Ahh! Finally!!! - I can't beleive I've found a place where rational people actually believe in Health Care Reform in Idaho! Thank God for the Boise Weekly. Butch Otter just doesn't get it - neither does Senator Crapo Risch or Simpson. Even my last hope of Walt Minnick voted Nay on the Health Care Reform bill - but at least he is working to make it better rather than the other three dolts who are either using State Taxpayer Funds to sue the Federal Government or fighting in Washington to repeal the Health Care Reform Bill. I've written extensively about the plight of average people and the sacrifices they have to make to make ends meet. But there are too many people who "fear" the socialist (I guess that means the 17,000 unemployed people in Idaho) will just take advantage of the people who are still employed. Here's a link to the article I posted on Newsvine.com http://jwmorris.newsvine.com/_news/2010/03…
Rachel Dagle - Last Weeks comments "The OnLine Reality" (February 3-9, 2010) talking about your recent visit to San Francisco and discussing the future of print media were great. Print is nice, but the ability to read a news journalist story or opinion and have an immediate discussion attended by thousands around the world is thrilling. For example, I'm pretty active at jwmorris.newsvine.com when I'm on the computer.
Two recent engaging great exapmles for local discussion include sunsetting "agencies that servve local minority populations" and last weeks reprint about cement mines in Oregon with high mercury emmissions. The Oregon article could be John Grisham sequel to "The Appeal" (2008).
I save the Boise Weekly print version for the library visits and bedtime reading - not necessarily in that order. I provided you my reasons why I like the BW in response to your April Fool last year. I can see from the BW Website you are making a strong effort to engage advertisers to support. I think the BW is on the right track. I'll make a better effort to engage in the local discussion.
Keep up the great work!
Admittedly, I like IPTV. And admittedly, I recently told my wife that we already contribute to PTV through our taxes. I've considered making the $25 annual contribution. In my opinion the content on PTV is far better than 90 channels on my 100 channel subsctiption to Dish Network. We both que IPTV up IPTV along with local channels and Dish to enhance our broad entertainment selection.
I find it extremely humorous to listen to conservatives label President Obama as a Neo Nazi Social Fascist, a little Hitler czar leader. I also like the definition Bill Cope presented about fascist. For some reason I see images of Cheney and Bush.
I've long disdained the "wrapped in the flag" patriotism and "love it or leave it" mindset of some Americans. People drive around with flag stickers on their cars, football players wear the flag on their helmet; the National Anthem before games - where is the respect for these National symbols when the symbols and songs are delivered in varying levels of quality. The latest fad is to wear the flag lapel pin. These displays do not make you more American. While I do love this country - our national symbols need to be displayed with respect, not on a pole jammed into the back of a pick-up truck post hole or indiscriminately hung over a garage door. As I've walked the streets of Boise, I've untangled so many neglected flags wrapped around their staffs so the stars and stripes can freely fly. The field of blue, stars and stripes has meaning to me - more than just flying them from my car after 9/11 to be dropped in the middle of Maple Grove. I got sent to the principles office as a senior for not standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on a daily basis. I am a dedicated American and served our country's military for over 25 years. But at the time I felt the priorities were a little skewed - I recited the Lord's Prayer once a week, the Pledge of Allegiance 5 times a week...I thought it was God and Country...not country and God.
The public outrage about President Obama's speech to school children from K through 12 disrespects the executive branch of our country as much as burning the flag. Freedom of speech and expression is a right to be protected - however we have lost the American characteristic to respectfully disagree and listen and think before speaking. We flush with patriotism as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance or stand for the Star Spangled Banner yet we thrive on the faults of people who have taken the next step to help lead this great democratic nation. We tune in to radio, TV, and internet blogs of popular political pundits to learn their perspective about the people in politics and issues yet we don’t have the time or patience to examine the issues for ourselves and make our own informed decisions.
When I was still in school, I would have been honored to meet any of the Presidents when they were in office - Democrat or Republican. I would still seek the opportunity and be honored to meet them if I were in Washington or if they came to Boise today. I listen to Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush when they write or talk and I look forward to George W. Bush’s future book providing insight to his two terms in office. Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Ford, Carter, Nixon – people larger than life who held the office, made difficult decisions, generated debate, and carved a path for future generations of Americans.
The President of the United States is our elected leader and the Office of the President is an institution of our democracy that deserves the respect of all Americans. A very rare few in our lifetimes will be elected to the office of the president. I have personally lived through eleven different presidential administrations. It is a painstaking process to the individual seeking the office as well to the electorate deciding who should fill the position. If for nothing else, enduring that process to lead a nation of multifaceted ideals and seek agreement on issues facing our country deserves respect.
I served over 25 years to protect all American's rights including freedom of speech and expression to include flag burning. That doesn't mean I respect those who engage in that form of disrespect to our national symbols and institutions. As adults we need to demonstrate respect to our national symbols and institutions and we need to teach our children to do the same. We have finally grown to respect the service of our "troops" both at home and far away after we blamed them for atrocities in Vietnam. People who fill positions in our institutions will occasionally embarrass our national values – we have processes in place to censure those who behave improperly. For the larger percentage of people who serve our local, state, and national government, their behavior brings great credit to our country and to themselves.
We can disagree about the politics behind each government service mission - but the women and men who defend and serve in the air, land, and sea deserve our respect and support as do those who serve as fire, police, judges, teachers, state and local elected officials. They serve under our local, state and national symbols to protect and foster our democratic values, laws, institutions, and freedoms.
Conservatives used to be the backbone for respectful behavior. Lately, my observation is that conservatives represent negativity, vile comments, fear mongering, and social labeling. Liberals have shared this behavior in the past vilifying presidents Johnson, Nixon and most recently George W. Bush; but I did not see this poor behavior rise to the anger level that conservatives demonstrate today.
I voted Republican 8 of the last 9 elections - voting for Mr. Obama and one other state Democrat this last election. Admittedly, I voted for the Republican Party during George W. Bush's campaigns even though I strongly considered both Kerry and Gore - just as I strongly considered McCain in this past election. I am inspired more by former Presidents Carter and Clinton and Vice President Gore's continued leadership after their elected terms than any of the other Presidents. I can question Gore’s environmental projections, but I am extremely proud to know he is using his leadership talent and voice to push for environmental change. My hat is off to Senators Feinstein, Kerry, McCain and Secretary Clinton who continue their public service in our great country after losing bids for the executive branch. Our Congressional Representatives and Senators are repeatedly bashed by liberal and conservative media pundits. I haven't witnessed any media pundits seek election and fill a Congressional seat. They are more intent on filling the uninformed public mind with skewed rhetoric designed to make the other side look sinister. The uninformed public mindlessly follows the radio, TV, and internet blogs because they don't have or won't take the time or patience to develop their own opinion.
Lester Thurow, a professor of economics and former dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management describes the United States as a first world economy with a large developing third world economy inside (Thurow, Lester C. 1996, "The Future of Capitalism. How Today's Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow’s World"). President Obama's speech to our nation’s students from K - 12 is designed to inspire our students to strive to succeed. Hopefully to raise expectations for each student to achieve more and foster our continued leadership among first world nations and decrease the high school drop out rates that fosters the development of the third world within the United States. Maybe we all need to listen.
The problem is not necessarily right or left winger's propensity to label each other as dictators, socialist and fascist - the problem is an American intolerance to differing opinions coupled with an unwillingness to calmly and seriously discuss contentious issues to work out resolutions; reach compromises; or agree to disagree. We are prone to label anyone with whom we disagree with in very unfavorable terms. Perhaps if we could communicate in more than 140 characters, without worn out clichés, and engaged our country to embrace face-to-face dialog practicing tact, diplomacy, and verbal agility – then we might begin to explore the elements of the arguments and start to measure the idea’s logic and merit.
Cynicism is what is tearing this country apart. We have as many opinions as there are points on the compass each polarized in as many different degrees. If we are to try the Bush administration, then we open the door for more litigation for acts committed in the name of security during the Bosnia Herzegovina conflict, the 'Cold War', Vietnam War, Korean War, WWII, WWI, and so on. Then we also must try our nation in the name of economics for acts committed to people brought to this land in chains for slave labor. What next? Should we then try our nation in the name of expansion for acts committed against sovereign nations and people who occupied the 50 states and territories before "Manifest Destiny?"
Instead of trying these cases in our nation’s highest courts, let us remove our faultfinding nature about past leadership and commit our country toward rational civilized behavior going forward. Instead of divisive lengthy legal battles over past reactionary leadership, let us aspire toward the true ideals of America....life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have flawed in the past, and I suspect we will fail again in the future – as collectively and individually, we are … human. We must be mindful that people intent on doing harm to our nation will occasionally succeed, and we….full of grief, anger, and revenge…must bury our kin and carry on as a nation. It can be argued which country committed the first act of in-humane treatment of political detainees but the US can commit to end all future in-humane treatment to political detainees. Knowing we have more challenges to our security within our boarders from natural born US citizens as in the Oklahoma City Bombing; and people of other nations opposed to our way of life as in the 9/11 Bombing, I sense we will and should continue policies designed to gather information to thwart hostile acts against the greater US citizens. I do not see President Obama’s current course as fence-sitting. I see the President steering this nation on a course toward a better way of dealing with ‘political detainees.’
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