Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
speedy1

What Has Happened To Our Country?

Recommended Posts

Guest Guest

Frankly, Bern, I don't see anything wrong with putting the flag behind this new general. I think it makes the photo more appealing. She is representing our country. Are we supposed to see her in a different way with the bookshelf behind her?I don't see my other reply to you, so I'll ask you again, have you served your country or are you now in the military?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
No, I'm saying I can't live a responsible life without going to church and my parents taught me about God. Now as an adult I choose to go to church because it keeps me grounded. I say the pledge to honor all our service people and veterans who have put their lives on the line for our way of life. Our lives are measured by what we leave when we die. But our children have to be taught because they don't know anything when they come to us. Just like we teach them not to lie, not to hurt other people or animals, not to steal, we are also obligated to give them direction so they will be able to make up their own minds when they become adults. You are a good example. You're children think the way you do because you taught them that and by following what you taught them to think their lives have been impacted by that. My children have been taught the same things yours have, but in a different way. My children have been taught not to attack, but to change the things they don't like without hurting other people as your child did. In Vermont, I think the children who don't want to say the pledge should go to the gym and they will do that and think its great because they are getting out of class because children think only in the moment. Most have never met a veteran with no arms or legs, and most have never had a family member die due to war.

I wrote this:

QUOTE (Paul @ Nov 17 2008, 09:26 PM)

Are you saying that a person can't live a responsible life without going to church?

Are you saying that a person can't be a good citizen without reciting a pledge?

Aren't our lives measured more by what we do than by what we say?

. . . because you wrote this:

“Today, I thank my parents for giving to me a faith in something, because as I live my life I need that faith and love that I receive when I attend church. Same thing for having respect for our country and the people that serve it. It needs to be taught to our young ones. They have no clue as to why they are doing what they are doing, but as they come into adulthood they will understand. The breakdown of the family and values are well evident in our society. Babies being killed by grown men who don't want to hear them cry, kids with no respect for authority of any kind. People dropping their teenagers off in hospitals in Kansas under the safe haven law. Whaaaat? If things get too hard in a job, or a marriage they can't stay & work it out. They take the easy way out. So, what I see is eventually a society with no morals or concience, back to the days of pirates and thieves and gangs who stalk the streets and take what they want.”

Your argument jumps straight from church attendance and reciting the pledge to the breakdown of families and society. But once you admit that a person can live a responsible life without going to church, and can be a good citizen without reciting the pledge, then there’s no connection between the first part of your argument and its conclusion. So why put it that way?

There's nothing responsible about firing a cheap shot at Matthew. David Paszkiewicz hurt himself. When Matthew complained about the fact that Paszkiewicz was far out of line, he put his name behind it. Have some integrity if you're going to criticize him, and own what you're saying. Put your name to it. If not, you have no business invoking religion on anyone.

You say that people need to have faith in something, need love and should be respectful. I agree with that completely. I’m saying that people can do those things with or without church and with or without reciting the pledge of allegiance. You believe church has helped you, and would not wish to be without it. I decided church was impeding my spiritual development and my personal responsibility, so I let it go. I honor my country by keeping up on the issues, by staying active in politics, by doing my job to the best of my ability and by paying my taxes.

Besides, how do you know that you can’t live a responsible life without going to church, if you haven’t tried it? It’s your choice, but I’ll bet that you could. If you wanted to find another way to ground yourself, I’ll bet you could do it. My grounding is in the worth and dignity of everyone’s life. John Lennon captured the idea with his song “Imagine.” Leaving aside your personal choice for a moment, since you have every right to do as you see fit, couldn’t an approach like mine be every bit as good as yours? If not, why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
When it comes to Paul LaClair the answer is yes; since you promote yourself as somewhat educated, and having been brought up with religious beliefs, and rejected them. Yet you tell people that they do not need religion yet their life because it didn’t work for you. Your religion and all that you have done and learned throughout your life, Catholic or otherwise is who you are today. It is what and who you are is based on your upbringing.

If you think your life is measured by what you do and well, what the hell, "to hell with everyone else", is exactly the problem that is going on with this country today. Yet you think because you made it as a so called lawyer your life is complete and don't care whose cornflakes you have to pee in to get your results. So that is your idea of success. Yet you think Obama is going to make a different and try to compare him to Kennedy. It was a different time then and that will never repeat no matter how much Kool-Aid you drink.

The words go from the Wizard of Oz. "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." The same goes true with our lives and how we are judged. And yet you stay ignorant to the fact that your measurement of how you are measured now is lower then President Bush today. Maybe this world needs a little kindness, maybe a little religion in each person's life isn't a bad idea after all.

You're not listening. I've never told anyone that they don't need religion. I don't think you necessarily need church, or any particular brand of religion. I think people talk themselves into thinking they need a particular brand of religion, as in a particular collection of stories. But I would never say that people don't need religion. Religion is what binds everything together. That's what it is. My problem with many religions is that they rip things apart, not bring them together. I don't think people need that at all. Calling something a religion doesn't make it religious. Pat Robertson can babble all he wants about hurricanes shaped like fetuses; I say he's babbling and I say he is doing harm.

So you want to say I'm not responsible and am not a good citizen - OK, say it. But it's more than a little hollow when you don't even have the courage or the integrity to put your name to it.

The real problem for you is that I don't mind being unpopular, so I don't back down. Call me all the names you want. I say what people do not wish to hear. Sometimes I'm wrong. Still, if people lived by the things they claim to believe, they'd have to do things differently. So it's easier to sign on with a collection of stories. Like standing up and reciting a pledge, it's a way of talking yourself into thinking that you're doing something. Meanwhile, the real work of the world remains to be done.

Why you think you know the first thing about my law practice, or what my idea of success is, is completely beyond me. Sounds to me like you're jealous. Problem is, you're jealous of a fantasy because you don't know anything about it.

As for President-elect Obama, I'm hardly the only one to be excited about his taking office and beginning to make the changes that are long overdue. We've had more than enough cynicism for quite a long while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm curious, Bern. Flag worshippers? Did you serve in the armed forces? What have you done of any signigficance in your life?

Probably. When I worked in a school we were given a computer which I really used to our benefit. One kid who was very bored and had psychological issues was terminally flunking out. However, he was really very intelligent.

He hung around the computer lab, so I taught him programming and he was a genius at that and with the computers operating system. He wasn't good in his other classes so we changed his curriculum to "major" in computers. He was running the lab and some other things when he finally got out.

It worked out very well for him. He's worked in industry and is now worth about 3 to 5 million (maybe less with this market). A highly productive citizen. Better than dropping out.

I did architect and manage a security access control system for a governmental agency which at the time secured some of our governmental facilities. My testing and design peers were Air Force colonels and majors. And dummies they were not.

The system worked very well. It had very innovative and advanced concepts (at that time), no bugs and happily every one was happy with it. Many a night was spent at two in the morning running through many facilities - testing anti-passback controls and logic, testing cut alarms, testing modules in stand alone mode, trying to figure out why at some places we get two swipes instead of one access swipe and so forth. To their credit some of the senior officers did their two in the morning time with me. They often came up with good ideas and helped a lot with handling the locals. We also had good times at many a bar.

I'm not sure how significant that was. Security requires multi-layered solutions. It was one cog in a vast system but any system will fail if one wants to subvert it or is careless.

I was awarded a commendation certificate, a plaque and a flag with a certificate stating it flew over the White House for a whole day from President Ronald Reagan. He didn't know me from a hole in the wall but my peers and their superiors put me in as a going away present. The time we spent at bars helped.

However, does all that really matter? Since when are opinions only valid if you have done something significant. Does simply being in the military mean your did something significant or your opinion should mean more? Many miltiary men I know simply consider it a job. You get in, you try to do a good job and then you get out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
I wrote this:

QUOTE (Paul @ Nov 17 2008, 09:26 PM)

Are you saying that a person can't live a responsible life without going to church?

Are you saying that a person can't be a good citizen without reciting a pledge?

Aren't our lives measured more by what we do than by what we say?

. . . because you wrote this:

“Today, I thank my parents for giving to me a faith in something, because as I live my life I need that faith and love that I receive when I attend church. Same thing for having respect for our country and the people that serve it. It needs to be taught to our young ones. They have no clue as to why they are doing what they are doing, but as they come into adulthood they will understand. The breakdown of the family and values are well evident in our society. Babies being killed by grown men who don't want to hear them cry, kids with no respect for authority of any kind. People dropping their teenagers off in hospitals in Kansas under the safe haven law. Whaaaat? If things get too hard in a job, or a marriage they can't stay & work it out. They take the easy way out. So, what I see is eventually a society with no morals or concience, back to the days of pirates and thieves and gangs who stalk the streets and take what they want.”

Your argument jumps straight from church attendance and reciting the pledge to the breakdown of families and society. But once you admit that a person can live a responsible life without going to church, and can be a good citizen without reciting the pledge, then there’s no connection between the first part of your argument and its conclusion. So why put it that way?

There's nothing responsible about firing a cheap shot at Matthew. David Paszkiewicz hurt himself. When Matthew complained about the fact that Paszkiewicz was far out of line, he put his name behind it. Have some integrity if you're going to criticize him, and own what you're saying. Put your name to it. If not, you have no business invoking religion on anyone.

You say that people need to have faith in something, need love and should be respectful. I agree with that completely. I’m saying that people can do those things with or without church and with or without reciting the pledge of allegiance. You believe church has helped you, and would not wish to be without it. I decided church was impeding my spiritual development and my personal responsibility, so I let it go. I honor my country by keeping up on the issues, by staying active in politics, by doing my job to the best of my ability and by paying my taxes.

Besides, how do you know that you can’t live a responsible life without going to church, if you haven’t tried it? It’s your choice, but I’ll bet that you could. If you wanted to find another way to ground yourself, I’ll bet you could do it. My grounding is in the worth and dignity of everyone’s life. John Lennon captured the idea with his song “Imagine.” Leaving aside your personal choice for a moment, since you have every right to do as you see fit, couldn’t an approach like mine be every bit as good as yours? If not, why not?

Fiirst of all, these are only my opinions. I'm not talking about you & me. I'm talking about future generations of children. Your family gave you religion and you made your own decision about it when you became an adult. But your early years formed you and that's why you are a good citizen. That's fine. I don't blame your son, I blame you. Not for what happened, I think it needed to happen, but for the way it all went down. Instead of your son enjoying life as a care free teenager, he ended up embroiled in something that was too big for him. Now of course you don't think that way, as a mother I do. And would have never allowed my kids to be ostrocized and ridiculed by his friends and townspeople alike. He got his point across, but to me, it wasn't worth it. I think we can teach children through the pledge and the singing of America and the Star Bangled Banner to love and honor their country and our way of life a way of life we may have to fight for, or we can teach them to be skinheads or cowards. I'll bet if us Americans saw armed soldiers on our streets we would have no problem about our flag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
When it comes to Paul LaClair the answer is yes; since you promote yourself as somewhat educated, and having been brought up with religious beliefs, and rejected them. Yet you tell people that they do not need religion yet their life because it didn’t work for you. Your religion and all that you have done and learned throughout your life, Catholic or otherwise is who you are today. It is what and who you are is based on your upbringing.

If you think your life is measured by what you do and well, what the hell, "to hell with everyone else", is exactly the problem that is going on with this country today. Yet you think because you made it as a so called lawyer your life is complete and don't care whose cornflakes you have to pee in to get your results. So that is your idea of success. Yet you think Obama is going to make a different and try to compare him to Kennedy. It was a different time then and that will never repeat no matter how much Kool-Aid you drink.

The words go from the Wizard of Oz. "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." The same goes true with our lives and how we are judged. And yet you stay ignorant to the fact that your measurement of how you are measured now is lower then President Bush today. Maybe this world needs a little kindness, maybe a little religion in each person's life isn't a bad idea after all.

Well done, couldn't have said that better myself. I'm with ya!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
What has happened to our country? That is a very good question.

In 1943, during the height of World War II, the legendary popular-American painter Norman Rockwell painted his vision of “freedom of speech.” http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/rockwel...speech.jpg.html

To me, this painting illustrates the practice of democracy. The man isn’t ranting, he’s just talking. The people around him aren’t cheering or shouting him down, they’re just listening, openly and with interest and respect.

Can any of the people whose blood boils every time I write something actually summarize my point of view? If you can’t, then you haven’t heard it. By all means, criticize my argument. But stop the name-calling and the taunting. That’s not democracy.

When your posts attack a position or a stance which many Americans have a firm belief in, expect that they are going to stick up for what they believe in. I still hope that is American. The need for name calling and taunting comes from both sides and please don't appear so angelic that you have never used those tactics here. You only use them when they are to your advantage. And yes it is democracy to stand up for what you believe in. Like you said, you pay your taxes and read politics and no matter what else you do to hurt people, its ok because you think you are a good american. Sometimes it just doesnt cut the mustard. Your posts are mostly one sided: you side. And when you challenge someones beliefs that are different to yours, you have no understanding of why someone would do it? And you cant understand why people don't understand you.

I have expressed my views on the pledge of allegiance many times. A pledge like this is a fine idea, but it should be something every good American can recite and it shouldn’t be forced on anyone. The true test of citizenship is what we do for our country and our community, not just what we say. That is my vision of a better America.

For once you finally agree the pledge is a good idea. I strongly believe in every word of the Pledge and you are never going to change my mind. It's what my grandfather came to this country for and what my father went to war for. To keep this country as great is it has the capability to be great. There is a great difference in not saying the pledge and revoting against having it said. Just for the record. To make a public outcase of yourself by sitting or facing away, I wonder how you can think of yourself as a good citizen. It's time you start acting like one. Being a good citizen is more than words just like the pledge is more than just words. It's time for Paul LaClair to grow up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Probably. When I worked in a school we were given a computer which I really used to our benefit. One kid who was very bored and had psychological issues was terminally flunking out. However, he was really very intelligent.

He hung around the computer lab, so I taught him programming and he was a genius at that and with the computers operating system. He wasn't good in his other classes so we changed his curriculum to "major" in computers. He was running the lab and some other things when he finally got out.

It worked out very well for him. He's worked in industry and is now worth about 3 to 5 million (maybe less with this market). A highly productive citizen. Better than dropping out.

I did architect and manage a security access control system for a governmental agency which at the time secured some of our governmental facilities. My testing and design peers were Air Force colonels and majors. And dummies they were not.

The system worked very well. It had very innovative and advanced concepts (at that time), no bugs and happily every one was happy with it. Many a night was spent at two in the morning running through many facilities - testing anti-passback controls and logic, testing cut alarms, testing modules in stand alone mode, trying to figure out why at some places we get two swipes instead of one access swipe and so forth. To their credit some of the senior officers did their two in the morning time with me. They often came up with good ideas and helped a lot with handling the locals. We also had good times at many a bar.

I'm not sure how significant that was. Security requires multi-layered solutions. It was one cog in a vast system but any system will fail if one wants to subvert it or is careless.

I was awarded a commendation certificate, a plaque and a flag with a certificate stating it flew over the White House for a whole day from President Ronald Reagan. He didn't know me from a hole in the wall but my peers and their superiors put me in as a going away present. The time we spent at bars helped.

However, does all that really matter? Since when are opinions only valid if you have done something significant. Does simply being in the military mean your did something significant or your opinion should mean more? Many miltiary men I know simply consider it a job. You get in, you try to do a good job and then you get out.

Wow, that's really great. My question really went towards your responses about flag worshippers. Are you for or against saying the Pledge of Allegiance? Do you think children need to be taught the Pledge. I agree with you whole heartedly about just getting the job done. That was something that was instilled in you and I as children. But our love of our country was also taught to us as children. Truthfully, I just don't understand where you're coming from. Sorry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
Fiirst of all, these are only my opinions. I'm not talking about you & me. I'm talking about future generations of children. Your family gave you religion and you made your own decision about it when you became an adult. But your early years formed you and that's why you are a good citizen. That's fine. I don't blame your son, I blame you. Not for what happened, I think it needed to happen, but for the way it all went down. Instead of your son enjoying life as a care free teenager, he ended up embroiled in something that was too big for him. Now of course you don't think that way, as a mother I do. And would have never allowed my kids to be ostrocized and ridiculed by his friends and townspeople alike. He got his point across, but to me, it wasn't worth it. I think we can teach children through the pledge and the singing of America and the Star Bangled Banner to love and honor their country and our way of life a way of life we may have to fight for, or we can teach them to be skinheads or cowards. I'll bet if us Americans saw armed soldiers on our streets we would have no problem about our flag.

I’m not offended, but you’re judging something you know practically nothing about.

In the first place, Matthew was big enough to handle it, and he proved it.

Second, if you think that I could have stopped him from doing this, then obviously you don’t know Matthew. I asked him many times if he wanted to pull back. His response was always the same: not a chance.

Third, if I had somehow stopped him, he would have resented it for the rest of his life. If you had been his parent and had stopped him from doing what he did, he would have resented you, and he would not be as confident and as exceptional person as he is, at least not yet.

Perhaps most important, you would have blocked him from making his contribution in this life. At the age of eighteen, he already has a place carved out among some very good and important people and organizations. It was all because they saw what an exceptional job he did handling this matter.

Just this past evening we attended a program that Matthew moderated. The speakers included two college professors, one of whom is a fairly well-known author. Let that sink in. An eighteen-year-old was asked to moderate for three articulate and respected adults, and present for fifteen minutes on his own to open the program. He had no trouble controlling the audience of approximately 150 people, every one of whom was older than he is. He didn’t ask to do this program, they sought him out. In February, he will be flying to London for five days, to speak at an international humanists’ conference. Again, the invitation was entirely their idea, and they’re paying all expenses to have him there. I don’t think you understand what he has accomplished and is accomplishing.

Fourth, he is asked at most of his presentations whether he would do it again. His answer is always the same: in a heartbeat, he would. He explains how the sense of accomplishment and emotional satisfaction, knowing that he did the right thing, more than outweigh the loss of “friends,” if you can call them that. His social life now, in his first year of college is excellent.

Fifth, I presume you would encourage your son or daughter to volunteer for military service at the risk of being killed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a patriotic thing to do, but so is what Matthew did. We honor young people who serve in our military, but then it makes no sense not to honor those who stand up for essential freedoms here.

I write this not to defend Matthew, but to point out that playing it safe doesn’t always serve our kids and it certainly doesn’t serve our communities or our country. If I have a problem some day, Matthew is the one I want by my side. I wish there were more like him. You can’t put a price on that, either for him or for Debra and me.

Besides, with all due respect, you’re not making any sense. There was no way to accomplish what he accomplished, except by doing what he did. Maybe to you it wouldn’t be worth it, but to him it was. And if it wasn’t worth it, then what does “it needed to happen” mean? Obviously, you’re not as willing to take these kinds of risks, or to be unpopular if that’s what doing the right thing requires. But then what is honor all about? I wouldn’t want to live in a society that didn’t have that kind of person in it; we’re perilously close to that as it is. I just don’t see how you can judge another person’s life the way you’re doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
When your posts attack a position or a stance which many Americans have a firm belief in, expect that they are going to stick up for what they believe in. I still hope that is American. The need for name calling and taunting comes from both sides and please don't appear so angelic that you have never used those tactics here. You only use them when they are to your advantage. And yes it is democracy to stand up for what you believe in. Like you said, you pay your taxes and read politics and no matter what else you do to hurt people, its ok because you think you are a good american. Sometimes it just doesnt cut the mustard. Your posts are mostly one sided: you side. And when you challenge someones beliefs that are different to yours, you have no understanding of why someone would do it? And you cant understand why people don't understand you.

For once you finally agree the pledge is a good idea. I strongly believe in every word of the Pledge and you are never going to change my mind. It's what my grandfather came to this country for and what my father went to war for. To keep this country as great is it has the capability to be great. There is a great difference in not saying the pledge and revoting against having it said. Just for the record. To make a public outcase of yourself by sitting or facing away, I wonder how you can think of yourself as a good citizen. It's time you start acting like one. Being a good citizen is more than words just like the pledge is more than just words. It's time for Paul LaClair to grow up.

You have absolutely no clue that you just proved his point, do you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
For once you finally agree the pledge is a good idea. I strongly believe in every word of the Pledge and you are never going to change my mind. It's what my grandfather came to this country for and what my father went to war for. To keep this country as great is it has the capability to be great. There is a great difference in not saying the pledge and revoting against having it said. Just for the record. To make a public outcase of yourself by sitting or facing away, I wonder how you can think of yourself as a good citizen. It's time you start acting like one. Being a good citizen is more than words just like the pledge is more than just words. It's time for Paul LaClair to grow up.

"Being a good citizen is more than words" is exactly what Paul LaClair is saying. I don't know who your grandfather is, but I doubt that he came to this country so he could say the Pledge of Allegiance. Come on, let's get real.

Fifty years from now, people will not care whether anyone said the Pledge of Allegiance. You can be a good citizen and contribute to the country without it. You're making way too much of a fuss over it.

People will care, fifty years from now, whether you got an education, paid your taxes, raised a good family and stood by your country. They will care whether we took care of education, health care, food, energy, national security, etc. Those are the things that really matter. Don't judge people over how they handle the small stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
I’m not offended, but you’re judging something you know practically nothing about.

In the first place, Matthew was big enough to handle it, and he proved it.

Second, if you think that I could have stopped him from doing this, then obviously you don’t know Matthew. I asked him many times if he wanted to pull back. His response was always the same: not a chance.

Third, if I had somehow stopped him, he would have resented it for the rest of his life. If you had been his parent and had stopped him from doing what he did, he would have resented you, and he would not be as confident and as exceptional person as he is, at least not yet.

Perhaps most important, you would have blocked him from making his contribution in this life. At the age of eighteen, he already has a place carved out among some very good and important people and organizations. It was all because they saw what an exceptional job he did handling this matter.

Just this past evening we attended a program that Matthew moderated. The speakers included two college professors, one of whom is a fairly well-known author. Let that sink in. An eighteen-year-old was asked to moderate for three articulate and respected adults, and present for fifteen minutes on his own to open the program. He had no trouble controlling the audience of approximately 150 people, every one of whom was older than he is. He didn’t ask to do this program, they sought him out. In February, he will be flying to London for five days, to speak at an international humanists’ conference. Again, the invitation was entirely their idea, and they’re paying all expenses to have him there. I don’t think you understand what he has accomplished and is accomplishing.

Fourth, he is asked at most of his presentations whether he would do it again. His answer is always the same: in a heartbeat, he would. He explains how the sense of accomplishment and emotional satisfaction, knowing that he did the right thing, more than outweigh the loss of “friends,” if you can call them that. His social life now, in his first year of college is excellent.

Fifth, I presume you would encourage your son or daughter to volunteer for military service at the risk of being killed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a patriotic thing to do, but so is what Matthew did. We honor young people who serve in our military, but then it makes no sense not to honor those who stand up for essential freedoms here.

I write this not to defend Matthew, but to point out that playing it safe doesn’t always serve our kids and it certainly doesn’t serve our communities or our country. If I have a problem some day, Matthew is the one I want by my side. I wish there were more like him. You can’t put a price on that, either for him or for Debra and me.

Besides, with all due respect, you’re not making any sense. There was no way to accomplish what he accomplished, except by doing what he did. Maybe to you it wouldn’t be worth it, but to him it was. And if it wasn’t worth it, then what does “it needed to happen” mean? Obviously, you’re not as willing to take these kinds of risks, or to be unpopular if that’s what doing the right thing requires. But then what is honor all about? I wouldn’t want to live in a society that didn’t have that kind of person in it; we’re perilously close to that as it is. I just don’t see how you can judge another person’s life the way you’re doing it.

Paul, stop yelling. "It needed to happen," because it was out there that Mr. P preached in class. I had two children that had him in high school. I told them to listen, compare it with what they were taught, and we then spoke about it as a family. If it bothered me greatly I would have taken it further. I have taken on issues in my life and have contributed to changes in the schools and our community, but I chose to do it diplomatically. I used the Mr. P issue as an opportunity to teach my children that they are going to meet people with different opinions, especially away at college and they needed to not follow blindly, or believe someone just because they have charisma or appear intelligent or yells the loudest . In other words, I didn't want my kids to end up being followers, I raised them as leaders. I'm glad that your son is doing well, but my initial point in this whole discussion was about not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom and what are we teaching our children. Maybe what we could do is have the teachers leading the children in saying the Pledge one day, and not saying it another but explaining why we are doing it that way. Teach them both ways, but teach them something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, that's really great. My question really went towards your responses about flag worshippers. Are you for or against saying the Pledge of Allegiance? Do you think children need to be taught the Pledge. I agree with you whole heartedly about just getting the job done. That was something that was instilled in you and I as children. But our love of our country was also taught to us as children. Truthfully, I just don't understand where you're coming from. Sorry

I couldn't care less if we have a pledge. Most countries seem to do very well without a pledge.

To me and most of my peers the pledge was a waste of our time. Everyone stand up, recite or else. I don't remember anyone inn school ever saying how much fun the pledge or how it built them up as citizens was or recommneding that we say it more often.

I have to disagree with you if you believe that love of country is instilled by a pledge. Most of my peers felt the same. But to others it may. That's up to them.

If they really felt that, then why not have a pledge at the work place? I notice that when the pledge is absent or dropped, rarely do the ones who are or may be subjected to it object. The objections come from "concerned outsiders."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
I’m not offended, but you’re judging something you know practically nothing about.

In the first place, Matthew was big enough to handle it, and he proved it.

Second, if you think that I could have stopped him from doing this, then obviously you don’t know Matthew. I asked him many times if he wanted to pull back. His response was always the same: not a chance.

Third, if I had somehow stopped him, he would have resented it for the rest of his life. If you had been his parent and had stopped him from doing what he did, he would have resented you, and he would not be as confident and as exceptional person as he is, at least not yet.

Perhaps most important, you would have blocked him from making his contribution in this life. At the age of eighteen, he already has a place carved out among some very good and important people and organizations. It was all because they saw what an exceptional job he did handling this matter.

Just this past evening we attended a program that Matthew moderated. The speakers included two college professors, one of whom is a fairly well-known author. Let that sink in. An eighteen-year-old was asked to moderate for three articulate and respected adults, and present for fifteen minutes on his own to open the program. He had no trouble controlling the audience of approximately 150 people, every one of whom was older than he is. He didn’t ask to do this program, they sought him out. In February, he will be flying to London for five days, to speak at an international humanists’ conference. Again, the invitation was entirely their idea, and they’re paying all expenses to have him there. I don’t think you understand what he has accomplished and is accomplishing.

Fourth, he is asked at most of his presentations whether he would do it again. His answer is always the same: in a heartbeat, he would. He explains how the sense of accomplishment and emotional satisfaction, knowing that he did the right thing, more than outweigh the loss of “friends,” if you can call them that. His social life now, in his first year of college is excellent.

Fifth, I presume you would encourage your son or daughter to volunteer for military service at the risk of being killed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a patriotic thing to do, but so is what Matthew did. We honor young people who serve in our military, but then it makes no sense not to honor those who stand up for essential freedoms here.

I write this not to defend Matthew, but to point out that playing it safe doesn’t always serve our kids and it certainly doesn’t serve our communities or our country. If I have a problem some day, Matthew is the one I want by my side. I wish there were more like him. You can’t put a price on that, either for him or for Debra and me.

Besides, with all due respect, you’re not making any sense. There was no way to accomplish what he accomplished, except by doing what he did. Maybe to you it wouldn’t be worth it, but to him it was. And if it wasn’t worth it, then what does “it needed to happen” mean? Obviously, you’re not as willing to take these kinds of risks, or to be unpopular if that’s what doing the right thing requires. But then what is honor all about? I wouldn’t want to live in a society that didn’t have that kind of person in it; we’re perilously close to that as it is. I just don’t see how you can judge another person’s life the way you’re doing it.

The more you tell them, the angrier they're going to get. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lincoln Logger
I’m not offended, but you’re judging something you know practically nothing about.

In the first place, Matthew was big enough to handle it, and he proved it.

Second, if you think that I could have stopped him from doing this, then obviously you don’t know Matthew. I asked him many times if he wanted to pull back. His response was always the same: not a chance.

Third, if I had somehow stopped him, he would have resented it for the rest of his life. If you had been his parent and had stopped him from doing what he did, he would have resented you, and he would not be as confident and as exceptional person as he is, at least not yet.

Perhaps most important, you would have blocked him from making his contribution in this life. At the age of eighteen, he already has a place carved out among some very good and important people and organizations. It was all because they saw what an exceptional job he did handling this matter.

Just this past evening we attended a program that Matthew moderated. The speakers included two college professors, one of whom is a fairly well-known author. Let that sink in. An eighteen-year-old was asked to moderate for three articulate and respected adults, and present for fifteen minutes on his own to open the program. He had no trouble controlling the audience of approximately 150 people, every one of whom was older than he is. He didn’t ask to do this program, they sought him out. In February, he will be flying to London for five days, to speak at an international humanists’ conference. Again, the invitation was entirely their idea, and they’re paying all expenses to have him there. I don’t think you understand what he has accomplished and is accomplishing.

Fourth, he is asked at most of his presentations whether he would do it again. His answer is always the same: in a heartbeat, he would. He explains how the sense of accomplishment and emotional satisfaction, knowing that he did the right thing, more than outweigh the loss of “friends,” if you can call them that. His social life now, in his first year of college is excellent.

Fifth, I presume you would encourage your son or daughter to volunteer for military service at the risk of being killed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a patriotic thing to do, but so is what Matthew did. We honor young people who serve in our military, but then it makes no sense not to honor those who stand up for essential freedoms here.

I write this not to defend Matthew, but to point out that playing it safe doesn’t always serve our kids and it certainly doesn’t serve our communities or our country. If I have a problem some day, Matthew is the one I want by my side. I wish there were more like him. You can’t put a price on that, either for him or for Debra and me.

Besides, with all due respect, you’re not making any sense. There was no way to accomplish what he accomplished, except by doing what he did. Maybe to you it wouldn’t be worth it, but to him it was. And if it wasn’t worth it, then what does “it needed to happen” mean? Obviously, you’re not as willing to take these kinds of risks, or to be unpopular if that’s what doing the right thing requires. But then what is honor all about? I wouldn’t want to live in a society that didn’t have that kind of person in it; we’re perilously close to that as it is. I just don’t see how you can judge another person’s life the way you’re doing it.

It appears she is not making sense because you refuse to try to understand. There are people in this country who believe that doing the thing he or she believes is right and how they are judged by others. The fact that you keep reiterating over and over how your son has isolated himself from all his high school friends makes everyone believe his judgment of what he thought was right is correct.

The fact that your position in your work allowed this to escalate to a legal threat gave Matthew the ammunition to keep going. I believe it got to a point where he even thought at time to time it was too big for him. In your opinion everyone should have a lawyer on his or her side. Personally I am glad there is only one of him. This year at school even with its minor issues has been such a better place. Again we as American citizens make our mark by what we left behind. The fact that the normalcy has returned to an institution that was in chaos by your son does not bode well for his being a good American citizen despite your pleas here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Well done, couldn't have said that better myself. I'm with ya!

There's a difference between agreeing with something because it's true and agreeing because it's what you want to hear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I couldn't care less if we have a pledge. Most countries seem to do very well without a pledge.

To me and most of my peers the pledge was a waste of our time. Everyone stand up, recite or else. I don't remember anyone inn school ever saying how much fun the pledge or how it built them up as citizens was or recommneding that we say it more often.

I have to disagree with you if you believe that love of country is instilled by a pledge. Most of my peers felt the same. But to others it may. That's up to them.

If they really felt that, then why not have a pledge at the work place? I notice that when the pledge is absent or dropped, rarely do the ones who are or may be subjected to it object. The objections come from "concerned outsiders."

You know what Bern, you speak of love of country, I am not saying that I was upset about the pledge being of choice, I am upset that the children who wanted to say it had to leave the classroom, like they were going to remedial reading or a similar class. I am over 50, my grandson came home the other day and sang "Your A Grand Old Flag" I was was so proud of him, he is in pre-K and he recites the pledge of allegience

that he learned in school, as I did when I was in my first year of school. I am proud, American and faithful to my country and flag. If you are not, well then that is your business, and I would never force my opinion on anyone. If it wasn't for people like me, who still believe in our history then, well, it would be sad. Enough said

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
It appears she is not making sense because you refuse to try to understand. There are people in this country who believe that doing the thing he or she believes is right and how they are judged by others. The fact that you keep reiterating over and over how your son has isolated himself from all his high school friends makes everyone believe his judgment of what he thought was right is correct.

The fact that your position in your work allowed this to escalate to a legal threat gave Matthew the ammunition to keep going. I believe it got to a point where he even thought at time to time it was too big for him. In your opinion everyone should have a lawyer on his or her side. Personally I am glad there is only one of him. This year at school even with its minor issues has been such a better place. Again we as American citizens make our mark by what we left behind. The fact that the normalcy has returned to an institution that was in chaos by your son does not bode well for his being a good American citizen despite your pleas here.

No it appeared she wasn't making sense because she was saying it needed to happen, but was also saying Matt was wrong to do it. Those statements are mutually inconsistent and therefore do not make sense.

Since you raised it, you're not making sense either. Your second sentence isn't even intelligible. Your third sentence dosn't make sense because Matthew never isolated himself; he was isolated by others. It's not hard to figure out what happened. The alpha males and females, mainly on the athletic teams, let it be known that being seen with Matthew would be met with group disapproval. Because no one but Matthew had the courage to challenge them, it went unchallenged. As they grow older and become more mature, most of them will realize it was wrong.

You're also not making sense arguing that I'm the only one who sees it this way. The ACLU, People for the American Way, the American Ethical Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Anti-Defamation League and numerous other organizations have called Matthew's actions courageous and even heroic. He may not be a hero to you, but to many people he is. You should have learned two years ago that calling me names doesn't make me go away.

You're also not making sense arguing that KHS wasn't normal last year. Students went to class and learned (or not) just like they do every other year. It's amazing how people distort reality depending on whether they like something or not.

Finally, you're not making sense criticizing my use of the law. Yes I did. That's what the law is for. If it wasn't important, it probably wouldn't be the law. What you're telling us is that you don't think this law is important --- OK, you're entitled to your opinion, but it's a little arrogant to mock people for insisting that the law be followed, don't you think?

In this particular case, we know what was happening, all over the country. This incident came at a time when the extremist right wing was at the height of its political power in the US. That included a very strong and extremely dangerous dominionist movement whose goal was to turn the public schools into indoctrination centers for a particular kind of Christian theology. David Paszkiewicz is part of that Dominionist movement. Matthew caught him doing it and exposed him. You don't think it was important. Millions of Americans disagree with you. We think church-state separation is important. Almost no one outside Kearny took your side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
When your posts attack a position or a stance which many Americans have a firm belief in, expect that they are going to stick up for what they believe in.

I do expect it. I also expect that people will support their beliefs with reason and with facts, not name-calling and insults.

I still hope that is American. The need for name calling and taunting comes from both sides and please don't appear so angelic that you have never used those tactics here. You only use them when they are to your advantage. And yes it is democracy to stand up for what you believe in.

That last sentence is true, but in a democracy people can make good decisions or bad decisions. If we don’t think things through logically and calmly and intelligently, then we probably will make bad decisions. That will hurt us all, so we have a responsibility to others, not just to ourselves. No one can force you to think responsibly, but you should. It seems that you don’t like being called on it.

Like you said, you pay your taxes and read politics and no matter what else you do to hurt people, its ok because you think you are a good american.

All I’m doing here is expressing my opinion. I must be doing a good job because you’re obviously riled up over it. Is my telling you what you don’t want to hear hurtful? Are you so insecure in your beliefs that this cuts you to your core? Are you aware that you’re wrong, and you just don’t want to hear it? If not that, then what? So my question is: How am I hurting anyone? Be specific.

Sometimes it just doesn’t cut the mustard. Your posts are mostly one sided: you side. And when you challenge someones beliefs that are different to yours, you have no understanding of why someone would do it? And you cant understand why people don't understand you.

Yes, I express my opinions and not someone else’s. How people react is up to them. You’re asking me to be responsible for your reaction. The simple fact is, I’m not. You are.

For once you finally agree the pledge is a good idea. I strongly believe in every word of the Pledge and you are never going to change my mind. It's what my grandfather came to this country for and what my father went to war for. To keep this country as great is it has the capability to be great. There is a great difference in not saying the pledge and revoting against having it said. Just for the record. To make a public outcase of yourself by sitting or facing away, I wonder how you can think of yourself as a good citizen. It's time you start acting like one. Being a good citizen is more than words just like the pledge is more than just words. It's time for Paul LaClair to grow up.

So let me get this straight. My son sits quietly while other people recite a Pledge, you call it a revolt, tell me I’m not a good citizen and tell me to grow up. My point is and always has been that you’re making too big a deal over it. We’re making a point over something else: the right to think, even if and maybe especially if that thought is different from everyone else’s thought. That is what people came here for, and died for. If you don't understand that, then you're hardly in a position to judge whether someone else is good citizen. That's my main problem with the Pledge of Allegiance: people have let it become a substitute for the real work of patriotism. It's a little like eating nothing but chocolate. I never made a fuss about it until this incident, but I promise you that I'll never participate in it again until this attitude changes. I don't care whether you like me, it's the right thing to do.

With all due respect, I do not believe that your grandfather came here so that he could recite a pledge or salute our flag. I hope your father fought for something more important than that, like the freedom to have an independent thought and to disagree with one’s fellow citizens and to tell the government “not so fast” when it starts telling us what to say and how to think. “. . . you are never going to change my mind” is nothing to be proud of. If you’re wrong, then you should change your mind, and so should I. I would, you wouldn’t. That’s another difference between us. Don’t like me for saying it that floats your boat, but you’re still going to wake up with yourself in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
Paul, stop yelling. "It needed to happen," because it was out there that Mr. P preached in class. I had two children that had him in high school. I told them to listen, compare it with what they were taught, and we then spoke about it as a family. If it bothered me greatly I would have taken it further. I have taken on issues in my life and have contributed to changes in the schools and our community, but I chose to do it diplomatically. I used the Mr. P issue as an opportunity to teach my children that they are going to meet people with different opinions, especially away at college and they needed to not follow blindly, or believe someone just because they have charisma or appear intelligent or yells the loudest . In other words, I didn't want my kids to end up being followers, I raised them as leaders. I'm glad that your son is doing well, but my initial point in this whole discussion was about not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom and what are we teaching our children. Maybe what we could do is have the teachers leading the children in saying the Pledge one day, and not saying it another but explaining why we are doing it that way. Teach them both ways, but teach them something.

I'm not yelling. The very fact that you write that tells me that you're not hearing. You're superimposing your own values onto what I wrote, and that's distorting your understanding of it. How do I know? Because I know that I wrote every word of that post calmly. I'm the one who knows. You don't.

What you're telling me with the rest of the post is that you don't care enough about the US Constitution, in an instance like this, to defend it. Matthew does. Or maybe you don't see the importance of the issue, or its connection to important Constitutional principles. We do. You're free to disagree, but this issue was important enough for the US Supreme Court to take cases and render decisions that clarified: yes, this is what the Constitution says. That is not a small point. The Supreme Court declines to hear most of the cases brought to it for review. The fact that they took on these cases says that the highest court in the land thinks the issue is very important. Now you can disagree with that, but I don't see how you can criticize Matthew, or me, for thinking that this issue is important when the US Supreme Court and many organizations that care about these issues also think it's important. Maybe you don't understand how legal systems work. That's what I'm inclined to think. So, just curious, do you have any legal training? And yes, it does matter. You can criticize the law without a legal background, but a certain amount of humility is called for, don't you think?

On the Pledge, I would be open to just about anything that would stop what I consider to be the harmful practice of reciting it every single day, to such an extent that people have come to think that saying the words is patriotism but paying your taxes isn't. There's something seriously wrong with that picture, and if we Americans don't get that, we're going to be in some very big trouble. In fact, we already are. I am not kidding. This is a very big deal. You look at the history of how great powers decline. They're always singing themselves to sleep with patriotic fervor just as their sun is setting. I don't want it to happen here, but it will if we don't get this. The Pledge isn't going cause the destruction of America, but the fact that our people are acting this way is a warning sign that we're in serious cultural trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Patriot
I'm not yelling. The very fact that you write that tells me that you're not hearing. You're superimposing your own values onto what I wrote, and that's distorting your understanding of it. How do I know? Because I know that I wrote every word of that post calmly. I'm the one who knows. You don't.

What you're telling me with the rest of the post is that you don't care enough about the US Constitution, in an instance like this, to defend it. Matthew does. Or maybe you don't see the importance of the issue, or its connection to important Constitutional principles. We do. You're free to disagree, but this issue was important enough for the US Supreme Court to take cases and render decisions that clarified: yes, this is what the Constitution says. That is not a small point. The Supreme Court declines to hear most of the cases brought to it for review. The fact that they took on these cases says that the highest court in the land thinks the issue is very important. Now you can disagree with that, but I don't see how you can criticize Matthew, or me, for thinking that this issue is important when the US Supreme Court and many organizations that care about these issues also think it's important. Maybe you don't understand how legal systems work. That's what I'm inclined to think. So, just curious, do you have any legal training? And yes, it does matter. You can criticize the law without a legal background, but a certain amount of humility is called for, don't you think?

On the Pledge, I would be open to just about anything that would stop what I consider to be the harmful practice of reciting it every single day, to such an extent that people have come to think that saying the words is patriotism but paying your taxes isn't. There's something seriously wrong with that picture, and if we Americans don't get that, we're going to be in some very big trouble. In fact, we already are. I am not kidding. This is a very big deal. You look at the history of how great powers decline. They're always singing themselves to sleep with patriotic fervor just as their sun is setting. I don't want it to happen here, but it will if we don't get this. The Pledge isn't going cause the destruction of America, but the fact that our people are acting this way is a warning sign that we're in serious cultural trouble.

So reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a "harmful practice". You are such a dispicable person. You dishonor our many brave military who have given their lives and limbs to allow dirt bags like yourself to be able to stand and pledge your love and support for everything this country stands for.

But you consider that simple act a harmful practice. While others give their lives, you mock them, you disgusting piece of s--t.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
You know what Bern, you speak of love of country, I am not saying that I was upset about the pledge being of choice, I am upset that the children who wanted to say it had to leave the classroom, like they were going to remedial reading or a similar class. I am over 50, my grandson came home the other day and sang "Your A Grand Old Flag" I was was so proud of him, he is in pre-K and he recites the pledge of allegience that he learned in school, as I did when I was in my first year of school. I am proud, American and faithful to my country and flag. If you are not, well then that is your business, and I would never force my opinion on anyone. If it wasn't for people like me, who still believe in our history then, well, it would be sad. Enough said

Speedy, you're probably a very nice person, and we're both over 50. But when you contrast yourself from others saying if "it wasn't for people like me, who still believe in our history" . . . that seems arrogant, and it is unless I'm misinterpreting you. What makes you think that those of us who see the problems with the way the pledge is being handled don't believe in our history? What makes you think that Bern isn't faithful to his or her country? Frankly, Speedy, shame on you.

It's your attitude that is dividing this country for the worst of reasons. You are the one who is harming this country, with that attitude. So I say it again. Shame on you for questioning the patriotism of a fellow citizen who obviously cares about his/her country. That is exactly where this obsession with the pledge of allegiance has led, and that is why I will not say it. And I wish I knew your real name so I could say it to your face. You may not see it, but I'm fighting for my country.

There are more important things to teach the children about our history than the great songs and the good stuff. History is much more than that. Our children, and our adults, need to understand history so that we don't "help" our country repeat its mistakes, not just so we can parade around waving the flag. Being a citizen is not just about feeling good. That's part of it, but it isn't close to being the most important part. You're making it the only part. You couldn't be more wrong. That's a main reason why I don't like what's happening with the pledge of allegiance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paul
So reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a "harmful practice". You are such a dispicable person. You dishonor our many brave military who have given their lives and limbs to allow dirt bags like yourself to be able to stand and pledge your love and support for everything this country stands for. But you consider that simple act a harmful practice. While others give their lives, you mock them, you disgusting piece of s--t.

My fellow American: Not that you'll listen, but that's not what I said. Reciting the pledge is not a harmful practice. Reciting it without being honest about our history is a harmful practice. Being forced to recite it is a harmful practice, because it takes away freedom. I would think you would care about that, but apparently you don't.

In fact, making everyone say the pledge takes away the opportunity to recite it because someone truly wants to. Jesus of Nazareth referred to that practice in criticizing the hypocrites - not that that would mean anything to you, apparently.

You're not even being honest. To be honest, you would have to replace the word "allow" with "force." You're not just allowing people to say it, you want everyone to be forced to say it. That's plain enough from your attitude. Make the logically necessary replacement, and maybe even you will begin to understand.

Having all our schoolchildren recite the pledge every day to the point that questioning the practice, or quietly declining to participate, draws vicious comments like your post makes it a harmful practice. It's a pity that some of our citizens have so completely lost the meaning of freedom and democracy that they cannot draw the distinctions that good citizenship demands; there can be no doubt that you fall into that category. I'm not dishonoring anybody, and especially not our soldiers; you are. That doesn't in itself make you a bad citizen, but it does make you a worse citizen. And by the way, it's spelled "despicable."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Keith
So reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a "harmful practice". You are such a dispicable person. You dishonor our many brave military who have given their lives and limbs to allow dirt bags like yourself to be able to stand and pledge your love and support for everything this country stands for.

But you consider that simple act a harmful practice. While others give their lives, you mock them, you disgusting piece of s--t.

No, what they fought and died for was the right for him,you and me to express our opinions openly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...