (and an even greater national security mess that became evident almost ten years ago). The financial problems that the nation is facing now in many ways have their roots in the deregulation that occurred during the Clinton administration (for instance, permitting the merger of oil companies such as Exxon and Mobil, two companies that were created when the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil trust in 1911). The system crashed in 2007 and 2008, and Bush got blamed for the collapse (just like Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression because the stock market crashed while he was president, when in actuality the "depression" began during the Wilson administration).

    @TB50: Yes, I agree there are people who oppose Obama because of his ethnic background. There were also people who opposed John F. Kennedy because he was Roman Catholic. There were people who opposed Ronald Reagan because he had previous been a movie actor. But why do few people stop to think that perhaps some people don't like Obama because he's not doing what he said he would do? His party had control of Congress during his first two years in office (no, they didn't have a "supermajority," but they did have bipartisan support). I have this argument with my mother all the time (sometimes I think I'm adopted--except we look too much alike). She insists that it's because he's black; I keep telling her that isn't the only reason why people are questioning his ability to lead the nation.

    @Donna: While I don't have to worry about my job being outsourced to China, I do have to worry about people in China doing my job for less money. Higher education increasingly is getting involved in various types of online instruction/distance education, and my classes could be taught anywhere someone has internet access. Some of my colleagues have taught online courses from around the world, and I myself have taught them while on vacation (Charlie didn't see me checking for messages from students while I was waiting for him outside NSMT). So it's not just corporate America that is going for the "cheaper" price.

  42. @Devin~ I assume you are speaking to me, about Obama inheriting a mess. I have never, ever said that Obama didn't take on a difficult job. Just like EVERY President since George Washington. Reagan "inherited" a royal mess from the Carter Years, Clinton "inherited" brewing problems in the Middle East(and he inherited the good things that were bearing fruit from Reagan's Admin.), Bush43 "inherited" AlQaeda and a ready-to-burst housing and bubble.
    What I **said** was that the mess Obama walked into was #1 created/enabled by the Congress who allowed Bush to do the bad things that he did. They did not provide the checks and balances that they had sworn to do, and also created a few messes in their own right. Obama always says "I inherited it from Bush" but now when people criticize him..he says "well I can't do anything without Congress". Which is it, Barack? He has done nothing but continue the policies he claims were "failures".

    @TB50~Please, please don't go there. That race card has to be old and worn by now. Obama's BASE of progressive liberals is furious with him right now...can I then assume it's because they have just now gotten in touch with their hidden racism? They've just realized he's 1/2 black?'s because they...wait for it...disagree with what he's doing!! They don't like his policies! Well..neither do I, and it has nothing to do with his race. There has to be an expiration date on this, please. It's totally unfair to those of us who do not agree with the policies of the Democrats, with Obama's choice in staff, and with his attitude. That isn't's called HAVING A POLITICAL VIEW.

  43. @jeannie: hate to single you out to prove a point. But putting the mother's life ahead of the unborn baby's by making the decision to abort the baby to save her life. Is that not in fact playing God. Why not leave it in God's hands to let him choose who lives and who stays? Oh two lives at stake? Why not let God decide their fates? Why intervene at all? My cousin getting artificial insemination to have a baby, is that not playing God as well? Cloning a sheep etc? Conventional medicine? No one could understand why a women or girl would want an abortion unless they walked in her shoes or circumstances. Have any idea how hard that must be? Couldn't think it could be easy. One would think was not for the heck of it. A get out of jail free card? What about the father, can he not get a out of jail free card by leaving? Why punish a woman because she is a woman? You will be taking away our rights and freedom as women that our fore mothers worked so hard to get. Judge not, lest be judged. But i agree with you on the sending young lives into battle is tragic. Their lives have meaning to us all. Call me immoral if you want. Just call it how i see it. I don't pretend to have all the answers, so many mysterious and baffling things in this life. But i can clearly see how faith is a bright spot in lives of folks.

  44. The article by Mr. Lofgren was a very good one. If all that he says is true, it is very unfortunate indeed.

    What I know is when President Clinton was in the White House, we were in the black. Once Bush took over and stopped taxing the richest Americans, we slid into the red. We are STILL in the red with what looks like no way out - at least under this administration.

    You can go back and forth forever debating who is at fault for the present economic crisis - Republicans or Democrats with no end in sight. Isn't it just the same rehash over and over?

    Mr. Lofgren just skimmed over the mention of social issues. Those issues are important also. However, most people don't like to talk about them because it makes them "uncomfortable." That is understandable.

    However, when it comes to the downgrade in American society with respect to social issues and how we have lost so much in having a conscience, it is crystal clear the Democrats/liberals (most of them) are responsible for that. No question. Here are a few examples: (and PLEASE, look at this list without religion in mind, just use your common sense, conscience and responsibility as an adult.

    1. Abortion on demand at any age, any place, any time (even up until 2 minutes from actual birth);

    2. Hand out condoms to EVERYONE - ten year old boys even;

    3. Teaching gay lifestyle in schools. For the record, President Obama opposes gay marriage;

    4. Let all the illegal immigrants stay here - even though they have broken the law to get into our country and we know some are criminals.

    Those are just a few.

    Its just that you cannot look at America's problems from only a financial standpoint. That is just half of the problem; social issues are the other half. That is why our country is so divided and messed up.

    The two party system is not working. We need a candidate who can govern somewhere in the middle - not greedy, has a conscience and who will fight for what is right. I believe one day you are going to see an Independent candidate win the presidency and I hope I am around to see it.

  45. I really have no other president of color to compare President Obama with so can you tell me how it isn't racism. I in my 50 years of living have never seen a member of congress totally disrespect the President while giving the natonal address. How does Congress allow our credit rating as a nation be lowered. Why?

  46. I never said abortion was the only moral issue in this country. What I said people who place their trust in a man to run their country who is willing to abort his own grandchildren get what they get. If you are an immoral person, you are an immoral person. What more needs to be said. Ok so I choose to be immoral about one thing but not about others. Please. If you allow your own flesh and blood to be aborted tell me how much worse it can get. How is it the Nazi's are bad for killing the Jews but our POTUS is supporting the murder of unborn children. Isn't it funny I read this story that was written from a nurse. She stated in one room the doctor was aborting a 1st trimester baby and throwing the baby in the garbage can and in the room across from that there was a pre-mature baby born and every one was running around trying to save the baby. How ironic that is!! So people should choose over God what is considered a baby and what is not. What I am trying to say is when you sell your soul to the devil you can't just sell part of it. Its all of nothing. When you support the death of numerous babies you are selling all of your soul. So if anyone expects Obama to be a truly honorable, respected, and decent individual you are barking up the wrong tree. If you don't believe this is the sign of a person's character then maybe I am confused as to what is right and what is wrong. If we continue to vote for immoral politicians don't be surprised that our country will continue to going to hell.

  47. Lilly,
    I am so glad you have the ability to voice your opinion on what is right and what is wrong. So many people are afraid to offend others. Others may not agree with me but I applaud Lilly for being able to tell it like it is. She is a very brave woman and I hope to meet her some day. It is a woman with courage who is willing to stand up for what she is believe is right even if it is not popular. I admire her. No one wants to say that being gay is wrong or gay marriages are not acceptable, handing condoms out to 10yr olds is wrong. She is also correct when she mentions these are the Dems ideals and morals. Now do you all understand what I have been trying to say. You cannot expect someone to run this country with any sense of morality when they don't have any morals to begin with. I am not saying that gays don't have rights, what I am saying is that we don't have to agree with this lifestyle. We don't have to condone 10 yr old boys having sex. We don't have to condone abortions, illegal aliens, and anything else that is immoral or illegal just because certain individuals say we have to. Well I have a step daughter who made a mistake and what a beautiful baby boy he is. See my facebook he is quite the dancer.

  48. Lily~That was a wonderfully articulate post, and spot on. And yes,we can rehash the issues over and over again...but that's what these blogs tend to do. BOTH sides are at fault. And yes,the climate in this country is one of "tolerance"(of anything but Christianity, but I digress). And sometimes it's ok to be intolerant...because some things are just WRONG. Instead,what a liberal thinks is wrong should have a law against it,but what others think is wrong is judgemental,intolerant,racist, bigoted, greedy, etc.
    My hunch is that the left can't justify what Obama has done/is doing or his laundry list of broken promises(and in fact, not just breaking them but doing the EXACT thing he said he would not do and continuing the policies he's on record as calling a failure). So, in order to sleep at night, they hunt for reasons that the other side is more corrupt,more evil, etc. Then they can pull that lever for Obama and feel like they're "saving the country". Choosing the lesser of 2 evils,just like we ALL do, every time.

  49. Diane and JoAnn - thank you for your comments regarding my posts.

    As I am sure you know, it can be very difficult living in a world full of people who feel we should be tolerant of EVERYTHING. We are actually the minority. How sad that is. However, I also believe there are far more conservatives than we think - they are just afraid to speak up. That is even sadder.

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Lilly you are right maybe if more of the conservatives spoke up in this country maybe things could change. Would love to think that is true. Again thanks for speaking up sometimes we all feel alone when we have a different opinions than others but remember you are not alone.

  52. Perhaps it is dependent upon which part of the country one lives, but my experience has been that conservatives have never had a difficult time speaking up whether in person or in the media. I also have never felt that they were in the minority. And, although there have been instances wherein I feel that Christians have been treated unfairly due only to their inability to accept certain behavior as 'right', I have found at least as often Christians being intolerant of others beliefs. Please note that I am not speaking of those behaviors that I know that as Christians we are unable to embrace, but rather I am speaking of any issue for which others disagree. It is easy to point the finger at others and feel that we are the one being persecuted, but sometimes we need to look within to see if there might be any justifiable reason that we are being so treated. I am sure Christians will continue to receive some persecution in the future that will be unwarranted, but we cannot assume, then, that it is all undeserved. I, personally, am disheartened when I hear that Christianity is the last acceptable form of discrimination. It just is not so!

  53. @TB50: Is not the color of his skin causing this type of disrespectfulness. Is that they think he is the anti-christ sent to destroy our country. Sorry i couldn't resist the temptation. Seriously, i know there are still racists folks about and i know plenty. But i feel we have moved beyond the 60's by this point in time. I pray so! If not, ain't any wonder that we may face impending doom' Wait a sec! The anti-christ bit don't make me feel that much better. OH brother!

  54. I have to say this if it is wrong for awomen to have an abortion to save her life and that god should be the one to make that call then why do we do everthing to save pepole who are dieing from heart probelm's are save pepole with cancer shoudn't we just let god make that call too and haveing an abortion is not just and easy thing for a mother to do what if that mother has other children what about them why should they go with out a mother this is just a problem that is damm if you do damm if you don't there is no right are wrong check that the only thing wrong is if abortion is used for birthcontrol.

  55. Conservatives a minority? This is news to me. Must be where i live. Here in the bible belt, I feel surrounded. Ugh! I hope that is so, no offense guys.

  56. Sorry if I did not make myself clear. I am talking about liberals and their agenda dominating the media.

    Is it me or everytime I turn on the news liberals are trying to do away with traditions such as taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance (and everything else for that matter). Did you not read my earlier post about abortion, condoms in schools, illegal immigrants, teaching gay lifestyle in schools? Those things are all part of the liberal agenda. Liberals are the ones taking morals out of American way of life. Those are not conservative views. The conservative voices you are hearing are those trying to hold on to the values that keep our society good, honorable and sane.

    When I say conservatives are a minority, it was my impression that most of the followers of Charles' blogs were liberals except for a couple of you and myself. I see now I was wrong and I'm glad! However, as I said the media is liberally biased with the exception of Fox News and Bill O'Reilly. One day Wolf Blitzer on CNN referred to pro-lifers as "the anti-choice group." Those were his words.

    Now, I believe Hollywood is a great example of where liberals control and conservatives are in hiding. There are most likely a lot more pro-life (I'm using pro-life as just ONE example) supporters in Hollywood but those people are afraid to speak out because their industry is so full of liberals that if they do speak up, their prospects of working are going to disappear. How sad is that when your constitutional right to freedom of speach could keep you unemployed?

    I also believe that some liberals sell their soles just to be on the side that will get them elected or hired or just make them more popular. That must be a terrible way to live. No integrity in that.

    By the way, did you hear President Obama's speach on the memorial of the 9/11 tragedy. He referred to "God" several times in his speach. My respect meter just went up a few notches for him. God Bless President Obama for that and God Bless America.

  57. TB50: Just because you don’t recall an instance when Congress was disrespectful toward the president doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. How do you define being disrespectful—not paying attention while he is speaking? Turning their backs toward him while he is speaking? Not clapping when he pauses while speaking? Booing and heckling him during the State of the Union Address?

    If it’s the latter…well, during the State of the Union address in 2004, Congressional Democrats delivered a “chorus of boos” when President George W. Bush called for a renewal of the Patriot Act. A year later, Congressional Democrats shouted “NO!” when Bush requested Social Security reform. I can’t recall a president before Bush who experienced that type of vitriol when making an address to Congress—so it’s not like Obama is experiencing something his predecessor had not (and, since Obama was in the Senate when the State of the Union address was made in 2005, he saw it firsthand). In December 2004, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada called President George W. Bush a “liar”—is that showing respect? Plus, there are enough videos of presidential addresses on YouTube to show that many Democrats did not clap while Bush spoke, while the Republicans did. Is not clapping a sign of disrespect? The last time I checked, George W. Bush wasn’t of a different race (or mixed race), so it wasn’t his ethnicity that led to these outcries and actions; it was his politics.

    I will admit that there are people who dislike Obama because of his race. I will not be naïve and deny that. I think Joe Wilson was out of line when he heckled Obama during the health care debate. However, there are also people who would dislike him because of his political affiliation; they never would support a Democrat, regardless of his color (just like there are Democrats who would never vote for a Republican because of their party affiliation). But the discontent that Obama is facing is nowhere near what some previous presidents have faced. As far as I can tell, Obama has not had to deal with restoring the Union after eleven states seceded like Lincoln did, nor does he have to deal with a Senate essentially telling him to go home rather than allow him to speak like Washington did. He doesn’t have to deal with Congress passing laws stripping him of presidential powers like Andrew Johnson did (and then be impeached because he persistently vetoed the unconstitutional laws). Yes, I know these examples might seem like “ancient history” because they did not occur during our lifetimes, but what Obama is experiencing unfortunately is not that unusual. It’s just become more vicious in recent years, starting with the response to Bush’s election in 2000.

    Regarding your question about how Congress could allow our credit rating to be lowered—if Congress had a choice, it wouldn’t have happened. This topic was discussed on a previous blog (check Charlie’s blog “Anyone for Tea?” from early August), so I’m not going to rehash what I (and others) wrote on that blog.

  58. It is interesting the differing perspectives that people have regarding political issues. Conservatives are convinced that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. It is not biasness in and of itself to which conservatives object. How can it be? They love to listen to Fox News. Why are conservatives so convinced that it is the mainstream media that is lying? We feel as strongly that it is Fox News. Please do not tell me we can trust Fox News because conservative political correspondents are righteous, God-fearing men and women. Have you ever thought how easy it would be for one to gain blind followers just by professing to be God-fearing (in fact, I would encourage each of you to watch Rick Perry very closely)? There is a term for that with which you all should be familiar. It is called ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. Now trust me when I say that I do not believe that all conservative political correspondents are insincere in their professed religious beliefs. I know that there are those who definitely are sincere. I am equally convinced that there are also those who have their own agenda at heart. Throughout these blogs I personally have been criticized for only listening to the lies of the liberal media. Perhaps I have been lied to by the media, but I am certain beyond any doubt that the conservative media has lied to you too. What makes it worse is they profess to do it in the name of God. Although my understanding is that Rush Limbaugh does not allow religion to be discussed on his program, it greatly concerns me that conservatives have given such a man so much power. Yet, conservatives would have us believe that it is only the liberal media who promotes their own personal agenda. I find this to be laughable!

    Furthermore, in regards to the liberal agenda of which Lily spoke, I will admit that those items may be on the agenda of SOME liberals. They are not on the agenda of all liberals and perhaps not even the majority of liberals. Interestingly, there are conservatives who are atheists and pro-choice. Perhaps they should be sent over to the Democrat party, although it might be best to wait until after the presidential election. Their vote might just come in handy.

    I do have a sincere question for all of you religious conservatives. There has been something that has puzzled me for years. To give some understanding to my question, I will refer to one of Diane’s comments on the ethics’ blog. Please note that I am not criticizing her position, I truly have a sincere question. Diane spoke of not wanting her children taught by teachers at school as to what is right or wrong. I believe that most parents would agree with Diane’s position and would want to reserve that right for themselves. I, too, hold that position although I do believe that if we were to teach ethics in school we could concentrate on basic principles such as integrity, kindness, hard work, etc. Yet, throughout the years, there has been great criticism from the religious right in regards to removing prayer from school, whether it is the disallowance of prayer on a daily basis in the classroom or from special events such as graduation ceremonies. Occasionally there are also other similar types of issues that are criticized by conservatives. It seems to me that the position really being held is, “I do not want others to impose their view of right and wrong on my children, but I want to impose my beliefs on their children.” This honestly has been very puzzling to me. Can someone explain?

  59. Jeannie, I try to be as thorough as I can when I post but sometimes it does not get through clearly.

    If you go back to my earlier post of September 8th, you will see I made my reference to Democrats/liberals; speaking about the Democratic party (which IS mainly liberal). These are the issues they come up with - not the Republicans/conservatives. Is it fair to label Democrats as liberal and Republicans as conservative? No. But that seems to be the way it is. And the time I hear the loud voice of Republicans is when they are trying to stop some outrageous proposal of Democrats. And I know that there are Democrats who do not believe in those liberal social issues which I listed and I believe there are Republicans who are liberal on social issues. But take look at the platforms of both parties.

    And yes, a lot of politicians on both sides lie.

    And you are right about the media. You can pick and choose a station which you believe has your best interests/views in mind these days. But I do believe Fox News is much better at having both sides in a debate on any subject. Ever watch Bill O'Reilly? He gives the opposing view their time to speak and even gives them the last word. I don't ever remember seeing CNN doing anything like that. Maybe I missed it. And if Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are so bad and biased, why are their ratings so high while other news organizations can't keep up. They must be doing something right.

    I am not old enough to remember the days of Walter Cronkite. But I am told he gave the news without bias and that is what news anchors should do. These days, however, everyone has an opinion.

    As far as prayer in school, my daughter only attended Catholic school and, of course, they always had prayer. With the diversity in religions in America these days, they could just give the children a moment of silence to let them reflect on whatever - be it God or something else. Honestly, you cannot force someone to pray. It is impossible. It comes from within - it is not just words. But they should be given the opportunity. After all, the Pledge of Allegiance does mention God, does it not? But I understand Democrats want to change that too.

  60. @Jeannie" LOVED your last comment and how you are so FAIR with your beliefs. SO admire that. @Lily: sounds like a great idea, a moment of silence for all the school kids to pray or reflect. Sounds fair to all.

  61. I grew up having a ‘moment of silence’ in school and I believe here in Vegas they still do, although I am not sure. I am not opposed to having such. I guess it could be a fair compromise, however, I am still left with the question, “Why is it so important for the religious right to insist upon it?” If one feels it is important for their child to participate in prayer at the beginning of the school day, why do they not pray with their children before they leave for school? That is what I did. We had family prayer at home. I also taught my children that they could pray anywhere. At anytime during the school day if they felt they needed help or strength, they could say a silent prayer. Nobody needed to know they were doing it, although I taught them that they did not need to be ashamed if someone did know. I truly believe that when a group is pushing for prayer in such venues, it is to push their agenda on others. I could even live with that if it were not for the fact that these same people insist that others’ views are not pushed on them. Again I refer back to Diane’s comment of not wanting teachers to tell her children what is right and wrong.

    Three out of four of my children attend or have attended a private religious university. They begin each class with a prayer, so I am not opposed to prayer in schools. The difference here is that they chose to go to this university knowing full well what they were getting into. I am opposed to pushing prayer or religion on others in public gatherings. I, also, do not believe it is wrong to invite others to learn about religion or one’s beliefs, I just do not think we should cram them down people’s throats. As I stated in another comment, I know that Christians have been and will be discriminated against unjustly at times, but I also believe that we need to look at our behavior towards others. Do we treat them as badly? I believe at times we do and that we do it under the guise of defending our beliefs. I think we can defend our beliefs in a more Christ-like manner. Some will still have a problem with us. I do not doubt that, but we can still do better—me included. I used the example of prayer in school for my argument, but if one will look closely, they will see other similar issues as well.

    One last thought. There has been talk on this blog about Christians being the last acceptable group to discriminate against; I just bet that I could do better. Try being a Christian Democrat. I feel like an outsider wherever I find myself. It is one reason why I was never before outspoken. Because of experiences I have had in recent years, I have come out fighting. Unfortunately, I have found that my fears of being outspoken on my personal ideologies were warranted. I guess outwardly it has given me a thicker skin; I just wish that I could say inwardly it has done the same. No such luck! Disillusionment is setting in!


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Charles Shaughnessy's thoughts on Cory Monteith's death

Charles Shaughnessy on Twitter  @C_Shaughnessy
"RIP Cory.  Until we treat alcoholism and other mental health problems as compassionately as we treat cancer, there will be other Corys."


What are your thoughts?
By Associated Press, Published: July 16 |
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — “Glee” actor Cory Monteith, who had struggled for years with substance abuse and once said he was lucky to be alive, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia coroner’s office said Tuesday.“There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” the office said in a statement. He was 31 years old.