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Everything posted by gsmom

  1. Unc: I did not mean any of my comments as a personal attack. I have tried very hard to avoid making any comments personal. I apologize if it came out that way. As has been pointed out by others before, it is sometimes difficult to communicate when the other person can't hear your tone of voice. I agree that some efforts to promote religious tolerance are ridiculous. This story about the high schooler turned away in a Santa suit is certainly ridiculous. In my opinion, the best way to promote respect for all religions is to allow INDIVIDUAL expression, and prohibit GOVERNMENTAL
  2. The constitution prohibits any law "respecting an establishment of religion." I think even without court interpretation, you could interpret these words to mean more than "the government will not establish a state religion." (By the way, England still has a state religion, the Church of England. Although parents are allowed to opt out, Religious Education and collective worship are taught in state schools.) Our courts have interpreted it this way. In the US, the point is precisely that members of a minority religions should NOT have to view government sponsored religious displays of th
  3. Here is the response of the ACLU director in Richmond from OGE's link. It seems to be just what uncleguinea had in mind: "Kent Willis, executive director of the Virginia ACLU, said he doesn't begrudge the Scouts for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech or using the ACLU name to generate sales. "That's par for the course these days," said Willis, who said a group of youths identified as the United Conservatives of Virginia delivered a tin of Boy Scout popcorn and a Christmas greeting to his office yesterday. "We raise funds with our membership by pointing out what th
  4. Hello Eamonn, These are all good questions. One can join the ACLU by going to their website and contributing $20. They are a non-profit and "non-partisan" organization according to their website. I'm not sure who funds their activities besides contributors. I think the idea that Americans have "easy acess" to the court system is somewhat of a myth. Litigation is expensive. Most people cannot afford to sue (outside of small claims court where you don't need a lawyer) and go through a trial unless they can recover a large amount in damages or they are independently wealthy. That is why
  5. this seems to be a balanced account of Kerry's meeting in Paris with delegations to the peace talks there. http://www.newsaic.com/04kerryantiwarparis.html He made no secret of it at the time, and I'm sure if it was treason, Nixon would have found a way to prosecute him since he was under surveillance by the FBI. I don't think it was "treason" any more than it was "desertion" when Bush had a gap in his guard duty (I'm trying to use neutral phrasing here). While there were many veterans who opposed Kerry, there were also many veterans who supported him, both for his antiwar
  6. Kerry's service in Vietnam (and Bush's guard service) was relevant to the issue of ability to be commander in chief in wartime. The war in Vietnam: how we got there, the ideology behind it, how it was waged, is relevent to the issue of our involvement in Iraq. "Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it." (Paraphrase) If Thurlow thought the facts supporting his award are inaccurate, why hasn't he given his award back? I judge the truth of allegations based on eyewitness accounts and other direct evidence, not numbers of people supporting one side or the other. The Swift Boat v
  7. I have always been troubled by the credence given the Swift Boat veterans. One poster asked for some proof that the ads were lies. Here is an article, also by FactCheck.org that provides direct proof in the form of Navy documentation that Thurlow's statement that there was no enemy fire is a lie. Thurlow recieved an award IN THE SAME INCIDENT. The documentation for Thurlow's award noted that he was under enemy fire. http://www.factcheck.org/miscreports243.html I say again: these people smeared a good and valiant man.
  8. In answer to your question about body armor, please take a look at this article on a website Cheney attempted to direct people to during his Vice Presidential debate: http://www.factcheck.org/article177.html
  9. Thanks for this post, carol. I think there are two ways we could agree to disagree. One: talk about issues, not people. Once it gets personal, then it can get nasty. Two: try not to take criticism of your point of view as a personal criticism. This is hard to do, especially when you feel strongly about something. gsmom
  10. I guess I'm not willing to fault the Kerry campaign for losing the election as much as others have. The Bush campaign was the lowest and most unscrupulous I have seen in a long time. They took a good and decent man, a real war hero, and smeared him ruthlessly. I'm talking about the Swift Vets ads. Even John McCain called them "dishonorable" and said in an interview that he thought Kerry would make a good president. Bush refused to denounce them, thus lending them credibility. The Navy has affirmed that his medals were properly awarded. Kerry's positions on any number of issues were deliberatel
  11. I think toleration and respect for one anothers point of view is definitely called for and long overdue. However, I am not willing to cede any grounds on the issues confronting our country and what the Bush administration plans to do. A bare majority of 51 percent is not a mandate. I believe now just as I did before the election that Bush is seriously leading our country in the wrong direction in foreign policy as well as in a number of domestic issues, in particular Social Security and the budget deficit. With respect to foreign policy, he has just nominated the author of memos advocati
  12. "The British are solidly behind the War on Terror. They too allow dissent occur in their country, as we do. Where does the rest of the world get their view of America? They get it from these lunatic TV shows, MTV, VH1, the Simpsons, etc. and the news networks. They see Dan Rather using forged documents. They see the bilge that Michael Moore made a zillion bucks peddling. They see lefty columnists calling nice people who happen to go to church the American Taliban and garbage like that. Is it no wonder they have a twisted view of us after being barraged by the networks hidden agenda? "
  13. While the Republicans now have control of two branches of government, they did not get a "mandate" in the sense that a landslide victory, like Reagan got over Mondale, would have given them. One of the most disappointing aspects of Bush's presidency is his abandonment of the "uniter not a divider" philosophy. He is supposed to be president of ALL the people, not just the ones that agree with him. True leadership is building consensus even with those that disagree with your policies. The results of Bush's "leadership" can be seen in the "we won so go stuff it" attitudes of many "red state
  14. I think Kerry's "excuse" was meant to be a JOKE! I do not think that Bush is unintelligent. I do believe that he has not used his intelligence, and that his judgment is seriously flawed. Regarding, "can't we all just get along": Conservatives have been equally divisive and insulting by accusing liberals and democrats who had legitimate criticisms of Bush's policies of being unpatriotic and aiding the terrorists. As I have said before, living out here in England, it is my opinion that Bush's policies have made us less safe. This is a legitimate criticism of his policies, and does
  15. Hillary Clinton is a smart, capable woman, and has worked hard for New York. I agree, however, that she would not appeal to the "red state" voters. Don't be so sure about Rudy Giuliani, however. I lived in New York when he was mayor. He was majestic on 9/11. I strongly disagreed with his policies, though, and he was a polarizing figure in many ways, particularly with race relations. Anyone who lived there knows this. Please note that the conservatives have demonized liberals in the same way that conservatives accuse liberals of demonizing them. This campaign was one of the nastiest i
  16. I didn't see the 60 minutes piece (we don't get it here in the uk), but I would like to put in my two cents (pence, Eamonn) about rewarding participation versus achievement. I think there is room for both, and it depends on the context. My daughter (age 10) participated in a 3 day cricket camp this summer. It was her first real cricket experience, and the purpose of the camp was to encourage kids to take up cricket. At this camp, they gave out awards for different things, and she was very disappointed at not getting anything. I think in this circumstance, where she had basically no crick
  17. My family and I were living in lower Manhattan on Sept 11. I was on my way to the WTC to catch the PATH train to my job in Newark. I got out of the Wall St. subway stop after the second plane had hit. I was standing 4 blocks away when the south tower started to collapse. I ran south on Broadway with the crowd ahead of the dust cloud, then into a building just before it caught up with me. After the cloud had passed, ash came down like snow. I waited until that passed, then made my way further south. I could hear the north tower collapse, and had to go into another building to escape the cloud.
  18. Hello kenk, I feel very strongly about bullying. The bullying behavior directed at your son is outrageous and unacceptable whether or not he has a disability. Where was the bus driver when all this was happening? I would imagine the behavior you describe is a safety hazard at minimum. Were any of these kids disciplined? Here are some replies to a recent article in the New York Times about bullying at camp, and how some camps are handling it. The link to the article itself is found following the letters. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/05/opinion/L05BULL.html If you cannot get a s
  19. I think the key to maintaining civility on this forum is to debate the ISSUES, and not the PERSON. Both "liberal" and "conservative" views have been expressed on this forum. Sadly, some people with very strong views have chosen to attack the person expressing contrary views, as well as the views themselves. I have been the object of this myself. I enjoy a passionate debate on the issues. I am a proud and patriotic "liberal." I can respect "conservative" views on the issues. What I don't like are personal attacks. gsmom
  20. Hello Campfire Fairy I think it is wonderful that you would like to take over the leadership of your sister's troop. The most important resource for safety and other standards is the GS publication Safety Wise. According to Standard 13, the minimum age for an adult leader is 18. So, go for it! My advice: 1. Get as much training as you possibly can in addition to the basic leader training that is required initially. Get yourself camp trained, and First Aid trained, in accordance with Safety-Wise requirements. Just as important is any training available on leading girls in your si
  21. Hello goodkidsmom, I have been following this thread, but not posting since I don't know much about Boy Scout procedures and didn't feel I could give any advice on that topic. I would like to give my 2 cents here, though, on the issue of assertiveness and maturity. One sign of maturity is knowing when your efforts have run their course, and any further effort is futile. Your son did his best, and clearly recognizes the futility of any further "assertiveness" on his part. He has weighed his choices and the consequences of each choice, and has wisely chosen to move on. That is an
  22. Hello hops, Try copying and pasting the link into your web browser address line. gsmom
  23. Here's an article directly related to this thread you all might find interesting: http://hnn.us/articles/5019.html
  24. Well, it looks like this discussion has degenerated into name-calling. I think the moderator was correct in deciding that Issues and Politics discussions should relate to scouting. I will avoid these discussions from now on.
  25. With regard to accountability, my view is the reverse side of the coin from Rooster. Leaders establish policy and set the tone of their organization's culture. This is true of schools, businesses, and especially the military, which is a command structure. Bush and Rumsfeld decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to certain people. In the Abu Ghraib prison, military intelligence was allowed to take over interrogations, and the soldiers who were assigned as guards were encouraged to soften up the prisoners before intelligence got there. None of this would have happened if the guards w
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