A Call for Cooler Heads

Posted Monday, September 21, 2009, at 1:54 PM
View 24 comments
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  • nice post mike. maybe i will continue to read your blog for a while. i hope you can maintain the integrity. and if you didnt already suspect, i am probably as far right as you are left. i will respect you pov as long as i think you are respecting mine. and if i dont understand your point, i will challenge or ask for clarification.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 2:41 PM
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    That's all I ask doodle bug. In the future it is a great idea to challenge or clarify someone's position, but do it respectfully.

    I believe that is what caused, maybe not a majority, but a lot of the tension last go around.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 2:57 PM
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    We'll see how long it lasts, unfortunately I don't have high hopes. When people give up on working together I really don't see how we can achieve.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 3:38 PM
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    That is a point we will continue to disagree steff. Are abortion and waterboarding the only two important aspects of your life? I don't see why people from both sides only seem to want to cry, scream, or point fingers. If you are Conservative are you not about individual rights? Or are you only for the rights you think people should have? I fail to understand the belief that many people seem to have that only THEY have the right to be the arbiter of rights and justice. Because of statements like that we give up the ability to achieve. So Obama is elected and signs an executive order to fund abortions throughout the world, which contradicts the executive order Bush signed. What has been achieved? Eventually another Republican will be elected and the process will continue.

    Sure there are areas in which it is difficult to see a middle ground, nothing worth achieving is done easily. Is it necessary to exclude all differing ideas and refuse to attempt to work together because it might be hard?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 5:06 PM
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    While I will encourage the free exchange of ideas, I will not condone or encourage deliberately flaming in order to get a reaction out of people. Steff, I appreciate your differing opinion, but I do not appreciate the way you have gone in presenting that opinion. Calling someone from another culture a derogatory word, simply because you don't like them is inexcusable. Making fun of someone's lisp by twisting their name is inexcusable.

    Though your comment was on topic it violates the terms of mccookgazette.com (which you agreed to when you created an account) and therefore I have flagged your comment.

    I am serious about policing my blogs. As I was told, (paraphrasing) if it is something I would not allow my 15 and 16 yr olds to get away with saying, it's something I'm not going to allow adults to say on my blog.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 5:14 PM
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    Welcome back Michael, and thanks for the kind words. Good luck... you are walking a fine line trying to police comments, and no doubt censorship will soon become a hot topic around here.

    -- Posted by Brian Hoag on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 5:26 PM
  • The fact of the matter is that Americans have never been all that civil in political discussions. The idea that what we see today is somehow an unprecedented shift away from our "previous attitude of civility" or that we're "losing our civility" is completely manufactured.

    We disagree with a tax and we vandalize property in the form of tea, we disagree about slavery and we're the country that starts a very bloody war over it while the rest of the world uses diplomacy, we have concerns about spies so we build isolationist camps to shuffle people into, we disagree with a war so we dodge the draft in clear violation of the law (we are a nation of laws, after all), we don't like the way someone campaigns so we call them "stupid" (it's the economy, stupid), we're disappointed about a President's personal indescretions and redefine a person's last name (Lewinsky), we don't like a President so we paint devil's horns on him on a background of fire and make a movie about him being assassinated and now, we don't like a President so we call him a "liar" except this time he's presented as a witch doctor or the Joker. Things haven't really changed all that much, people.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 5:42 PM
  • Perhaps this is not the way to settle things down, but, what is wrong with having a Liberal Blog, and a Conservative Blog? Yep, only those of conservative ilk talk 'into the wind' about what they wish to address to the world, and vice-versa for the Liberal folk. Of course we could hope that our fellow citizens from the opposing viewpoint would read our posts, to see where the opposition is residing, but comments must be posted about 'only' the subject as if the author thought of it, with no commentary as to the actual subject author,,,,over yonder.

    Face it folks, when we post our knowledge, feeling or prejudice's, we do so for the world to see, not (I pray) to pat ourself on the back, or show another as a fool.

    I would enjoy reading both, and even participating every so often. The last months, even when I wanted to comment, I backed away much more than participated. Just a thought, for harmony sake.

    Arley Steinhour

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 7:37 PM
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    Since it has been brought up, if a comment you post is taken off the site it is not a violation of your freedom of speech. The freedom of speech clause in the constitution is meant to protect your right to speech from the government.

    A blog on mccookgazette.com and comments following it does not fall under that protection. If you read the Terms of Service, and you should have, since you agreed to them when you created an account, you will see in black and white what will happen if you violate those terms.

    You can call it censorship if wish, but that's not what is at issue here. What is at issue is that for the most part people want to come on here and debate politics, but certain people just want to come on here and inflame the discussion, to twist the discussion away to something completely different.

    This is my blog, I am responsible for it. Because of that if I feel a comment is stepping over the line, liberal or conservative or moderate I will give a warning, if that warning is ignored and the person continues to go over the line, I will flag the comment and the user.

    As I said in my original blog, if you want to say something and you don't feel that you are getting to say it, start your own blog on this site and say it.

    Now let's please get back on topic. The original intention of this blog was an attempt to draw us closer, to have real debate on this website. If you don't feel that you can have an honest debate and can only throw verbal bombs at people, please do not post.

    I will not comment on this further. I am doing my best to keep the dialog civil, if all you want to do is cause havoc, your comments will be flagged.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 9:12 PM
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    Navyblue, you and I don't agree on much as has been noted quite often on this site. We do however, have a liberal blogger (myself) and a conservative blogger (Sam, if he chooses to return and if he doesn't I do hope someone steps into his slot).

    I do whole heartedly agree with your post and also agree in the hope that people are posting in order to debate ideas and simply get a zinger in so they can pat themselves on the back.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 9:15 PM
  • boring(!)

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 10:03 PM
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    Sceptre, can you point to any facts to back up your claim that history written over the last 30 years is revisionist and politically tainted by liberal/marxist?

    In my experience studying history the only things that can be spun is war, depending on if you are on the winning side or the losing side, which you make reference to.

    But, if as you quoted, "History is the propaganda of the the victors" Then your statements are contradictory. Over the last 35 years how many truly liberal leaderships have we had? We've only had three Democratic presidents and both Clinton and Carter were centrists and Obama is only slightly liberal in certain areas. True Marxism never saw any wins over the last 90 years as the brand of Socialism that permeated throughout the world didn't even come close to Marx's vision.

    So how can liberals/marxist revise history if they have to win to do so?

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 10:49 PM
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    I taught American History last year and still have the book and I honestly would like to know where the revision takes place and who of the founding fathers has been castigated and dishonored.

    As for the last 35 years, in the American History book that I taught out of that entire portion of history is dedicated the Conservative push that occurred in this country.

    When you look at history there have been few written histories by conservative authors in the United States. It isn't because they haven't been allowed, there just hasn't been that many conservative history authors. Does that lead to an inevitable spin towards the left? Of course, but it doesn't necessarily lead to revision of history. Good historians only look at facts and the written, oral, or recorded history from the time to write their history.

    Those that offer opinions on what happened in a certain time period are not historians, they are political scientists.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 11:07 PM
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    I do understand that I am walking a fine line between policing and censorship. It is a very fine line. that is why I am only reserving flagging for those who utterly violate the terms as laid out by the staff of McCook Gazette. Also, as I am trying my hardest to bring back civility to political discourse, I will also flag comments where someone is simply using their post to call other people some slanderous name. On the internet it is considered flaming, in the court of law it is considered bullying.

    My hope is that as this goes on, those who get on this site just to flame another poster will be ignored. The most powerful weapon against a bully is ignoring, they soon get tired of trying to get someone to react to them and that person doesn't.

    My hope is that this blog becomes a political dialogue, where all of us, no matter what our ideologies are can come here and discuss civilly our feelings and thoughts without resorting to the namecalling and yelling that is so rampant in American politics today.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 11:48 PM
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    It is interesting to note, to carry on a thread that McCook1 brought up that during the First World War, dissidents of the war were locked up for publicly speaking out against the war or the president, thanks to the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    Most of those put in jail were liberals and socialists. They were locked up under the supervision of someone in their own party, Woodrow Wilson.

    Every 20-30 years we have essentially an uprising in America from one political ideology or another and the country becomes deeply divided on those lines. It's nothing new, and the country always survives. We will survive this as we always have.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 21, 2009, at 11:54 PM
  • Glad to see some folks haven't lost their sense of humor.

    Would suggest the reference be to "OUR" Constitution, rather than "MY" Constitution.

    Remembering one simple reality, this Constitutional Republic, a "Representative Democracy" belongs to EVERY citizen.

    As to the writing of history, someone has said, "The victors get to write history, the losers get to suffer the results."

    Find an American History Text Book in New England which details all the viewpoints of the Confederate States leaders prior to and during the First Industrial War, The War Between the States, The Civil War, The War of Yankee Invasion.

    Find an American History Text which reports the true story of the Southwest Apache Wars or Geronimo's Defense of Historic Apache Lands.

    $100,000,000 in late 19th Century money (Possibly $2-to-$5-Trillion in 2009 bucks)cost to the U.S. government, 100,000 U.S. Army officers and enlisted men involved during 25 years, 2,500 lives lost on the "white man's" side -- only with a high percentage of those being "Buffalo Soldiers" who themselves were fighting for a government/country which regarded them as less than human -- Against an Apache Medicine Man who never had more than 25-30 Warriors/Soldiers (with many of them in their early teens.)

    The Army was essentially worthless in stopping Geronimo for 25 years, finally "winning" by violating a flag of truce for peace talks, imprisoning the Apache chiefs and shipping them to Florida.

    Rare mention of those chiefs joining the rest of their band outside Fort Sill, Indian Territory, with Geronimo becoming a highly successful businessman.

    Just don't expect to read about the real story of the Apache Wars in any Anglo History Texts.

    Don't expect to read about the great inter-tribal gathering of Southern Plains tribes at Bent's Fort, where a single band stopped to assist white settlers in a wagon train suffering from cholera and carried the disease to the inter-tribal gathering.

    That one effort of kindness resulted in near total wiping out of Southern Plains tribes.

    Don't expect to read it in the "Victor's" textbooks.

    Expect to read of the glory of the U.S. Army.

    Expect to read of the glory of Custer, not about Custer leading a massacre on the Washita, wiping out an entire village of women, children and elders.

    The English Crown and the Imperial Forces decimated entire nations seeking profit.

    i.e. -- Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, India, all Persian Gulf Regions, Egypt, much of the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, etc., etc.

    Don't expect to read in English Textbooks of the Clearing of the Highlands for wool production, or of the gentle treatment of the Irish or enslavement of people world wide.

    Expect to read of English nobility in carrying Anglo civilization world wide.

    History is written by the victors--and survivors.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 3:37 AM
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    As much as I have enjoyed this discussion, and it has given me fodder for a blog, we have gotten way off topic on this thread and I must ask that we find our way back to the original topic of the blog. Good information, though, guys.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 5:45 AM
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    You are absolutely correct Guillermo. While I am under no pressure from the Gazette to take responsibility of what happens on my blog, I did get jumpy with this portion of the thread.

    I apologize to you, Sceptre, and HerndonHank for attempting to cut off what was a very good dialogue on the differences of views on history.

    You are also correct in that with this particular blog I was pretty much all over the place on topics. I am reminded to read my own blog before trying to determine if a particular thread has gotten off topic.

    In the future, when I blog I will try to keep it down to one topic. This is a new thing for all of us, and there will be hiccups along the way. I just ask from all you, a little patience, while we all adjust.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 10:08 AM
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    I would agree with you to a certain extent on racism, Sceptre. For many people simply throwing out the "You're a racist" bomb is all they have.

    Do I personally believe that racism (as President Carter said, paraphrasing) is a key element to the opposition to Obama right now? Yes and no. While I do believe that there is a very small minority (5% might be too liberal) of people that are voicing dissent against Obama because he is a black man, I also believe that most of those that are opposing Obama have a legitimate concern or even fear about what is occurring in the government. But those people are being overshouted by the people that are dissenting just because (and they do seemingly come up with a new reason every 2 to 4 days).

    Having said all that, President Obama, has even tried to quell the racism charge when he went on David Letterman and informed everyone that he was black before the election. The point obviously being, if being black before the election wasn't a problem, it isn't now.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 12:30 PM
  • Iggy,

    First, there is no way any legitimate scientist can extrapolate the genetic information from fish, dogs, horses etc and relate that to the different races in humans. Time and time again, proof in the skin color variations goes back to the geographical locations on Earth. Those that live in the tropics tend to have darker skin. As you move further away, either north or south, the skin lightens. We are all of the same race.

    Or maybe I'm just closed minded.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 4:05 PM
  • Being southwestern born and bred,with a father who remembered vividly the "trumped up' Tulsa Race Riots about 1920/21 and personally remembering almost daily newspaper accounts of lynchings, draggings, burnings, etc. in the Deep and Not-So-Deep South in the late 30s and early 40s.

    At Tulsa, the reason for those riots rested in Downtown Tulsa merchants who were determined to stop the powerful competition from black merchants in the Greenwood area, at that time the strongest black business community in the nation, even stronger than Durham, NC's powerhouse black businesses.

    What made the intended purpose less than successful was a strong body of returned WWII black combat soldiers, who could and would shoot.

    The sheriff's department had a black deputy who lived in Greenwood, who deputized every armed man to stand off the torch-carrying mob of "pool hall bums' marching up the hill from First Street.

    We had Combat Wounded and Decorated servicemen who were openly attacked by racists when they returned from WWII and even Korea.

    The same bigots tried to burn out a group of displaced European Catholic Priests near Tulsa, who had spent years in Nazi concentration camps.

    Average farmers, ranches and businessmen mounted armed patrols around that make-shift monastery to protect those priests. Lutherans,Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, Brethern and men of other denominations stood their ground. The priest stayed, eventually being assigned to parishes around the nation and world.

    I have experienced racism and bigotry for nearly 80 years.

    My sons experienced reverse racism in a small town where they were in a 10% Anglo minority.

    Working and traveling in the South and Mid-South since 2004 and working several years in Virginia in the 1960s, I cannot accept that Racial Hatred for African-Americans is limited to maybe 5% of all U.S. White people.

    Maybe in western Nebraska,out on the High Plains, where human decency is in huge supply.

    But not in much of the South and not in the Great Lakes Region, Mid-Atlantic and New England.

    In 1956, it took a couple hundred white southern college students to stop blatant racism from a Northern Illinois plant's management where we were working during a six week summer canning corn harvest season.

    The tragedy is that a total moderate/centrist president, who started soliciting advice from the best professionals and recognized authorities nationally and internationally -- is being attacked constantly with clearly false charges.

    Prior to Pres. Obama, the best single black statesman and potential national leader was Dr. Ralph Bunche, U.N.Ambassador, etc.

    In contrast, only Presidents Clinton, Carter,Ford and Nixon had advanced degrees, after Woodrow Wilson.

    Each had clear flaws. Carter's was his inability to delegate, having to research every issue and make the decisions with little input. Nixon, near paranoia which resulted in the series of events which overshadowed his achievements. Clinton, with the obvious flaw, which will haunt him and his legacy for all history, totally overshadowing his record. Jerry Ford, into the White House through the back door, then shouldering the burden left from Nixon.

    Ford may have been the best overall of all presidents within the second half of the 200th century.

    Clearly LBJ left the deepest tracks.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 4:17 PM
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    All I've got to say guys, is that since Guillermo took me to task (something I'm glad he did) about the multiple subjects in my posts you all have taken the ball and ran with it and the dialogue has been differing, but accepting, and for the most part, civil.

    Keep it up.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 9:14 PM
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    In a perfect world I completely agree with you Sceptre. Bottom line, is we are all ONE race and that race is human being. It doesn't matter if you are European, Asian, or African.

    Unfortunately that's not how our society has been, ever. We have been programmed (very unfortunately) to see color everywhere we look. A read a book recently that recounted the story of man in the late 1800s who had a black mother and white father, but looking at him you couldn't tell. He was very intelligent for that time period and became a lawyer, but he was faced with a decision. Would he present himself as a black man or a white man (and he could have passed easily as a white man). He ultimately decided to present himself as a black man and was absolutely vilified.

    And let's be honest, whether we like it or not, there will always be people who see and hate other people solely based on the color of their skin. There are people that see and assume other people as criminals and the worst of society, solely based on skin color. Are they a majority? No. Are they loud? Extremely.

    The job, ultimately, for the rest of us who refuse to see skin color, is how do we negate that loud, vocal minority of people that just won't go away.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 6:46 AM
  • Sceptre,

    You have just proven that you can write constructive, positive material.

    Tragically, an unknowing mixed-race man committed suicide because a grandparent or great grandparent decided to "pass" when it permitted entry into the upper-caste white man's world, rather than being left in the inhumanity of the "colored" world.

    I can remember when I was doing homework outside the board meeting room of our local co-op my father served as board president for 42 years.

    A candidate for General Manager was being interviewed and having heard several interviews during earlier Tuesday night meetings, it was obvious the entire board was seriously impressed by this man.

    Then, the prospective G.M. informed them that there was one issue which had to be dealt with.

    "My father started passing as white to enlist in the Army in 1918. The family has been regarded as white since.

    "But I know, I am about 1/16th colored. If that makes a difference, you should know now before making any decision."

    He left and my father polled the directors.

    This was in 1949, with Jim Crow and Segregation in full effect in all of the South and Southwest and in rural areas of other regions.

    Without exception, those farmers and ranchers living solidly in a Jim Crow state, declared they wanted to hire the man on his abilities, obvious integrity and proven people skills.

    Several years later, a man moved to town who knew that family history and sought to make trouble.

    Main street merchants, political leaders and the co-op membership laughed the bigot out of town.

    This was several years after I had to thrash a bigoted uncle in front of the entire family for attempting to physically throw me off my home place, because I arrived on furlough with a black soldier in uniform, who was my friend.

    Only when fair-minded people, judging on content of character and not color of skin, stand up to support their true feelings -- will racial intolerance be eliminated from any human society.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 3:30 PM
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