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 Liberalism in the United States

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:28 am

Stumped again.  I read what Shelagh said and agreed in its clarity and simplicity.  I just read Victor's post and I think he's saying the same thing in a more detailed way. 
So many reference our constitution and make claims on what they think it means and if the meaning they gather doesn't suit they want to amend it.  We have President that I believe is a Constitutional Lawyer, yet he is often challenged. Interpreting the consitution is akin to interpreting the meaning of biblical scriptures. 
I don't have a simple answer or a solution I could propose to the "mariage" "partnership" or whatever one wants to call it so they can live together and don't get screwed upon separation.  I'm inclined to see marriage as more of a religious thing and the other legal aspects as a civil thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:42 am

Quite right, Abe. This is going to be a problem in the Republic of Ireland. Up until the referendum on same sex marriage, priests presided over civil marriages. They have withdrawn from offering that service to the community and will only officiate at wedding ceremonies inside the Church, and have no intention of allowing same sex marriages to take place there.

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:22 pm

The application of labels as I mentioned before is a  means for the mind to organize vast amounts of information that splinter without some organizing mechanism.  The problem with labels is that the groupings gather up those who do not fit the parameters or the thinking patterns.  Thus, certain negative characteristics get pinned on all those who align themselves partially with bits from a label.

I accept the label, "liberal," because it seems to contain in that bucket those people who see government as a civilization requirement to assist different groups to get along in a society with protections to insure a minimal quality existence without fear or hunger with relative protection from disease and other people.  Anything else is extra.

I disagree with those whose opinions fit the label "conservative" because a significant number of conservative labeled people wish to impart their religious dogma on everyone through the auspices of legislation and the courts.

As a "liberal," I see government as protection, not the implementer of religious doctrine.  I also see that the hungry, diseased, disabled, unemployed, and innocent children need the protection of the government at my expense since my life is quite comfortable after 51 years of employment and substantial contributions to the IRS and various other taxation entities.  I willingly help those less fortunate through my government and through private charities.

I do not see myself forcing any legislation on anyone or requiring their "re-education."  In fact, I wish the Republicans would keep their religious dogma to themselves and concentrate on education, hunger, disease, the global world, economic growth and a minute or two on our crumbling infrastructure.

As an anecdote, I know many Republicans having been one of them for most of my life.  Without exception, those I know wish to legislate their religious dogma.  Period.  They do not wish to help the impoverished as the impoverished deserve their fate.  They resent paying any tax at all for government yet they would be quite surprised at the chaos and anarchy no government would create.
Their primary goal is to protect their income - at any cost to society at large - and protect their status as the elite.  While many are engaged in charitable work even through their religion, my church donation makes a difference in my lifestyle because it is such a high percentage of my income (though a small donation). Their charitable work makes zero dent in their elite status or lifestyle and is money not missed - a mere airplane or Italian villa or sports car. 

The growing divide between the workers and the elite wealthy in the U.S. threads through every aspect of our lives and is probably the greatest threat to our well-being in the future.  The "greatest generation" was the middle class...that is now extinct.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:42 pm

alice wrote:
I am not opposed to gay marriages.  It bothers me when they wish to adopt children, however.  Why?  
The children have no say.  
And without the adoption many of them would have no home.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:43 pm

The difference between the elite and the commoner is where they shop.  The elite won't be seen at the Dollar Store or Walmart.  The commoner can't afford what's sold at the Dollar Store or Walmart.  The elite in my town eat from Whole Foods, organic and healthy or Fresh Market.  The rest eat from discounts and coupons and wherever food's the cheapest that week.  You can tell by the vehicles in the parking lots.

If you want proof of the disappearance of the middle class ask the "family restaurants."  They are sinking.  Only the highest end and the drive throughs are surviving.  Darden was the middle class umbrella and their middle price restaurants have been major drains on profits, some were spun off.

K-Mart and Sears are closing.  Penny's is in trouble.  That's where the middle class bought school clothes.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:48 pm

I thought I wrote a post on adoption.  Nothing should interfere with providing a loving home to a child in need of one.  Nothing.  Ask any child.  They'll take any type parent that loves them, accepts them, protects them until they are of age, guides them - but just plain loves them.  They don't care about color, gender, religion or marriage status.  They just need a good home and lots of non-traditional families and single parents can provide that for them except well-meaning adults get in the way.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:02 pm

6/12

                   Yes that's the word " Civil Unions !," Victor and Shelagh hit it on the head,
            same protections but not called marriage, there now that I solved that little    
            problem I'll be running for President in 2016 ! As an Independent please no 
            labels, just a middle class person who wants to see his country run right, no
            agendas.....
                                                             Cheers..Joe.. Very Happy
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:21 pm

Please find for me the harm in same-sex marriage. Who gets hurt? And not just your sensibilities. What tangible difference does it make for anyone? Until its opponents can enumerate the wrongs, they cannot effectively claim to be right.

And tradition is an ineffective argument against same-sex marriage.

Many social traditions that go back thousands of years are overturned simply because in an enlightened society they have been adjudged wrong. Slavery,  segregation, interracial marriage, women's voting rights, and their right to own property.

During my lifetime the marriages between Justice Clarence Thomas and Virginia Thomas and John Lennon and Yoko Ono would have been illegal in some states.

I knew workers in Virginia who endured long commutes from Maryland because they could not reside near their workplaces because of whom they loved and married.

But tell me, who has been harmed by such unions?

The argument that same-sex marriage should be illegal because it has been illegal for thousands of years does not bear up under a traditional examination.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:26 pm

6/12

                                 Al...

                                       .....................


                                                Cheers............................Joe...........
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:16 pm

I have to agree with Al.  Every person should mind their own business.  My neighbors sexuality is not my business unless it hurts someone. 
I know people whom are gay.  They are nice people.  They do not want to display their sexual habits in front of any one.  Let them be.  They have a right to be with whomever they want, marry if they want. I understand the idea that Joe has put out.  Religion has no bearing on law, in my opinion unless you want it to.  Most sane people do not want that.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:20 pm

Al Stevens wrote:
Please find for me the harm in same-sex marriage. Who gets hurt? And not just your sensibilities. What tangible difference does it make for anyone? Until its opponents can enumerate the wrongs, they cannot effectively claim to be right.

And tradition is an ineffective argument against same-sex marriage.

Many social traditions that go back thousands of years are overturned simply because in an enlightened society they have been adjudged wrong. Slavery,  segregation, interracial marriage, women's voting rights, and their right to own property.

During my lifetime the marriages between Justice Clarence Thomas and Virginia Thomas and John Lennon and Yoko Ono would have been illegal in some states.

I knew workers in Virginia who endured long commutes from Maryland because they could not reside near their workplaces because of whom they loved and married.

But tell me, who has been harmed by such unions?

The argument that same-sex marriage should be illegal because it has been illegal for thousands of years does not bear up under a traditional examination.

All the instances you quoted were marriages uniting a man and a woman. That's what marriage means: a husband and a wife. Countering your argument, who gets hurt if marriage stays the way that it has always been and gay couples are allowed a civil partnership under exactly the same terms?

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:20 pm

Agree, Al.  For me, however, it's just none of my business. I have no idea who lives in the houses on my street and what arrangements they have in their homes.  I don't care either.  I can make up all sorts of stories in my mind based on their cars, who walks the dog, etc., but it's all a game about which I do not care.

I care that during a crisis they may help each other.  I care that they keep their property within the code so we all keep a good value for our homes.  I care that they don't have fights and shootings like in Fort Myers or east of us.  I care that their dogs are leashed and they pick up after them.  I care that they watch out for their children.

I do not care what arrangements they have within their walls so long as they do not endanger children or adults unable to speak for themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Betty, you often say things that are quite sensible.  Perhaps it's because you are close to nature.  I think nature calms the soul and provides the opportunity to measure thoughts and think clearly.  I do my best thinking on my morning walks at the beach.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:43 pm

From the horse's mouth:

"Not all children raised by gay parents support gay marriage: I should know, I’m one of them"

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/not-all-children-raised-by-gay-parents-support-gay-marriage-i-should-know-i

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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:03 pm

You answer my question first and then I'll answer yours.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:31 pm

Every child comes into this world with a nature.  All react differently to the same set of circumstances.  Mostly, a truly loved child develops the strength to live a productive life as an adult barring unusual circumstances.  That is what I wish for all children, to be loved unconditionally and feel the security of home, a place of their own.

Even children from "normal" homes have natures that poorly equip them to feel the love around them and they turn out to be hateful and lead lives of frustration and bitterness.  There are no guarantees, only the odds.  The odds are better with at least one loving parent.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:13 pm

We profess to be a land of the free; however that is becoming a myth.  There are more restrictions in America than in most European countries.  A big exception to that is where Americans are free to own and carry guns.  The restrictions on how we live are growing.  We like to hear that one should be able to do what they want, live as they want and that it is none of our business; however it doesn’t happen that way.  One could say that most of the societal problems involve sex.  To a large extent, that is true.  At one time morals played a major role and those morals were defined by the church.  Times changed.  The first time I heard the term “sexual harassment” was in America.  Watching a favorite comedy program, “MASH”, sex played a major role where the doctors (Hawkeye and Trapper John) were constantly hitting on the nurses.  It was accepted as the norm.   
In my youth, I recall seeing girls walking together holding hands on their way to school.  They were just good friends.  Boys didn’t do that.  Today, young people working in a large city will often share an apartment to save money causing tongues to wag.    
Pre-marital sex was frowned upon.  In some societies, marrying a virgin was of utmost importance.  Displaying the bloody sheet to the wedding party was a ritual proving conception of the marriage and confirming that the girl was a virgin.  It is still a big deal in some societies and doctors are performing operations to replace the hymen where it is deemed important.
Living together before marriage was more common in Europe and became accepted.  Some claimed that it was an important trial to see if they were compatible before tying the knot. 
Pre-marital sex is a reality.  For the most part, marriage is for the purpose of raising a family and thus marriage is between man and woman.  It often happens where the girl becomes pregnant and they rush into marriage before the birth of the child so that the child will have a name and not be considered a bastard.    In my view, marriage has and should be a union between man and woman.  For those who want to share their lives together of the same sex, they can legalize it with civil law.  That doesn’t prevent same sex unions from adopting and raising children. The child will eventually learn that those who raised them did not conceive them.  Unwed mothers raise children without the assistance of the father.  If we believe in a free society, what people do is none of our business.  At the same time, we are a country of laws and those laws should apply to everyone.  There must be laws concerning the legal union of two people.  How that is defined is the major subject of debate.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:11 pm

There are indeed too many conservatives who would impose their religious views on others--and not just Christians, by the by. There are also too many atheists for whom religion is an affront and who with a straight face make patently idiotic statements like "Lets take Christ out of Christmas" and, if they could do it, would eradicate the "blight" of religion from the face of the earth, and all religious symbols along with it. That said, these are outliers, not the norm, and one has as much right to decry the right from having "too many" of one as the left for having "too many" of the other. They are at heart the same intolerant beings.

Religion is not the bright dividing line between conservatives and liberals, though. The onion needs to be peeled back a few more layers to get to the core differences between the two. The propaganda from the left firmly believed by all Kool-aid aficionados and sold daily by the media with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer is that conservatives are selfish, Bible and gun toting brutes who care only for themselves. The truth is that there are selfish cons and selfish libs and hypocrites aplenty on both sides of the aisle.

Although most of my friends and professional acquaintances are middle class, I've had many, many friends over the years from working class and poor families through truly wealthy individuals both of the newly minted and old moneyed varieties.  I've known vipers and scoundrels and saintly individuals in more or less equal proportion in all of these classes (and among cons and libs as well). The only real difference is that the professional and wealthy folks boast better educations, better manners, better grooming and a better ability to hide their nefarious natures than do the poor and lower middle class folks. I've found that to be true also in more or less equal measure on three continents in my limited travels abroad. Money, privilege and empowerment do not eradicate the innate flaws in some human beings, nor do privation, prejudice and hardship destroy the better nature in human beings whose proclivity is for good. Good and evil do exist in most all human beings, but we are by no means equal at birth in our potential to gravitate to one or the other any more than we are equal in our potential to be great athletes, great thinkers or great scoundrels. Conservatives know this not because religion tells them human beings are flawed by nature, rather because the evidence is overwhelming and all around them. Nature plants the seeds at conception of our potential and nurture determines how well that potential develops. If you plant an acorn you will only get an oak. It may be a great oak or a small one; it may thrive or it may wither and die depending on its environment. But it will never become asparagus. All thinking conservatives strive to make every single human being able to reach its full potential given its innate capabilities and proclivities. We owe that to every human being. Every thinking liberal strives to make every human being anything it wants to be at any cost because they reject out of hand with little more than the justifications provided by Marxist ideology that we are all equal and society determines whether we succeed or fail.

Only racists believe that there are innate qualitative differences among the races. There is no credible scientific evidence to which anyone can point that would give that belief any credence. The under-performance of groups is the direct result of nurture, not nature. Poverty, broken homes, cultural preferences, and government efforts at social engineering that condemn the poor to multi-generational dependence on government handouts and provide greater assistance to one parent families (effectively punishing the poor who live in two-parent households) are the causes of black under-performance.  Conservatives see that as clearly as the sun at midday in the desert. Liberals look at the problem and see only the need for more government programs to get people out of poverty that further reinforce the problem  and create unsafe neighborhoods and generations of tragically and needlessly wasted lives.
Liberals believe that if we take families from broken homes with troubled children and transplant them from a dangerous, impoverished  neighborhood in the inner city to a stable, safe, clean, stable middle class or upper middle class neighborhood in the suburbs, provide them with more generous assistance and the children with access to great schools the problem of poverty would be solved. Conservatives know that doing so would almost certainly lead to the deterioration of the new neighborhood over time if there is no change in the values and behavior of the families involved.


Both conservatives and liberals want a stable economy, safe streets, reasonable wages and fair treatment of their follow citizens. The disagreement is not on the address of the promised land, but rather on the directions for getting there. Conservatives believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong and good and evil, that people must be held accountable for their actions, that civil and criminal laws must be enforced and order maintained in order to prevent society from spiraling into chaos. They believe it is the primary function of government to protect the people from foreign and domestic threats and to establish and enforce laws that foster the stability of society and allow people to prosper through their hard work and by making the right choices in life. Liberals do not share the belief that there is such a thing as right and wrong, and reject the idea that anyone is inherently evil or bad. They believe that all people are intrinsically the same--that we are all born with an equal potential for greatness, and an equal potentiality for good or evil depending on nurture rather than nature. It follows, then, that society is responsible for creating criminals and poverty, lack of education, and prejudice are the root cause of all social ills. Liberals, especially humanists who reject religion--reject the existence of any absolute ethical imperatives, embracing teleology or relativistic ethics. They believe that good and evil as abstractions are meaningless, and that we can only judge the ethical value of an act by looking into the underlying circumstances and motivation of the actor. Stealing a loaf of bread to a conservative has always been and will always be both a crime (petty theft) and immoral (and a sin for those who derive their ethics from a Judeo-Christian [or Islamic] perspective). A "real" liberal will never judge the act of stealing bread as a sin, immoral or even a crime without knowing why the bread was stolen. For them, you can never judge a person unless you've walked many miles in their shoes. So stealing bread to give to a starving child if you cannot afford to buy it is no sin but a laudable act, and good luck on getting a jury of liberals to convict anyone for the "crime" regardless of how clear the law is or the evidence of the theft. Conservatives believe that if you are a failure in life, the chances are very high that is is YOUR FAULT. Liberals believe that if you are a failure in life it is SOCIETY's FAULT. Conservatives define fairness as everyone having an equal chance to achieve success. Liberals define it as equality of results. Conservatives are prone to applaud anyone who succeeds in life through their industry and honestly comes by wealth. Liberals are prone to look at anyone who has obtained success as having done so at the expense of the less fortunate in society [unless the person is a liberal, of course]. Conservatives genuinely believe that taxing everyone as little as possible and allowing people to invest their wealth creates jobs and greater opportunity for everyone, creating a tide that raises all boats. Liberals believe that everyone, but the "wealthy" in particular, must be forced to share their wealth through confiscatory tax policies and also believe that government can be better trusted to "invest" the money it confiscates by way of an endless stream of taxes to create jobs and stimulate the economy than private business and individuals can. Conservatives generally believe that government is best which governs least while  liberals believe that government is best which governs most.Conservatives are individualists. Liberals are collectivists.

Defining the labels we casually throw around helps. But more importantly, what gets lost in all of this is that there are really very few "true" conservatives or "true" liberals out there. Most of us--myself included--are somewhere in the middle. We are reasonable, flexible, and pragmatic. We compromise. Unfortunately, the "true believers" who are all-in to the dictates of their world view do not. They don't want an honest discussion that makes them have to explain why they believe what they believe, or why the people who believe differently from them are wrong. It is far easier and effective to marginalize people with an opposing view by misrepresenting them as extremists, heartless, and selfish than it is to explain one's position or engage them in a debate in which they are actually allowed to articulate their point of view.

What does all of this have to do with gay marriage? A lot actually. Marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman. it is not for me to defend why this needs to remain so, but rather for those who would change it to make a compelling argument for changing some 6,000 years of history and legal precedent, religious issues aside. Not incidentally, by the way, states have always been the final arbiter of defining marriage--who can and can't marry based on age, familial relationship, etc. The federal government has not traditional been involved in the issue and nothing in the Constitution requires it to become involved now, as President Obama well knew when he opposed gay marriage before changing his mind and supporting it during the last election cycle. The silent battle being waged is about much more than legal rights for gays and lesbians which I for one most certainly support. It is about undermining traditional values and taking society further down the slippery slope of ethical relativism where anything goes and everyone had damned well better accept it. Civil unions provide all the protections to gay and lesbian couples that marriage provides, except for the name. There ends any reasonable "need" to change 6,000 years of legal precedent.


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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:31 pm

Good post, Victor.  I think you will find that many on this forum fall into the middle category, between Conservative & Liberal.  You summarize the situation well in the last paragraph of our post.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:56 am

Al Stevens wrote:
You answer my question first and then I'll answer yours.

I'll let a gay man answer for me:

"Gay and lesbian activists, and more importantly, the progressives urging them on, seek to redefine marriage in order to achieve an ideological agenda that ultimately seeks to undefine families as nothing more than one of an array of equally desirable “social units,” and thus open the door to the increase of government’s role in our lives.

And while same-sex marriage proponents suggest that the government should perhaps just stay out of their private lives, the fact is, now that children are being engineered for gay and lesbian couples, a process that involves multiple other adults who have potential legal custody claims on these children, the potential for government’s involvement in these same-sex marriage households is staggering.

Solomon only had to split the baby in two. In the future, judges may have to decide how to split children into three, four, or five equal pieces. In Florida, a judge recently ordered that the birth certificate of a child must show a total of three parents—a lesbian couple and a gay man (the sperm-providing hairdresser of one of the lesbian moms). Expect much more of this to come.

Statists see great value in slowly chipping away at the bedrock of American culture: faith and family life. The more that traditional families are weakened in our daily experience by our laws, the more that government is able to freely insert itself into our lives in an authoritarian way. And it will.

Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, recently said, “I think you can have social stability without many intact families, but it’s going to be really expensive and it's going to look very ‘Huxley-Brave New World-ish.’ So [the intact family is] not only the optimal scenario … but it’s the cheapest. How often in life do you get the best and the cheapest in the same package?”

Marriage is not an elastic term. It is immutable. It offers the very best for children and society. We should not adulterate nor mutilate its definition, thereby denying its riches to current and future generations."

Victor D. Lopez wrote:
They don't want an honest discussion that makes them have to explain why they believe what they believe, or why the people who believe differently from them are wrong. It is far easier and effective to marginalize people with an opposing view by misrepresenting them as extremists, heartless, and selfish ...

Yes, Victor, it is easier to denigrate someone else than to put forward a rational argument.

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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:10 am

Shelagh, your points are sound and make sense.  I'm gaining more insight into the entire fiasco from the posts I'm reading.  Thanks all.
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:55 am

Children are no longer taught right from wrong. If you say something is wrong, they reply that it is just your opinion and not a universally held truth. Needless to say, they are incapable of judging whether anti-social behaviour is, in fact, anti-social. They lack moral guidance because schools no longer teach morals as anything other than opinions. We should consider ourselves lucky that we were born at a time when there was order and structure in our young lives instead of chaos and disarray.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/opinionator/2015/03/02/why-our-children-dont-think-there-are-moral-facts/?_r=3&referrer=

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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:26 am

6/13
              Shelagh

                         You are right, when I grew up in the mid 1950's and early 1960's my mother taught you first the teacher was your parent from 9-3 and she sent a note with you to school the first day and it read " I give you permission to smack my son Joseph if he gets out of line," second you were taught to respect other people if it was a friend of the family you either called that person Mrs. so and so or if that friend of the family was close you were told you can call her Aunt Gracie..Third you were taught valuable lessons like the time I was in the back yard yelling and my step-father came out and said I warned you before what would happen if you kept this up, today you can't go to the movies ! I think I was 12 at the time, it was as if he hit me, that hurt more than being smacked. Today a kid would tell his parents to go F himself, there is no up bringing anymore, I blame the parents if you can't raise your kids properly don't have them. Another lesson a lady who lives next door had a visitor with two kids a girl 4 and a boy 6 , I had Dusty outside on her leash and harness and I was talking to a lady I knew, she alerted me that the little girl was chasing Dusty and trying to pull her tail, I said little girl please don't do that she doesn't know children and she may bite or scratch you ( I didn't want that problem ,) thank God Dusty went under the patio chair..So the kids father comes out and I told him he just stared at me, didn't say a word went back in and the kids were still running around so I told this neighbor I was talking to " Now I know why alligators eat their young !"

                                                             Cheers..Joe.... Very Happy
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:04 am

You are spot-on, Shelagh [and you too, Joe]. Ethical relativism has run amock. There are few standards left and those are under attack by those who reject order and question everything either intentionally (e.g., anarchists) or unintentionally (well meaning people who are reticent to judge the actions of others, especially if they are outside the mainstream). Children show little respect for parents--or anyone else. Self-expression, however meaningless, is encouraged rather than self-edification in the democratization of ideas where everyone is entitled to believe and do anything they like and every person's ideas and values are exactly as valid as that of anyone else. The new societal paradigm holds that right and wrong are outdated concepts foisted on the masses by false religions whose sole purpose is to keep people down and prevent them from self-actualization. If any religion has flaws (all do) such as the undervaluing of women, then the baby must be thrown out with the bathwater rather than the text reinterpreted in view of a more enlightened culture.  Standards= REPRESSION. Rules=OPPRESSION. Judgment=PREJUDICE. 

I recently visited the original site of the Woodstock concert of 1969 with my wife (see the museum's official page here: http://www.bethelwoodscenter.org/ A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED VENUE!). There is a lovely museum there and the surrounding area in New York's Catskill Mountains is truly beautiful. I've said it before that I am a lousy conservative because I hate conformity for conformity's sake and value rebels (but ONLY rebels WITH A CLUE). The organizers of the original concert had to move it at the last minute only weeks before it took place because people in the original New York community venue rebelled at the idea of hippies invading their small town with unbridled sex, drugs and rock and roll. Bethel Woods hosted the event at the last minute in a staunchly conservative, sleepy, small, country farming hamlet in the Catskills. The owner of the farm, a conservative, took a great deal of heat from the locals for allowing the hoards of hippies and their sympathizers  the venue. He did not agree with the anti war, anti establishment leanings of the movement that saw the zenith of its momentum at the three-day concert, but stated publicly that he believed the hippies had a right to express their views and deserved a venue for doing so. When some more than 200,000 people showed up on the first day of the concert and thousands of others kept right on coming, the local roads were overwhelmed. The local CONSERVATIVE townspeople saw a real humanitarian crisis for the young attendees who coalesced there with little or no money and with whom they shared little by way of values or lifestyles. But they did not reach for their Bibles to lecture the misguided hoards about the perils of free love and drug abuse, or reach for their guns to protect their homes. Instead, when one of the greatest traffic jams in New York history ensued, local residents flooded their local markets and bought thousands upon thousands of loaves of bread and non-perishable supplies, made sandwiches carried water and provided  food and drink to the hungry hordes of flower children and music lovers from all over the country that found themselves without food or shelter on their way to making history, going among the hoards of people to distribute food and drink as they were stuck in traffic with nowhere to go for endless hours. These mostly working class farmers that today are labeled as "selfish, haters, bigoted, Bible-thumping, gun toting REPUBLICANS" gave out tens of thousands of sandwiches, sodas, fruit and other essential nourishment and REFUSED TO TAKE PAYMENT WHEN IT WAS OFFERED. There was no price gouging and no profiteering from those with whom they fundamentally disagreed and likely disliked and distrusted, rather compassion and a helping hand in a truly CHRISTIAN, REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE fashion. And though the concert was remarkably peaceful and free of significant violence despite the hundreds of thousands of attendees, lousy weather and lack of sufficient sanitary facilities, it was the make love not war, love-bead garnished attendees that ransacked the too few food concessions, "liberated" the food and burned down some 20 food stands.

These are facts, my friends. Think carefully on them. And think carefully of where we've come as a society since then--how much has changed and how much has not. Good luck on finding out about the incredible generosity of the conservative locals or the open-mindedness of the conservative owner of the farm unless you visit the museum or talk to a local historian. Some 50 years later, I don't know whether the conservative locals would do it again. One can only turn the other cheek a limited number of times before sighing deeply, blocking the blows and punching back.


Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Liberalism in the United States   Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:18 am

Interesting article, Shelagh.  Is it any wonder why there so much confusion about fact and opinion?
We debate fact and opinion constantly although we don't label it as such.  We often end our comment as JMO to allow room for debate. 
In the US, Columbus Day is still celebrated even though there is evidence that he was not the first to discover America.   Some of that evidence is supported by archaeological discoveries.
Fact and opinion are difficult to prove.  I can give one example that hits me personally.  When in Beirut, I heard the roar of the planes and then looked out my office window and saw three Israeli planes.  I saw the Star of David on the fuselage.  I saw the bombs drop on the Palestinian refugee camp.  The planes circled and repeated the bombing.  Israel denied it.  In relating this to an Israeli supporter, they responded:  “So you say.  How do I know you aren’t just making this up?”  I responded that it was reported in the Beirut newspaper.  “How can one believe a prejudiced newspaper?  The point I’m making is that even with eye witness reports, it can be viewed as an opinion.  Is the source credible? 
My son is an historian and it is difficult to discuss anything that cannot be supported with fact.  We have had discussions on this forum about the Bible.  Can what is written be proved?  Historians have much to say about the origin of Biblical text and how the words of Jesus and the prophets were transmitted via word of mouth.  We read how the Scribes wrote down what they heard.  Translations from one language to another made the written word suspect.  Is the Bible fact or based on opinion and faith? 
In the article you shared, it talks about the Universe.  How much of what we know, or think we know can be proven? 
I support education where students are taught to question things; however there comes a point where what is presented can or should be believed.
Try an exercise where whatever one says, you respond with:  “Can you prove it?”  Whatever the person says in response, you ask the same question again.  When I lived in Wheaton, Illinois, a Baptist college was nearby and the students were required to go into the community and witness.  A young man knocked on our door and wanted to come in and talk about the Bible.  Recent discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls had him psyched.  Frequently I asked:  “How do you know?”  He would then give some reference, and I would ask the same question again.  Finally in frustration, he threw up his hands and said:  “I don’t know!  I wasn’t there!”
We rely on the source of information to determine acceptance.  Is it fact, fiction or opinion?  Is the source credible?  When one considers that “Eye Witness” accounts are questioned, there is always an element of doubt.  So how do educators teach their students?  Are text books reliable with facts they present?  Did Columbus discover America?  Did the astronauts land on the moon or was that a hoax?  Did the Twin Towers in New York come tumbling down from the crash of aircraft or was it detonated from below?  How much can be proven and how much must we take with an element of faith?  How much does logic play in our acceptance? 
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  It gets to a point where one begins to question what they think they know.  The only thing we can know for sure is what we personally experience.  It doesn’t mean we can convince others of that knowledge and there comes a time when one doesn’t even bother to try.
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