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Thursday, December 25, 2008

This isn't about me

I originally started this blog so I could have an outlet for my frequent rants as they relate to current events, sports, the world around me, whatever... The last few posts here have been of a rather personal nature and that has never been my intention here. I have long held out the hope that this blog would encourage intelligent discourse amongst adults, not the usual childish stuff people will post. This is one of the reasons my comments section is moderated, so that idiotic, childish or puerile comments can be posted here.

I am also a huge proponent of the First Amendment, that the opinions of another person, whether they agree or disagree with me, are always permitted, so long as they are respectful in nature. No name-calling, no rants (other than mine) and no disallowing others the opportunity to disagree; one of my favorite quotes is one by Voltaire (the nom de plume of François-Marie Arouet), a French writer and philospher from the 17th Century, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

This is just my opinion, and truly, what do I know, but I believe the cornerstone of any good democracy is the public's ability to express their opinion in a manner befitting an intelligent adult. I have long stressed to my children that though my home is not a democracy but an aristocracy (I am the Queen, my husband is the King and our children are our loyal serfs. We are masters of all we survey) I DO expect them to speak up when I am being more than a little unfair. I'm not saying I'm a pushover with my kids, more often than not I disagreed with their assessment, but I always felt one of my roles as a parent to my children was to encourage them to stand up when they felt they were being wronged. Winning the challenge was never the issue, it was recognizing the injustice, formulating cogent thought related to it and offering their thoughts on the issue. An unexpressed thought can become a cancer, eating away at you until it kills you.

An example of this is my teenage son. He is in High School now but at one time he attended a school that was K-8. For some reason, his teachers were extremely liberal and preached this almost daily. When it became most significant was when Friday rolled around which was Current Events day. This was a day when the students would bring to class news articles from the week to discuss. They were given a grade on their articles and their participation. The students who brought with them news articles with a liberal slant were given an "A" and these were the items discussed. Students who brought with them news articles with a conservative slant were given an "F" and the articles were thrown away. My son being a product of his parents always brought in articles of a conservative nature. He was not the only one in his class doing this and his fellow students began to gripe about this. My son finally had enough and finally stood up in class making the pronouncement that it was unfair and biased that the teacher only allowed "...liberal propaganda..." to be discussed and he demanded the equality and lack of censorship that was afforded him by the Constitution. He made a huge fuss and was finally sent to the Principal's office.

To wrap up this long story, my husband and I were called to the school because our "... son was causing a disruption in class and he needs to be dealt with." Once we got to the school and were told what his "disruption" was, I was LIVID! Between my husband, son and I, we tag-teamed the principal until the decision was made to allow ALL types of news stories, not just liberal, and a policy change was made.

Censorship in any form is a violation of what I consider to be a most inalienable right for any human being. To forbid the freedom to express an opinion (excluding yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater and other statements meant to inflame) is to render useless one's own thoughts and ability to think for themselves.

I was just reading today, in the book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South" of which I have provided a link on the left of my blog page, that Abraham Lincoln, supposed leader of the freeing of the slaves, would have arrrested and imprisoned any newspaper editor who dared to disagree with him. I also read that he had over 13,000 people arrested without the benefit of charges or habeas corpus simply because they didn't carry the same views as he regarding secession or state's rights. When U.S. Supreme Court chief justice Toger B. Taney demanded Lincoln declare by what authority he had the right to do this, Lincoln ordered his arrest as well. The only reason Taney didn't lanquish in prison is because Lincoln couldn't find a Magistrate willing to serve the arrest warrant to the highest ranking judge in the country. (The P.I.G to the South, 183-184)

Now that I have gotten around to mentioning this book, I highly recommend this and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War" to anyone who is from the South or just wishes they were. There's a reason Southerners state, "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God". I have provided links to both books on the left of this blog page.

Sometimes, however, the censorship is self imposed as has been the case with the recent election of our President. While we hear ad nauseum about Mrs. McCain's former addiction to pain killers as a result of a severe injury, we heard nothing about Obama's cocaine habit while he was in college. While we heard every minute detail about every single mistake McCain made since he was a zygote, nothing was said about the seemingly forged documents that pertain to Obama's birth in perhaps another country. The list goes on and on and the bottom line was that the Main Stream Media (MSM) refused to report balanced news stories in an attempt to skew public opinion. What was once the watch dog of a nation, our country's reporters, is now a tool to alter the thinking of those too weak-minded enough to formulate their own decisions.

I posted something similar to this not too long ago when I discussed the Associated Press change of the Washington Bureau Chief and his directive to his reporters that they insert their opinions in their articles. I won't drone on about this again as you can merely click the link provided in the paragraph if you so choose. Bottom line, though, is this: I believe the MSM can no longer be trusted to report the truth. My thinking with regard to journlism has always been, and will always remain, report the truth and let the reader make up their own mind.

I suppose I've rambled on long enough about this. I am interested to hear what others have to say.

But what do I know? This is just my two cents.