Grand Old Tinfoil Hat Party — really?


According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 23.9% of American adults are Catholics.  That translates to 68.5 million Americans, approximately

The GOP race seems to have come down to a Mormon and two Catholics.

How can it be that they got the two craziest Catholics in America to run for the GOP nomination? Surely they do not represent the best we could find among Catholics.

Did you see Rick Santorum yesterday, or today on Face the Nation?  What makes him feel free to be that ill-informed and crazy?  (No, the federal government does not run education in America.)

If we still made tinfoil hats in America, the economy would be booming, from either Santorum’s camp or Gingrich’s camp.

Update:  Video from CBS is now available.  Bask in the insanity:

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73 Responses to Grand Old Tinfoil Hat Party — really?

  1. lowerleavell says:

    James, I will only respond to a couple items which you have brought up before and I have failed to respond.

    One thought: You didn’t answer my question. Did the Apostle Paul lie?

    With lighting you are left asking, “What caused the lighting?” Why? Because lighting is both a cause and an effect. Your proposition is that whatever caused the universe is itself a proximate cause? This still begs the question, what caused the proximate cause? Ultimately, you have either an infinite regress of causes and effects or you have an ultimate first cause that itself is not an effect. Saying that the 100th domino is the cause of the collapse of the 101st domino does not tell us who or what started the chain toppling.

    Lighting is not causing anything to be living either. You are correctly using cause and effect to demonstrate that an unliving cause creates an unliving effect. When you can demonstrate how something that is not alive can randomly cause molecules bumping into each other to live, then we’ll talk. Never mind even asking where those molecules came from…

    Like lighting is not alive, to say that the first cause did not have to be living is to 1) deny bio-genesis and 2) that matter is eternal (dominos have been eternally toppling with an infinite regress). It’s not logical or scientific.

    So what caused the first cause? If it is not an effect than it does not need a cause, thus an eternal being. No cause for an intelligent designer is necessary.It’s either that or an infinite regress of big bangs, which still begs the question, “what started it all?”

    Secondly, you asked about the can of worms. One, I believe more has been done to suppress ID because of this motivation than any other. It is a legitimate fear. Yet, because of fear of crossing the line of religious belief, the pendulum has swung too far to the other extreme of actually denying existing evidence. If science says that there needs to be an ID, then kids SHOULD question the ID’s identity. Yet a teacher merely needs to inform the children that the ID’s identity is outside the realms of a scientific classroom. If a child had questions about Mormonism, a teacher would already adequately deflect this question to the appropriate people, no? I believe the same could be done in this case as well.

    OK, I’m really done now. I just know you’ve posed those questions before and I never got a chance to answer them, so I felt the need to do so.

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  2. Joe writes:
    Beyond this, I have yet to see a good scientific argument on how a Living Intelligent Being could not have caused something else to live and be intelligent. Cause and effect and biogenesis are the scientific norm and make ID scientifically plausible, if not necessary. It is abiogenesis that is not scientific or observable.

    And yet you can’t scientifically prove that “cause and effect’ requires an “intelligent designer.” After all..lightning is not an “intelligent designer” and yet it can cause fires.

    By the way..it’s up to you IDer’s to find a good scientific argument for a Intelligent Designer. Since you never do…well..sucks to be you.

    And you know the can of worms that would be opened once you stuck “It was caused by an Designer” into a science class. Do you honestly think that 1: the kids won’t ask who that Designer was and 2: that evangelical Christian teachers won’t answer “God” or be forced to by their bosses? You’re not that stupid, Joe. Then there is the fact that kids who are atheists won’t believe in any such designer and you’re attempting to use the government to tell them otherwise. Sorry, the only way for science, the schools and the government to stay neutral and respect everyone’s rights is to not engage in this fantasy of yours that ID is science.

    Joe writes:
    James, not many Republicans would agree with that pastor. Even if they did, I personally would disagree with them. James, instead of having a conversation with me as an individual, you have tried to have a conversation with the entire Republican party as a whole.

    And yet..the ones who agree with him aren’t actually the ones I’m having an issue with…….IT’S THE ONES WHO SIT THERE QUIET AND DON’T CONDEMN HIM. I’d have less of a problem with that “preacher” and his ilk if you and the others would get off your fat lazy asses and tell them to go to hell.

    And yes I have a problem with the Republican party as a whole. Because, the Republican party as a whole is made up largely of a bunch of crazy right wing lunatics who 1: don’t understand whats best for the country 2: don’t care whats best for the country 3: want to turn the country into a Christian Afghanistan, 4: want to screw over..well everyone by tossing medicare and social security out the window, 5: hate anything passing for intelligence, 6: have convinced themselves that the liberals are enemies of God and 7: are perfectly willing to let pirates like Mitt Romney rape and pillage everyone while 8: they live in a right wing fantasy land bubble in which, somehow Leave it To Beaver and Mayberry are real. 9: Oh and that invading Iran will somehow be easier and cheaper then the Iraq war was.

    That describes the ones in power of the Republican party. Then the rest, like you and my dad, are simply too damn lazy to stand up to the first group, tell them to shut up and sit down and take your party back from the stupid crazies. Because somehow you’ve bought into this notion that the Republicans must have power no matter the damn cost.

    Sorry, some things are not worth the cost. And right now the cost that would be inflicted on the country if your party gets control again is simply too high to pay. This fascination your party has with Ayn Rand and this fake “I was and am completely self-reliant” is nothing short of a horror show.

    So until the Republican party goes back to the party it was pre-Reagan then really..the problem is the Republican party. If it doesn’t want to go back to being sane and center right..then the country would be better off if the Republican party died.

    Sorry, I’m not going to pretend that my problem with Republicans is an individual thing alone when really…my problem, in no small part, is with the Republican party in total. So until you and the other supposedly sane Republicans get off your fat asses and take your party back from the crazies..then don’t kvetch when you get lumped in with them.

    Because from where I sit, Joe, that your party doesn’t condemn that preacher is really quite a bit like how most germans never condemned Hitler. turning a blind eye to evil does not make that evil go away.

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  3. lowerleavell says:

    This is another post I wish I didn’t have to abandon for sake of time, but I must.

    James, not many Republicans would agree with that pastor. Even if they did, I personally would disagree with them. James, instead of having a conversation with me as an individual, you have tried to have a conversation with the entire Republican party as a whole. You have a vendetta because of some seeming past hurts or failures on the Republican “side” and seem to be out seeking vengeance on all those who put an ‘R’ on their voter registration. Yet many of us are ‘R’, not because we have any real love for the Republican party but only because we believe that the Democrat party and direction is a far worse bet! I see many evils on both sides of the aisle. Yet it is the Republicans who are most seemingly willing to leave me and my family alone, leave me with the most amount of money I earn in my pocket, not bankrupt our country, stand up for values that I believe in (like the sanctity of human life), and let me lead the life that I choose apart from interference. To say I am a “party man” is a mistake at best, offensive at worst.

    Personally, I would love to see this be a “nation full of Christians”, not a “Christian nation.” Not just Christians by “culture” but Christians by conviction, character, and conduct. Not Christian by religious fiat, but Christians because they have been convinced in their hearts that Jesus is the only Savior for their sin and rebellion against God. A nation who knows how to love God and love their neighbor as themselves. A nation of Christians (like during our founding) would be loving and gracious towards those who are opposed to the message of the cross and give them a safe haven to worship while they see the message of love, peaceably demonstrated before their eyes . Those who refuse to love their enemies (whether political or spiritual) are actually hurting the cause of Christ rather than help. A nation of full of genuine followers of Jesus is much more powerful than a “Christian nation” any day! At one time, we were a nation full of Christians. Those days have passed. Statistics of those claiming the label “Christian” will not convince me otherwise. I can claim to be a fish but unless I grow some gills I have empty words. People can claim to be Christians all they want, but unless they strive towards lovinb God and loving one another (not perfectly this side of heaven), they are left with hollow words.

    If the middle ages should have taught us anything it should be that you cannot legislate a belief system. This is why I am for the education of various beliefs rather than mandating them while pretending nothing else exists (which is what teaching abiogenesis to the exclusion of ID does).

    Beyond this, I have yet to see a good scientific argument on how a Living Intelligent Being could not have caused something else to live and be intelligent. Cause and effect and biogenesis are the scientific norm and make ID scientifically plausible, if not necessary. It is abiogenesis that is not scientific or observable.

    I concur that it would be religious in nature to suggest that the Cause is the God of the Bible (as the Creation account is supernatural in scope as it was caused by a Supernatural being outside of the bounds of nature) and so I am against teaching Creationism in school. There is a place for faith for the believer of God – yet it is a reasonable faith that is not apart from science or logic. Yet even Paul said that God’s eternal power and Godhead are visibly evidenced in creation so that people are left without an excuse to His existence (Romans 1:19-23). Is Paul wrong? Worse, did he lie? Is there no evidence for God’s existence within the universe?

    Paul’s point, and I agree, is that it not religious in nature to look inside the box and say that the box (universe) must have originated from something exterior to itself. The universe must have been created by someone who is eternal (without a cause), living, intelligent, and someone who is powerful (greater than the effect). That much can be gleaned from natural science about God’s existence. If the evidence leads us to suggest that there is a Cause, then we should not turned a blind eye to that fact for sake of offending someone as it is science and not religious. Unless you can provide some real, scientific, tangible data that suggest that cause and effect are illusions and that biogenesis is unscientific, I suggest you show those of us who follow actual science (like the Apostle Paul) a little bit more courtesy.

    With that statement, I’m out for the foreseeable future. I’ll leave you with the last word.

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  4. Joe, this quote pretty much explains the entirety of my objection to you and your fellow conservatives trying to stick religion where it doesn’t belong:

    “I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation…There is only one God and his name is Jesus. I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words.. Listen to me, If you don’t love America, If you don’t like the way we do things I have one thing to say – GET OUT. We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammad, we don’t worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God’s son Jesus Christ.” -Reverend Terry

    And not one Republican has called the “Reverend” out on his bulldrek. And Rick Santorum merrily clapped for him as he said it.

    Your party simply can’t keep itself from treating God, Jesus and Christianity as political props…as prostitutes to be sold. Your party simply can’t help itself from making Christianity look bad.

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  5. Joe, if you want to maintain this fiction that ID is science..then provide the links to the reputable peer reviewed scientific journals in which ID has been proven…..

    But don’t worry..I won’t be holding my breath.

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  6. Joe writes:
    Two, being a socialist is a far cry from being labeled part of a “Christian Taliban.” Socialists are not trying to pick up guns and kill Americans, they’re trying to take guns away

    First off, the Taliban did not pick up guns and try to kill us until we invaded Afghanistan. Don’t confuse the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Secondly, I can’t help it if your rampant desire to force your religious beliefs down my kids throats using the government reminds me of the what the Taliban did..using the government to force their religious beliefs on others. That the only schools allowed were religious madrassas teaching religious beliefs. And ID is nothing but a religious belief…it is Creationism by another name.

    It is not the job of the government to prop up your religious beliefs. It is not the job of the public schools to teach your religious beliefs. And, again, nothing you say makes ID anything other then a religious belief….your desire to believe in Creationism under another name.

    Secondly, no Democrat is a socialist. You misuse the term “socialism”..you simply don’t understand what actual socialism is.

    But hey..I can start calling you and every other Republican fascist if you prefer….

    The point is, Joe, you are a bloody hypocrite. You never once got after your little allies for namecalling but when I do it to you you whine like a 5 year old girl.

    Put up or shut up.

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  7. Joe writes:
    Of course ID is held by religious people. So is cause and effect, the laws of gravity, the laws of entropy, kinetic energy, etc. Are these things religious as well?

    ID is only a religious belief. It is entirely religious in nature. There is no science to it. You can’t say the same about the other things you listed…they are not religious in nature.

    ID is a religious belief…it is only held by conservative evangelical Christians. Nothing you say makes it science. It assumes there is a Designer without proof or evidence and assumes that “Designer” is God. Oh and before you argue that last..again..ID is only supported by evangelical Christians. Who do you think they’re referring to? Puff the Magic Dragon?

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  8. Joe writes:
    And I did not say that ID should be forced. I said it should be allowed. Something quite different, no?

    Which as students are required to be in school and attend classes..it would be forced.

    It’s the same reason that organized school prayer isn’t allowed, Joe.

    ID is nothing more then a religious belief. Putting it in the public schools is forcing that religious belief down kids throats.

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  9. Lower writes:
    Can an effect exist without a cause, scientifically? If an effect exists, then by default, does not a cause exist? How can you have an effect without a cause?

    Boy did my point go flying right over your head. Lightning can cause a fire. Does that mean that Lightning is an “intelligent designer”?

    You assume that the “cause” has to be some “Intelligent Designer.” There is no evidence to support that assumption. All “Intelligent Designer” is is a backdoor way of saying “God” because we both know that the evangelical religious mouthbreathers that run your party would never allow any “Designer” but the Christian deity to be mentioned.

    If you can’t scientifically prove that there is a “Designer” much less an “intelligent” one then ID is not science.

    Lower writes:
    If the data points to the need for an intelligent designer, how is that religious and not scientific? To define that ID as the God of the Bible is religious and philosophical, but to say that this effect (universe) shows design and needs a cause for this design is not religious but honest, IMHO.

    The data doesn’t point to the need. There is no evidence that points to the need for an “Intelligent Designer” and something doesn’t have to be caused by something that is 1: intelligent or 2: even alive. You assume there is one because that’s what you want to believe. And again..we both know that the Discovery Institute and all the other proponents of “ID” are referring to God. Or did you not happen to notice that noone supports ID except for conservative evangelical Christians? It doesn’t strike you as odd that the same exact groups that support Creationism are the same exact groups that support Intelligent Design?

    And again..as ID is not science..as it is religious belief it is not an “alternative explanation” to abiogenesis and does not belong in science class. Nothing about ID has ever been scientificially tested, proven or put up for peer review.

    IDers want us to accept that ID is science not because they’ve done anything to prove it…but because they SAY it is. Sorry, that is not how science works.

    And the second you stick “Intelligent Design” in classes some student is going to ask “Who is the Designer?”

    Are you going to be blind enough to make me explain the sheer number of pitfalls that question creates?

    Sorry, the Wisconsin Supreme Court was absolutely right when it said, and I quote: “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights. malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed.”

    Nothing you say, Joe, nothing you argue will make ID anything other then religious belief. Nothing you say, nothing you argue will gain ID a place in classrooms in public schools.

    It is time you quit letting your faith be so pathetically weak that you’re scared to death of scientific theories merely because they don’t tell you that God did something. Your faith in God is so weak that it’s making you conjure only smoke and mirrors.

    Quit sticking religious belief where it doesn’t belong.

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  10. lowerleavell says:

    James said, “And don’t blather about “cause” and “effect” because to prove cause and effect you not only have to prove the effect to exist…you have to prove that the cause exists. Can you scientifically prove that this “Designer” exists? No. You assume that the “Designer” exists and sorry that isn’t science.”

    Can an effect exist without a cause, scientifically? If an effect exists, then by default, does not a cause exist? How can you have an effect without a cause?

    If the data points to the need for an intelligent designer, how is that religious and not scientific? To define that ID as the God of the Bible is religious and philosophical, but to say that this effect (universe) shows design and needs a cause for this design is not religious but honest, IMHO.

    So put the two propositions side by side for students. One, abiogenesis, and two, ID. Put cause and effect on one side and effect with no cause on the other side and let students decide for themselves which viewpoint makes the most sense scientifically and logically. Let them come to their own conclusions without stacking the deck against even the remotest possibility that all things living originated from something Living rather than particles bumping into each other randomly. Shoot, we can’t even seem to desire to allow this on university campuses, let alone in high-schools!

    Of course ID is held by religious people. So is cause and effect, the laws of gravity, the laws of entropy, kinetic energy, etc. Are these things religious as well?

    The problem is that if there is a Designer, we open a large can of worms on what or who that Designer is. That, my friend, is the realm of religion, philosophy, and logic, not science. I completely would agree with you there.

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  11. lowerleavell says:

    Joe writes:
    It is on the relational skill of being a peacemaker from a Biblical perspective. It should be mandatory reading if someone is elected (or better yet decides to run) for office.

    James retorts, “And you objected to me referring to your desire to force ID into the public schools as being of the same mindset as the Taliban for what reason again?”

    Oh man, you’ve got to lighten up Dude! :-) Can you image forcing people to read about peacemaking? lol It’s a great book, to be sure, but understand that I’m a sarcastic blogger. I know that I am too subtle sometimes, but you took me too seriously on this one. I’m not advocating forcing people to be peacemakers, but I am voicing a passing wish that more people (especially those who are entering the arena of voicing ideas and opinions, and especially those who pass our laws) would possess some relational and character skills and be committed to being peacemakers.

    And I did not say that ID should be forced. I said it should be allowed. Something quite different, no?

    If anyone is forcing something that people reject on religious grounds, it is those who are forcing people to spend their own money on things that they object to both conscientiously and religiously, like birth control and abortifacients. No choice is given. It is mandated. How come you aren’t labeling the Obama administration as the “Secular Taliban”? (I would actually be in the weird place of defending Obama if you did, but you aren’t being consistent here.)

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  12. lowerleavell says:

    Just a few minutes to clarify…again.

    James said, “And yet Joe every time they have done such things you have been silent as a church mouse. Sorry, if you’re going to take that position with Ed and then chide me for saying that wanting ID in the public schools is what the Taliban would want then you probably shouldn’t be silent as a church mouse when Morgan goes off on one of his “Democrats are socialists!” screeds.”

    One, it’s not my blog. If Ed certainly does not have time to police his own blog, how do I? I am someone who comments on Ed’s blog, nothing more.

    Two, being a socialist is a far cry from being labeled part of a “Christian Taliban.” Socialists are not trying to pick up guns and kill Americans, they’re trying to take guns away. :-) I can co-exist with socialists but we are fighting a war with real bullets against a Taliban who advocates blowing up our buildings and killing our civilians. Comparison of the two is apples and oranges.

    According to dictionary.com, socialism is, “A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” I personally believe that this is a legitimate concern to ask whether or not the advocacy of state controlled healthcare is socialistic in nature. Buying companies and selling them for profit or a loss is socialistic, is it not? “Spreading the wealth around” is by definition, socialistic, is it not? If socialism is being advocated, then it would be disingenuous not to label it as such.

    For example, Ron Paul is a Libertarian. For him to run on the Republican ticket is deceptive, in my opinion. But he knows he cannot win anything on a Libertarian ticket and so goes within the two party system. No one will win an election on a Socialist ticket. Yet on a Democrat ticket they have a shot. These two far right and far left extremes are highjacking our two parties and beginning to define them. So, instead of defending conservative values, I find myself being attacked for Libertarian views that I do not agree with because these Libertarians are doing it under the label “Republican.” Just a few years back, I was having to combat socialistic tendencies in the Republican party. Bush was certainly not a fiscal conservative by any stretch! For you, instead of defending Democratic viewpoints, you are now having to defend Socialistic viewpoints that you may or may not agree with because Democrats are the ones doing them. Gone is the Democrat party of the Blue Dog’s of Webb and Lieberman. Make sense? These poles are getting farther and farther apart. The Republicans are being taken over by a group that will do practically ANYTHING to cut spending, even if it means doing it in a socially destructive manner that will do more harm than good. These bridges between the parties will never be rebuilt again if we don’t do something about it fast.

    Three, sometimes character transcends party affiliation and into the realm of human nature. Republicans can go too far at times to retaliate and play by the same rules as Democrats. And Democrats respond by playing by the same rules as the Republicans. Who started it? I think it was Adam did when he blamed Eve for eating the fruit and it’s been going on since. So who should stop the cycle? I would think it would be the one who is most mature. If the cycle never stops, what does that say about both parties and about human nature in general?

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  13. TO quote myself:
    Then you should have absolutely no problem in condemning Morgan and any other conservative here who has done such things.

    And yet Joe every time they have done such things you have been silent as a church mouse. Sorry, if you’re going to take that position with Ed and then chide me for saying that wanting ID in the public schools is what the Taliban would want then you probably shouldn’t be silent as a church mouse when Morgan goes off on one of his “Democrats are socialists!” screeds.

    Oh and in case you’re wondering…I’m going to continue hammering that point home with you until you bother to have the intellectual honesty to admit that you were wrong to stay silent when Morgan and the others were doing that in the past.

    Play time is now over.

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  14. Hell you and your fellow IDers won’t even try and prove your precious claim that ID is science in any respected scientific journal. You IDers never put ID up for peer review.

    You want it taken as science because you say so..not because you can prove it. You want a shortcut….your side wants to cheat.

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  15. Joe writes:
    It is on the relational skill of being a peacemaker from a Biblical perspective. It should be mandatory reading if someone is elected (or better yet decides to run) for office.

    And you objected to me referring to your desire to force ID into the public schools as being of the same mindset as the Taliban for what reason again?

    Joe writes:
    “bucks from a comedian who makes Limbaugh look like a priest! ”

    You obviously never have watched Bill Maher because Bill Maher is the priest compared to Limbaugh. Don’t pull that asinine false equivalancy thing to defend Limbaugh, it don’t work. Every Republican in office bows to Limbaugh, they are scared to death of pissing him off. And when they do they get down on their knees and grovel for forgiveness. Hell the Republicans in Congress honored Limbaugh at a ceremony. Limbaugh is the voice/mouthpiece and defacto leader of the GOP. None of that can be said about Bill Maher.

    Gee..I wonder how much money Dennis Miller has given to the GOP and how many times has he blatantly insulted Democrats on Fox….

    To quote:
    “Ed said, “Ignore the posts you want to ignore. Yeah, I don’t like the constant claims that I’m part of the Taliban, that I’m a communist AND a Nazi, that I favor sexual libertinism, that I’m a crypto-Muslim — but that’s the price of engaging Republicans these days. Can anyone muzzle Newt? Probably not.”

    I agree!”

    Then you should have absolutely no problem in condemning Morgan and any other conservative here who has done such things.

    To quote:
    widely held belief and should not be ignored.

    Just because a belief is supposedly widely held does not 1: mean it should not be ignored or 2: makes that belief valid. It used to be a widely held belief that blacks were inferior to whites. Was that belief valid?

    Joe writes:
    is currently the only unscientific theory being purported on our children

    There is no such thing as an “unscientific theory” in science. Quit misusing the word “theory.” Science uses the word “theory” in a completely different way then the laymans definition of the word. When science uses the word “theory” it means that it has been proven.

    Intelligent Design is, and pay attention here IS NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY. IT HAS NO SCIENCE, IT IS NOT HELD TO BE SCIENCE. IT IS NOTHING MORE THEN RELIGIOUS BELIEF. IT IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE THEORIES OF EVOLUTION OR ABIOGENESIS OR ANY OTHER SCIENTIFIC THEORY YOU, INANELY, WANT TO PRETEND THAT ITS AN ALTERNATIVE TO.

    And as such it has no place being taught in the public schools. One teaches science in science class. Intelligent Design is nothing more then Creationism by another name and does not belong. You can make your argument sound as reasonable as you want but IT IS NOT SCIENCE.

    You do not have the right to teach my kids or anyone elses kids your religious beliefs in any public school. And that is all Intelligent Design is..it is Creationism by another name.

    Intelligent Design basically is “Lets point out the window at the oak tree and say God did that.” That’s not science. And don’t blather about “cause” and “effect” because to prove cause and effect you not only have to prove the effect to exist…you have to prove that the cause exists. Can you scientifically prove that this “Designer” exists? No. You assume that the “Designer” exists and sorry that isn’t science.

    Sorry, Joe, your religious belief does not belong in the public schools. And despite your denials to the contrary…Intelligent Design is nothing but religious belief.

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  16. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, forgive me for taking so long to respond. I have had much work to do over the past week or more and am trying to finish up my semester. Interesting class on Conflict Resolution. Just read a book called, “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande. Everyone should read it. It is on the relational skill of being a peacemaker from a Biblical perspective. It should be mandatory reading if someone is elected (or better yet decides to run) for office. :-) Or…post on a blog. lol

    I truly have a long ways to go in how to handle disagreements in a way that actually benefits both parties. Interestingly, one of the points of the book is that we often attack our opponents as the problem instead of actually attacking the problem. Conflict is sure to rise between people, yet both the left and the right have gotten farther and farther apart over the years as our ideologies have shifted farther and farther apart. Even our president who claims to champion civil discourse has apologetically accepted a million bucks from a comedian who makes Limbaugh look like a priest! Folks, the point is that we can do better. Both sides. I know I for one can, and will seek to do better. Ed, I give you permission to call me out on it when I am attacking you instead of respectfully disagreeing with your position. We are to be stewards of conflict who look at it as an opportunity to serve one another rather than the opportunity to prove our opponents inept and our own wisdom grand.

    Ed said, “Ignore the posts you want to ignore. Yeah, I don’t like the constant claims that I’m part of the Taliban, that I’m a communist AND a Nazi, that I favor sexual libertinism, that I’m a crypto-Muslim — but that’s the price of engaging Republicans these days. Can anyone muzzle Newt? Probably not.”

    I agree! The rhetoric is getting low on both sides. Perhaps at least one person on the right and one on the left can agree to have a civil discourse in 2012? :-) I don’t represent anyone but myself, but I do know that there are thousands more like me who who are upset with the level of impudence on both sides. As far as Newt goes, the only way he can get noticed or get press these days is by making provocative statements. The truth of them is not the issue, but the need for shocking statements to get noticed kind of is.

    Ed said, “I hope we agree that education is a good thing. I hope we agree on a whole slew of points and subpoints that follow from that, that our republic is a good form of government (particularly compared to all the others), that we sometimes err but we correct, that public discussion is good, that governments are established among nations to secure rights people carry with them from birth . . ”

    Absolutely agree 100%!

    Ed said, “But sometimes I wonder. Your assertion that a state could order intelligent design makes me question all of your premises, back to just what reality is.”

    Ah, here’s the rub, that’s not what I said. I do not think that the state has the right to “order” intelligent design, but rather to guard the educational system’s freedom to educate children. IN many ways, we already have this freedom. It just means educating in a private school or at home. Like it or not, intelligent design is a widely held belief and should not be ignored. On an educational level, have a problem with private schools who ignore the teachings of evolution. They should be educated in the differences and taught the pros and cons of both positions. Allow the best of both to be taught in class and allow the students to make up their own minds. We try to pull an unbiased viewpoint off in government class, so why not in science class where abiogenesis is currently the only unscientific theory being purported on our children. If you don’t think that the origin of life has not or has never been taught in public school, can you say “Cosmos” and “Carl Sagan” with me?

    I simply don’t have time to respond to everything you said on the healthcare law, though I wish I did. I personally would oppose the “Bring Jesus Back Act” as Jesus is His own Sovereign and not subject to his creation’s laws. ;-) The Father gets to decide when He comes back. Heaven forbid it would be decided by Congress!

    As far as falsifications go, no one has yet falsified cause and effect and biogenesis. We’ve discussed this before and I understand your arguments. But both of those very important laws that we abide by every day are hard to overcome. Without a cause, evolution is not possible. Without life to begin life, evolution is not possible. This is why I believe ID is fought so strongly, it is because if it is plausible to have happened as such then there is no need for abiogenesis and it opens up the question of who or what is this ID? Yet even Sagan said that we would pursue the truth wherever it would take us. How bout it?

    ID is no more a religious doctrine than abiogenesis, is it not? Both are statements of faith in something that has yet to be proven as undeniably true. ID has actual science (cause and effect and biogenesis) to validate its claims. What does abiogenesis have scientifically? There’s more, but I just don’t have time.

    Ed said, “False premises? Heh, if we banned those here, we’d never get any opposition discussion.”

    Good point. :-)

    Ed said, “There are greater things we need to do than worry about every spittle of invective coming our way. Wear a mac, maybe.”

    I assume you mean, “mask” but I wish I could use a Mac. :-) I have been called worse things than what James has called me…even on this site. I simply have a very limited amount of time to blog with you and cannot spend all my time refuting things that are strawman arguments and side discussions that have nothing to do with what is being discussed. These words do nothing but harm profitable discussion, both sides. There are times and places for strong language, but they better be true and they better be well thought out before making an accusation, otherwise, all credibility for an actual conversation goes out the door.

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  17. Oh and Joe…just so you know..the Catholic teaching on “Economic Justice” also says that everyone has the right to these three things:

    1: A job. 2: A place to live and 3: Adequate health care.

    And that when the “market” can not provide those things it is the responsibility of the government to provide those things. Oh and that everyone and anyone who works has the right to form or join a union.

    Since Republicans love to claim they’re oh so good Christians then lets see them prove it for once.

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  18. Just to buttress what Ed said about health care and Christian responsibility……and to tweak Joe’s nose regarding Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, I bring up this:

    http://www.osjspm.org/page.aspx?pid=436

    Option for the Poor
    The moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. We are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor. The “option for the poor,” is not an adversarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Rather it states that the deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community.

The option for the poor is an essential part of society’s effort to achieve the common good. A healthy community can be achieved only if its members give special attention to those with special needs, to those who are poor and on the margins of society.

    On the above subject there is this quote:
    Therefore everyone has the right to possess a sufficient amount of the earth’s goods for themselves and their family. This has been the opinion of the Fathers and Doctors of the church, who taught that people are bound to come to the aid of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods. Persons in extreme necessity are entitled to take what they need from the riches of others.
    Faced with a world today where so many people are suffering from want, the council asks individuals and governments to remember the saying of the Fathers: “Feed the people dying of hunger, because if you do not feed them you are killing them,” and it urges them according to their ability to share and dispose of their goods to help others, above all by giving them aid which will enable them to help and develop themselves. –The Church in the Modern World, #69

    Rights and Responsibilities
    Human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency – starting with food, shelter and clothing, employment, health care, and education. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities — to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

    Role of Government and Subsidiarity

    The state has a positive moral function. It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. All people have a right and a responsibility to participate in political institutions so that government can achieve its proper goals. 

The principle of subsidiarity holds that the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. When the needs in question cannot adequately be met at the lower level, then it is not only necessary, but imperative that higher levels of government intervene.

    Economic Justice

    The economy must serve people, not the other way around. All workers have a right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, and to safe working conditions. They also have a fundamental right to organize and join unions. People have a right to economic initiative and private property, but these rights have limits. No one is allowed to amass excessive wealth when others lack the basic necessities of life.

    Catholic teaching opposes collectivist and statist economic approaches. But it also rejects the notion that a free market automatically produces justice. Distributive justice, for example, cannot be achieved by relying entirely on free market forces. Competition and free markets are useful elements of economic systems. However, markets must be kept within limits, because there are many needs and goods that cannot be satisfied by the market system. It is the task of the state and of all society to intervene and ensure that these needs are met.

    And some quotes on Economic Justice:
    But above all we must remember the priority of labor over capital: labor is the cause of production; capital, or the means of production, is its mere instrument or tool. — On Human Works #12

    The means of production cannot become a separate property, called capital, as opposed to labor. They cannot be owned against labor or to exploit labor. They cannot be owned just for the sake of owning them. The only title to their ownership – whether private, public, or collective- is that they serve labor. This means that under suitable conditions the socialization of certain means of production could be acceptable. — On Human Works #14

    The capital at the disposal of management is in part the product of the labor of those who have toiled in the company over the years, including currently employed workers. As a minimum, workers have a right to be informed in advance when such decisions are under consideration, a right to negotiate with management about possible alternatives, and a right to fair compensation and assistance with retraining and relocation expenses should these be necessary. Since even these minimal rights are jeopardized without collective negotiation, industrial cooperation requires a strong role for labor unions in our changing economy.–Economic Justice for All #303

    Participation

    All people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. It is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society.

    I point you, Joe, to Republicans constant attempts to screw the poor and minorities…and in the case of PA, everyone out of the right to “participate in the economic, political and cultural life of society.”

    ~~~~~~~

    Tell me, Joe, since Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and any other Catholic Republican, are so willing to follow the church’s teachings when it comes to abortion, gay marriage and contraception..then why is it they fail so pathetically..and indeed outright refuse..to follow the Catholic church’s teachings when it comes to what I quoted above?

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  19. Joe writes:
    Why is it that if someone does not approve of Obamacare they are somehow against people’s health? Perhaps it is that they simply have a different idea on how to achieve that end that they believe will be more effective and safeguard people’s rights without creating a more dependent class of people.

    Which would be a valid point…if your side had actually come up with an alternative that did those things. Instead your side just wants to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with the status quo that existed before it. In the two years that Obamacare was on the table and up for debate your Republicans…came up with absolutely no alternatives. Oh wait..I should correct..it came up with the alternative of “Letting Blue Cross Blue Shield in Rhode Island sell health insurance in Minnesota which would 1: strip Minnesota of its ability to regulate insurance sold in Minnesota and 2: guarantee that all insurance companies would sell insurance from the one state with the absolute least amount of regulations.”

    That’s not an alternative. As for “dependent class of people” funny….your side has absolutely no problem in turning the rich into the single most dependent on government class of people there is. The biggest welfare whores/queens in this country..are the 1%.

    Then there is the fact that the vast majority of “Obamacare” is straight out of the Republican playbook circa 10-20 years ago but somehow it’s “Socialism!” Funny..I wasn’t aware that Bob Dole and Orrin Hatch were socialists. Since when?

    And then there is your party’s desire to label anything and everything it doesn’t like as “socialist” which is 1: a gross distortion of the definition of socialism and 2: just tosses any ability to intellectually discuss/debate things with your side out the window. If your side is going to insist on acting like a bunch of stupid and dishonest goobers on everything then why shouldn’t we treat your side like a bunch of stupid and dishonest goobers?

    Joe writes:
    Last example, why is it that people who believe that our universe was created by an intelligent designer are automatically anti-science? It is a contrasting world-view but not one that is against real science. The more you baulk at that statement and argue against it, the less likely it will be that we will find common ground that will work towards agreement.

    You mean besides the fact that IDers 1: constantly want to throw science (the theory of evolution) out of science class and 2: insert something that isn’t science (ID) into the science classes?

    I believe, Joe, that our universe was created by God. I also think that God used evolution as a means to an end. But I also recognize that I have no right to shove my religious belief (the part about God) down other people’s throats using the public schools. ID is indeed against real science..because it isn’t science and it opposes the real science…the theory of evolution. All ID is is religious belief…because your side is stupid enough to think that my side is even stupider to believe that if you don’t mention God specifically that somehow makes ID something other then Creationism that doesn’t mention God specifically. ID is Creationism wearing a mask. It’s an blatant attempt to get Creationism in the back door. Because the natural question after stating “An Intelligent Designer created our universe” is this question: Who was that Intelligent Designer?

    Despite your delusion, ID is not an alternative explanation to the theory of evolution. ID is not science, it is religious belief. Pretending that ID is an “alternative world view” to the theory of evolution is akin to claiming that Algebra is an alternative to English. And again, nothing in science says that God didn’t have a hand in things or that there was no God or whatever…science, by its nature, must remain neutral when it comes to spiritual matters since science has no ability to prove or disprove spiritual matters. Quit pretending that because science doesn’t say that God or this “Intelligent Designer” did something that means its saying that God or this “Intelligent Designer” doesn’t exist. Quit asking science to take sides and tell the world that your deity exists, Joe.

    This is the common ground: If you want your kids to learn about ID either teach it yourself or send your kids to a private religious school or have your church do it.

    But neither Ed nor I nor anyone else are bound to give you and your fellow IDers the “common ground” of science classrooms in this country’s public schools. You’re not owed it.

    The common ground, Joe, already exists. You and your fellow IDers are the ones trying to encroach on it. You can teach ID in your own home, in your church or in a private religious school.

    In return for that right, Joe, you and your fellow IDers have no right to teach it in the public schools. That is the common ground. Sorry, Joe, I’m not interested in giving you 60% out of a circle that is 10 feet in diameter and pretend that we both somehow have half.

    There isn’t a problem that ID isn’t taught in public schools. ID is a religious belief and as such can not be taught in the public schools without 1: screwing the US Constitution up one side and down the other and 2: screwing the rights of every non-Christian in this country to not have a Christian religious belief shoved down their throats using the government. Or did you forget the fact that to have “freedom of religious belief” you must also have “freedom FROM religious belief”?

    And the states have no right to screw the US Constitution over or the abridge the rights of their minorities…despite the fact that you Republicans are indeed trying to do that last one over in spades. I wonder how the Republicans are going to win elections when they’ve screwed over every group except Archie Bunker type white old men.

    The problem isn’t that ID isn’t taught in public schools, Joe…the problem is that you want to teach it in the public schools. Since that is the problem then the answer is for you and your fellow IDers to knock it off. Your religious beliefs, and that is all ID is, do not belong in public schools.

    Joe writes:
    This point of agreement makes it so that we are standing on the same side looking at the problem together rather than a “you’re a Christian Taliban” type argument, which completely misrepresents my viewpoints to the point of absurdity.

    then get your side to stop screaming “socialism” and “anti-God” every time. If you don’t like me using the Republican playbook against you, Joe, then really you only have the Republicans to blame. I am a Democrat now, Joe, but for half my life I was a Republican and as such I am fully versed in the Republican playbook. I have absolutely no problem in using the Republican playbook against Republicans just to see how long it takes them to cry foul and then point out their own hypocrisy when they do so. Because I sure as hell don’t remember you getting after Morgan, Black Flag or anyone else every time they screamed “Socialism” or “Communism” or whatever else on this blog.

    Because the number of times that I’ve been called “anti-God” or “anti-Christian” by people on your side just for opposing organized school teacher led prayer in the public schools, just for example, would, if it was turned to lead, sink a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. And that’s not even going into the number of times I’ve had “socialist!” and “communist!” screamed at me by your side.

    So, sorry, I refuse to put on the kid gloves until you somehow get your side to do so first.

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe wrote:

    I think we need to lay something on the table here that doesn’t get said a lot in these kinds of discussions. You and I have very similar intentions and desires. That is, we have many points of agreement for the outcomes of our ideals. For instance, in education, we both desire to see children well versed in applicable knowledge where they will be able to succeed. We want them to be productive, good citizens of this country who will be thankful for what they have and strive to better those around them. You want this, no? So do I. That should count for something. This point of agreement makes it so that we are standing on the same side looking at the problem together rather than a “you’re a Christian Taliban” type argument, which completely misrepresents my viewpoints to the point of absurdity. I do not want to impose a theocracy and I would never pick up a gun to impose my religious views. I find that sort of logic off limits and pales Limbaugh’s comments in offensiveness. I am more than happy to have a discussion where we both together as American citizens look at a problem and exchange ideas, but this attacking is merely a reflection and an addition to our nation’s polarization and it HAS to stop if any agreement will ever be reached. We have to start with our points of agreement or else we will never get anywhere or resolve anything, and neither you nor I will ever see the other person’s point of view.

    I hope we agree that education is a good thing. I hope we agree on a whole slew of points and subpoints that follow from that, that our republic is a good form of government (particularly compared to all the others), that we sometimes err but we correct, that public discussion is good, that governments are established among nations to secure rights people carry with them from birth . . .

    But sometimes I wonder. Your assertion that a state could order intelligent design makes me question all of your premises, back to just what reality is.

    Ignore the posts you want to ignore. Yeah, I don’t like the constant claims that I’m part of the Taliban, that I’m a communist AND a Nazi, that I favor sexual libertinism, that I’m a crypto-Muslim — but that’s the price of engaging Republicans these days. Can anyone muzzle Newt? Probably not.

    It still gets me banned from sites regularly, but I find that a simple statement of facts made calmly often carries a great deal of staying power. If Anthony Watts or American Woolly Mammoth don’t censor the remarks, they stay around and innocent school children can find islands of reason to cling to in the sea of invective.

    I know that we are polar opposites in how we want to implement things, but that doesn’t mean that the desired outcome is not similar. Another example: we both want to see citizens healthy and have affordable health coverage. Why is it that if someone does not approve of Obamacare they are somehow against people’s health? Perhaps it is that they simply have a different idea on how to achieve that end that they believe will be more effective and safeguard people’s rights without creating a more dependent class of people. See what I mean?

    Heck, I don’t approve of all the provisions of H.R. 3200. But I don’t make up fantastic tales about it, loaded with sly hints or outright statements that Obama is the love child of Mao and Hitler, or maybe Pol Pot.

    I find it more than puzzling, and very troubling, that “Obamacare” is attacked so heartily in each of its provisions. When Orrin hatch proposed much of that bill, and passed it over the objections of Ted Kennedy, Ronald Reagan held signing ceremonies in the Rose Garden to tout the achievements. Now Republicans attack those same achievements as “creeping communism.” Frankly, if communism would improve health care on the Navajo Reservation, we are obligated as Christians to adopt that communism if nothing better comes along (and it hasn’t). We may wonder if what Ronald Reagan smilingly endorsed was not, then, communism, and maybe is not now.

    You want affordable health care? What’s your proposal? Obama rejected the Democrats’ proposals and took up the Republican bill, which Republicans promptly turned on. All I know for certain is that if Obama’s name or fingerprints are on the bill, Mitch McConnell will oppose it, even if it’s the Cure Cancer and Bring Jesus Back Act, with Jesus standing there endorsing the bill in the Senate Vice President’s lobby.

    Stick to the facts to preserve your own sanity. The whole world may be listening.

    Last example, why is it that people who believe that our universe was created by an intelligent designer are automatically anti-science? It is a contrasting world-view but not one that is against real science. The more you baulk at that statement and argue against it, the less likely it will be that we will find common ground that will work towards agreement.

    Why is it that people who propose intelligent design stop looking to see that everything “new” in ID that opposes evolution theory has been falsified as science, and therefore is maintained only as religious dogma unconnected with fact?

    I thought we’d plowed this ground thoroughly before, Joe. Seriously, have you read Judge Jones’s opinion in the Kitzmiller case? He explained it fully, there. I.D. is not just a “contrasting world view,” but is instead a religious doctrine, not shared by a majority of Christians or Moslems, and wholly ungrounded in science. Don’t teach it as science, I’ve got no kick.

    Your stated objective on this blog is not said to be to falsely characterize conflicting points of view, demean and “name call” those who disagree, and thereby make it impossible for any real profitable discussion to take place so that your opponents will spend all their time trying to clarify false premises.

    That’s a bit grander than what I’ve proposed anywhere, but I do urge no splashing in the Bathtub. False premises? Heh, if we banned those here, we’d never get any opposition discussion. I’m sure you feel the same about a lot of what I say. Heck, Anthony Watts hasn’t come back even after I let him run out his fantasy of Rachel Carson as a White House dinner guest and personal friend of the Kennedy’s.

    If you continue to both do this and allow this to be done without rebuke, you will never have a blog that achieves your stated goals of accuracy.

    I hope people can be grownups here. I have banned exactly one poster. Black Flag left us after he kept running afoul of the spam filters, and he wanted the instant gratification of seeing his rants unanswered (he seems to have fallen off the internet, too). I don’t think anyone thinks that by my letting your posts stand, I endorse your views 100%. I hope you don’t make the mistake of thinking I endorse any other post by any commenter, except those where I make an explicit endorsement.

    I hope people can be grownups here, but I don’t police it. I am not their mom.

    It’s a constant problem in politics. Have you visited the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library? One of the first exhibits in the mockup of the White House is a gauntlet of cartoons and newspaper commentary against Lincoln, “The Whispering Gallery.” Hundreds, perhaps thousands of nasty statements — all false, so far as I could determine. Somehow he soldiered on. There are greater things we need to do than worry about every spittle of invective coming our way. Wear a mac, maybe.

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  21. Btw, Joe, your concern for “states rights” would be a lot more valid if your party wasn’t, on the state, level, trying to screw over local communities out of their rights. Like how somehow in Michigan 50% of that state’s blacks no longer have the right to vote for their local officials and on decisions for their communities.

    or this one in PA:

    Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients.

    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/pa-passes-most-anti-democratic-anti-e

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  22. Joe writes:
    Frankly, if a state votes to teach intelligent design as a plausible explanation alongside the explanation that nothing exploded and everything just happened for no reason, they have the constitutional right to do that.

    No they don’t because the states are as bound to obey the 1st and 14th amendments as the federal government is. Sorry, little one, the states can not discriminate against their citizens and teaching ID in the public schools is indeed discrimination. Because it forces right wing Christian religious belief down the throats of the citizens..whether they’re Christian or not.

    Let us know, Joe, when you want to bother to realize that acting like the Taliban is a bad idea.

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  23. Joe writes:
    Ed, I am not saying that education should not be funded by anyone. I am saying that the constitution is silent on the subject which means by default that it falls under the 10th amendment. It is a state by state issue and none of the Federal government’s.

    Joe..again..where does it say that your intepretation of the 10th amendment is the correct one? Under what decision are we bound to obey your interpretation of the 10th amendment? Exactly who appointed you judge of what the 10th amendment does and says?

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  24. Joe writes:
    Remember, our states are intentioned to be unified sovereigns, that collectively make up one nation. If the federal government dictates what is taught in school then while it may seem helpful for the whole, it will be severely damaging to the parts. What is relevant to teach in Alaska will be something different than what is relevant in Maine based on the unique area in which they live. There are staples, to be sure, but each state and local government, with the involvement of the parents in their communities should know the best way to handle their children’s education.

    Since the federal government isn’t deciding whats taught over the states then what are you blithering about? THe federal government has some requirements, the states have some requirements, the local school districts have some requirements..it’s a mixture, Joe. Your problem with that is what?

    Seriously, you on the right need to try this concept: If other countries are doing something better then maybe there is something for we in the United States to learn from that so we do better. Instead you on the right seem to be stuck in this nationalistic jingoistic “The United States is best at everything, nothing should change. We have nothing to learn from anyone else.” which really only means we get further and further behind.

    Joe writes:
    James, I personally do not look at the education of my children as a right or a privilege but as a responsibility.

    And yet you want me to pay you to send your kids to a private school or homeschool them. As you say…it’s your responsibility. If you want the option of a private school or homeschooling it then you choose to pay for such things all on your own. You don’t need my money.

    Joe writes:
    We pass our children off to day-care . . .

    Yeah…because most middle class and poor families simply can’t survive if only one of the parent’s is working. My family would have been a hell of a lot poorer..to the point we couldn’t have even afforded the house I grew up in..if only my dad was working. Because my dad, an lifelong farmer, really didn’t make money farming. My mom was the main breadwinner in my family, it was my mom’s money that allowed us to buy the house I grew up in, it was my mom’s money that paid for the two cars that my parents needed to get around. It was my mom’s money that allowed me to go to college. It was my mom’s money that paid for the clothes we wore and the food we ate. Rick Santorum would have my mom stay at home and raise me. My mom would have gone crazy if she did that because she liked working. SHe would have been bored out of her mind if she did what Rick Santorum would have liked.

    Now I was lucky enough to not go to day care but that was because various of my relatives watched over me when my parents were at work. And I was mature enough to stay home alone without getting into trouble from the time I was ten. But others aren’t quite so fortunate.

    But that sure doesn’t stop Rick Santorum from thinking he’s running for the country’s Moral Priest instead of President.

    Gee..I wonder if all those middle class and poor families could afford to have one parent staying home if they were paid more. Of course that would mean you on the right would 1: have to quit ******* them over at every turn, 2: stop letting the 1% get all the wealth and 3: engage in some of that “wealth redistribution” your side so loathes..unless it’s redistributing the wealth from the poor and the middle class to the rich.

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  25. Ed Darrell says:

    [Another few minutes . . . .]

    Joe wrote:

    Remember, our states are intentioned to be unified sovereigns, that collectively make up one nation. If the federal government dictates what is taught in school then while it may seem helpful for the whole, it will be severely damaging to the parts. What is relevant to teach in Alaska will be something different than what is relevant in Maine based on the unique area in which they live. There are staples, to be sure, but each state and local government, with the involvement of the parents in their communities should know the best way to handle their children’s education.

    I think you’re stretching a lot to make an argument there, Joe, and you stretch the data past the breaking point. Other than evacuation procedures for emergencies, I cannot think of much in any state’s curriculum that cannot be taught verbatim in all other states, plus Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia. Isosceles triangles still add up to 180 degrees, except in non-Euclidean applications, everywhere on Earth (and the rest of the universe). Regional differences in literature can be emphasized better with standard curriculum in most areas — I think it’s sinful to let children escape from school without having read Huckleberry Finn and “The Ride of Paul Revere.” One is on the MIssissippi, one is near Boston on the opposite shore of the Harbor and Charles River — but such geography should be in the knowledge bank of Aleuts in Alaska as well as Cuban Santerians in Miami, Jews in New York City, Irish in Boston, Poles in Chicago, and Scot Presbyterians in the hills of Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

    Some states have a state history requirement, like Utah, and Texas. Good on them. No federal involvement has ever suggested killing those requirements.

    On the other hand, the national curricula in Finland, Poland, France and Singapore produce students who beat the crap out of our students across the board. We should investigate that phenomenon, and we shouldn’t hold to a fragmented, overly-parochial curriculum anywhere it doesn’t work.

    We could stand a national curriculum which makes the point that the Constitution was not created by the states, but instead was created as a compact among the people. States are not superior to the Constitution, and never have been.

    The decline in our education does not mean that we need to turn to a nanny state, it means that parents are neglecting their responsibilities making it very difficult position for the government to be in. The blame for the government taking charge of education is because parents have abdicated their responsibility thereby making it a necessary evil. However, if parents take their child’s education seriously, the state should not make that difficult for the parents but should be a help to them. I am saving my state soooo much money by home-schooling my children, teaching them to be good citizens, who pay their taxes honestly, who will be involved in their community, who will be college educated (I expect them to work their own way through school as I did – no one could afford school in my family and yet we all worked our butts off to get our degrees) and will have a strong work-ethic. I do not expect a thank you from AZ anytime soon, but it would be nice. :-) I do not consider myself to be a role model in the slightest, I look at myself and my wife as a declining demagraphic of parents who used to be commonplace in this country but are becoming increasingly rare, to the destruction of our country.

    You’re not saving Arizona any significant money by keeping your kids out of the public schools. The school have to be built and maintained anyway, and that capital investment with annual upkeep is usually the larger part of school costs.

    You appear to think that education was established as a perquisite for citizens, as a hand-out, a gift. Not so. Public schools were created to save our democratic republic, an educated populace being necessary to the good workings of such an enterprise. You don’t pay property taxes to educate your kids; yo upay property taxs to be sure that we have a critical mass of educated people among your neighbors and townsfolk who vote for your local leaders, local schoolboard, and state and national legislators. Jefferson explained the need to do that in Notes on the State of Virginia, and he and Madison expanded on the concept over the years, but never backtracked.

    We tried working without public schools for a good 45 years of the Rrepublic,and for 300 years if you count from the start of European colonization. Our economic booms after 1820 were fueled in no small part by the great education experiment that offered learning to all citizens and residents, on the clear understanding that smart person with education is a more moral person who obeys laws, takes part in the creation of good government, raises better, activist children, makes more money and pays more taxes than a smart person without education. For whatever reasons, those areas that did not have public schools, and then public high schools, and then mandatory attendance, did not do so well as those areas where schools were common and well-attended.

    It’s history, not hypothesis we need to look at in this discussion.

    For instance, I was talking to a college graduate recently who did not know who Newt Gingrich is.

    That’s particularly common among Republicans, I find, and especially among Newt Gingrich supporters. On the one hand, I envy their innocence and lack of experience-induced cynicism; on the other hand, I fear for my nation when I reflect they vote and think themselves patriots.

    Ignorance is common, and always has been. It’s a dangerous thing to make policy based on anecdotes.

    I talk with high-schoolers who do not know what happened in 1776, 1812, 1861-65, or in 1941-45. They do not know who the vice-president is, nor any of the judges on the Supreme Court. They couldn’t recite any part of Gettysburg Address if it meant they would win a million bucks! People know more about the World of Warcraft than the world in which they live. This, my friends, is unacceptable and will be the ruin of our country if it continues.

    I agree it’s troubling. On the other hand, we’ve slipped by with that sort of ignorance for 225 years. It’s a good argument for a national curriculum instead of locally-created and produced curricula. It’s no argument to gut education. They didn’t get stupid by going to school and paying attention.

    We have a serious problem when history fakers like David Barton get millions of dollars annually to hammer away at history, and get full support of millions of supposed Christians to come into their churches to spread his disinformation. His influence in Texas is astonishing — he’s managed to get Paul Revere and Thomas Jefferson excluded from key parts of the curriculum. Barton would have much less success hoodwinking national curriculum writers.

    James, I personally do not look at the education of my children as a right or a privilege but as a responsibility. I am responsible to give them the best education that I have the ability to give. In our situation, since we cannot afford a private school, my wife and I can provide them with a far better education than they will receive in a public school and so we feel responsible to give them that quality of education, even if it means that we live on a shoestring budget. Knowledge is better than a myriad of toys, in my opinion. It means plenty of sacrifice for our family, but this is something that is becoming lost in our society – sacrificing one’s life for the betterment of another.

    Yeah, that’s part of the reason for all the uncalled-for and unwarranted attacks on school budgets by Republicans nationwide. Republicans have lost the sense of being responsible for the care and feeding of the national knowledge.

    That’s no argument for more fracturing of education governance.

    This generation is sacrificing their children’s future so that they can have the lives that they desire now, flushing their children’s future for their own greed. We are doing that through our entitlement programs (like people winning the lottery and remaining on food stamps) and our education.

    For every lottery winner who stays on food stamps — costing our nation an unwarranted $5,000 each, not exactly a whopping sum — I’ll give you a thousand Republicans who evade taxes, even at the lowest rates in the free world or most dictatorships, and who regularly cheat citizens in myriad of other ways. Heck, I’ll wager there are a dozen Democrats as crooked.

    You’re talking about a moral failing, but that’s not the fault of having too much schooling.

    We pass our children off to day-care . . .

    The rich can, but most working parents cannot. By the way, those nations that perform better than the U.S. on the international education achievement tests? They provide free daycare to all citizens, many of them — since the evidence shows daycare leads to advanced social and academic development in kids.

    . . . and expect someone else to raise them so that we can pursue our own dreams and desires rather than help our children pursue theirs. Again, our society will not long last if these things continue.

    We survived the Gilded Age, when there was no daycare, no public kindergarten, no compulsory school, and child labor to give the kids of the women in factories and mills something “productive” to do. Frankly, I think it’s a better idea to look out for the welfare of our children with daycare than to let them go neglected, especially in a free-market economy that demands two parents work to pay the bills. The alternative would be to give those parents better access to contraceptives — but for some odd reason, married couples choose to have children anyway. Go figure.

    Daycare is a good thing to have, not a bad thing. Few children go bad from too much daycare, if any ever do.

    Slamming daycare is one way to sidle into keeping women down, though, since they usually end up with the responsibility of taking care of the kids. Tom Friedman called out the Taliban for crippling 50% of their economic potential that way — we should listen to Tom Friedman.

    James, surely the only reason why Santorum should not have taken those funds was more than just because he is a millionaire! Rich people do not have a right to public education even though they pay way more in taxes than you or I? I disagree with Santorum. He should not have taken those funds, but you cannot argue that he did not have a right in the State of Pennsylvania to take those funds because he is rich. He was wrong because he perpetuated the problem of getting what you can out of government just because you can. Not cool!

    Santorum had a right to get the money. He’s a hypocrite for claiming his family made enormous financial sacrifices to educate his kids away from the public schools, and for pretending that non-millionaires have the same means he has. Santorum is the Marie Antoinette of education — he can’t understand the difficulties poor people have getting good education without a stable homelife, and so he suggests they simply home-school, using the (non-existent) computers the family has, and the (non-existent) stay-at-home parent with (non-existent) college degree to do the supervision of the learning.

    Newt Gingrich referred to Cloud Cuckooland the other day. It would have been a valid reference, had he applied it to Santorum. As it was, and as it is, it was an insult to cuckkoos, crazy utopian ideas, Aristophanes, and all parents who struggle to get food on the table, keep the roof from leaking, and get the kids to get to school motivated to learn.

    The question should be, what is best for our children, for our nation and for our future and especially for our children’s future? Getting federal government out of education harms millions at a stroke, which is why the Republicans like it.

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  26. lowerleavell says:

    You had a half hour to post, I have about ten minutes left at best. We’ll see what I can do here.

    I understand your point on the constitution being silent does not necessarily make it not the Federal government’s job.

    That being said, can you bridge the gap in time for me between the Land Ordinance and Northwest Ordinance of 1785/1787 and the Land Grants of 1841/1848?

    If no one ever did believe that education was the responsibility of individuals and states then why was the Department of Education not established until 1867, almost 100 years after our founding, (merely as a way to collect and analyze helpful data by the way)?

    In fact, it wasn’t until the Lanham Act of 1941 that the Federal government began to financially support schools at all, and then only in communities that were heavily affected by military and federal installations. The GI Bill didn’t exist before 1944, and on and on we could go.

    The argument could be made that these are good things that the government began to step in. But the argument that the Federal government has always been financially involved in education is not accurate. Important? Yes, but pick up Webster’s Blue Book Speller. How many high-school students today could spell those words? How did it publish 60 million copies by 1890 without federal subsidizing??? Of course, they wouldn’t have the chance because even Webster’s dictionary wouldn’t be allowed in a public school because of the levels of separation of church and state that we see today. Education in this country has gone backwards, in my opinion. Federal funding is not the solution to this complex problem.

    Must get to work…

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  27. lowerleavell says:

    Not to be rude here, but I am going to concentrate my limited comment time for the one who hasn’t equated me with terrorism (at least verbally…for a while at least).

    I think we need to lay something on the table here that doesn’t get said a lot in these kinds of discussions. You and I have very similar intentions and desires. That is, we have many points of agreement for the outcomes of our ideals. For instance, in education, we both desire to see children well versed in applicable knowledge where they will be able to succeed. We want them to be productive, good citizens of this country who will be thankful for what they have and strive to better those around them. You want this, no? So do I. That should count for something. This point of agreement makes it so that we are standing on the same side looking at the problem together rather than a “you’re a Christian Taliban” type argument, which completely misrepresents my viewpoints to the point of absurdity. I do not want to impose a theocracy and I would never pick up a gun to impose my religious views. I find that sort of logic off limits and pales Limbaugh’s comments in offensiveness. I am more than happy to have a discussion where we both together as American citizens look at a problem and exchange ideas, but this attacking is merely a reflection and an addition to our nation’s polarization and it HAS to stop if any agreement will ever be reached. We have to start with our points of agreement or else we will never get anywhere or resolve anything, and neither you nor I will ever see the other person’s point of view.

    I know that we are polar opposites in how we want to implement things, but that doesn’t mean that the desired outcome is not similar. Another example: we both want to see citizens healthy and have affordable health coverage. Why is it that if someone does not approve of Obamacare they are somehow against people’s health? Perhaps it is that they simply have a different idea on how to achieve that end that they believe will be more effective and safeguard people’s rights without creating a more dependent class of people. See what I mean?

    Last example, why is it that people who believe that our universe was created by an intelligent designer are automatically anti-science? It is a contrasting world-view but not one that is against real science. The more you baulk at that statement and argue against it, the less likely it will be that we will find common ground that will work towards agreement.

    Your stated objective on this blog is not said to be to falsely characterize conflicting points of view, demean and “name call” those who disagree, and thereby make it impossible for any real profitable discussion to take place so that your opponents will spend all their time trying to clarify false premises. If you continue to both do this and allow this to be done without rebuke, you will never have a blog that achieves your stated goals of accuracy.

    Now, maybe I can try and respond to your post…

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  28. Ed Darrell says:

    [Can I hammer this out in less than a half-hour?]

    Joe said:

    Ed, I am not saying that education should not be funded by anyone. I am saying that the constitution is silent on the subject which means by default that it falls under the 10th amendment. It is a state by state issue and none of the Federal government’s.

    Not being specifically mentioned does not exactly translate to “the Constitution is silent and so the federal government can’t do it.” Privacy is not discussed in the Constitution, but few rational sorts claimed there is not a right to privacy. Madison and Jefferson were quite clear in their discussions: The Constitution is a framework; if something is not specifically mentioned that should not be regarded as a judgment on the topic by the founders that it is or is not part of federal business.

    As a pragmatic matter, education is one of the first things the new Congress took up, setting aside sections of townships in the Northwest territories to be sold or otherwise used to fund education, since education is the foundation of our freedom. Article 3 of the bill of rights in the 1787 version made the point: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    (See this explanation of the concept of “reserved powers” for a more authoritative look; and more here on the police powers. Several state constitutions grant a right to an education in public schools, which is certainly an expansion of rights by state governments; but I’ve never seen any rational argument that any of the federal actions in education should be proscribed by the 10th Amendment nor any other provision, especially not the Northwest Ordinance’s demands that school lands be set aside, nor in the creation of the Land Grant Colleges, nor in the GI Bill’s education benefits nor the dramatic improvements in science education under the Sputnik-inspired National Defense Education Act. States can’t be counted on to educated for the defense of the nation; education is not prohibited to the federal government in any fashion.)

    The fact that our eduction is funded 10% by the Feds demonstrates that we (both on the left and right) don’t really believe that anymore and haven’t for years.

    Nor ever did believe it.

    Frankly, if a state votes to teach intelligent design as a plausible explanation alongside the explanation that nothing exploded and everything just happened for no reason, they have the constitutional right to do that.

    Well, you’ve got that exactly backwards. No, intelligent design cannot be taught in public schools, because ID is religious dogma. You can’t teach that as science any more than a state could teach that the <a href="http://www.egyptianmyths.net/ogdoad.htm"universe is the product of the lotus growing out of the Sea of Knives, and humans are the tears of the scarab who was transformed into a boy. Nor could any state teach in science that there was an explosion from nothing an anything happened for no reason — that is similarly a religiously dogmatic, twisted version of Big Bang, I suppose — but the twisting gets the science wrong. You can’t twist science, nor anything else, for religious purposes in pubic schools. Each state’s constitution makes that illegal, as does the federal constitution.

    You’ve got exactly backwards the decision in the case in Dover, Pennsylvania, in 2005. You may want to look it up sometime and read the decision. States cannot teach Christianity as science, and so creationism, and ID, as cultic minority views in Christianity and radical Islam, also cannot be taught as science.

    (NOVA’s production, “Intelligent Design on Trial,” gets the law and history straight. You can view the entire thing on-line. Judge John E. Jones III’s decision in the Kitzmiller case can be read in its entirety here.)

    And you have the constitutional right not to live in that state. This is what makes Obama-care so problematic – I cannot move to another state that does not require me to have state-mandated healthcare. Remember, our states are intentioned to be unified sovereigns, that collectively make up one nation. If the federal government dictates what is taught in school then while it may seem helpful for the whole, it will be severely damaging to the parts. What is relevant to teach in Alaska will be something different than what is relevant in Maine based on the unique area in which they live. There are staples, to be sure, but each state and local government, with the involvement of the parents in their communities should know the best way to handle their children’s education.

    I don’t think education and health care are so much alike that the analogy holds — nor is it possible for you to move to a state where the state teaches religious dogma in science classes, or any other classes, so your analogy fails.

    You also can’t move to a state where your income taxes will not pay for the army and navy that defend our nation, not even if you are a Quaker or other pacifist who disavows all war.

    You’re free not to get a transfusion, if you’re a Jehovah Witness. You’re free not to use prescription contraceptives, if you’re Catholic or Mormon. You’re free not to eat meat if you’re Buddhist or Hindu, and free to avoid intoxicating liquors if you’re Baptist. Your freedoms do not allow you to require others to follow your religious strictures.

    I don’t think your example is apt.

    [Nope, can't do it in 30 minutes. More later.]

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  29. To quote myself:
    Simply and bluntly put..the states can not be trusted to solely govern themselves. Especially the red states which is mainly the south. It’s not like the south or any other red state has all that great of a track record of treating all its citizens equally.

    Actually I have to amend that statement. None of the states could be trusted under that concept. Mainly because even the GOP in the blue states, Minnesota for example, have gone so far off their rockers that they’re quickly making the residents of any insane asylum look like rank amateurs.

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  30. Joe, if we let the states solely decide what is taught in public schools this is what would happen in every “red” state thanks to your asinine view of the 10th amendment:

    1: Those three theories would be removed and the Bible would be taught instead.
    2: Organized school led prayer would return.Said prayer would be Christian only.
    3: No foreign languages…or well..not even languages native to the United States would be taught. The only language that would be taught would be English which is an asinine concept.
    4: You’d see all the white schools get all the funding but the schools in nonwhite neighborhoods would see a return of “Separate but equal” which is really “separate and in no way shape or form equal.”

    Now I’m sure you’re at times dingy enough to say “So?” to that but yeah..none of that is a good idea.

    Simply and bluntly put..the states can not be trusted to solely govern themselves. Especially the red states which is mainly the south. It’s not like the south or any other red state has all that great of a track record of treating all its citizens equally.

    There is a reason the Founding Fathers jettisoned the Articles of Confederation. It would be a good idea if you and your fellow Republicans bothered to remember that fact.

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  31. Oh and I don’t know if you watch tv..well specifically I don’t know if you watch a tv show called Harry’s Law.

    But it had an episode dealing with Creationism/ID in public schools where a conservative priest tried getting a teacher fired for failing a student because said student tried talking about ID on a test. This is my favorite scene from that episode:

    Preacher: I did a little checking on you. You’re a registered Republican. You might consider that the leading Republican candidate for President doesn’t believe in separation of church and state. He thinks evolution is “out there.” You might want to get with the program, you ever think about that?

    Harry: What strikes me as most out there at the moment is you, and the idea that the political climate is changing to the point where all the narrow minded backward thinking Bible thumping ants can come crawling out of the woodwork now and join the picnic. That is truely frightening.

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  32. Oh and since I misunderstood what Joe was asking with this:
    James, these three theories…which ones are not taught in public schools again?

    I’ll answer it here.

    They’re all taught. But they’re not the same thing.

    And none of them says things happened for no reason and none of them say that God..or some other deity..didn’t have a hand in things. You might want to learn the difference between a netural statement and an “anti” statement.

    You keep on thinking that the theory of evolution, the theory of abiogenesis and the Big Bang theory are talking about the same thing. They’re not.

    But, again, since ID and Creationism are not in any way shape or form theories they have absolutely no place in any science classroom in the country. Or in the world for that matter. Whether its a classroom in a public school or a private school..they have no place.

    You want them taught? That’s what your church is for. Or do it yourself. But I am not paying taxes to subsidize your heretical religious beliefs. Nor am I paying taxes to subsidize your nonheretical religious beliefs. In short..I am not paying taxes to subsideze any of your religious beliefs.

    Oh and if we let you conservatives pander to the religious mouthbreathers then none of those theories would be taught. Then a mass number of students would become stupid and fail, we’d start losing scientists and the country would become stupider.

    And future generations would have to pick up the pieces of a shattered society and country that destroyed itself on a suicidal binge of pandering to religious mouthbreathers. Sorry, I’m not willing to lay that burden on future generations.

    It’s bad enough the Taliban exist. Pandering to the Christian Taliban would really just be worse.

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  33. Lower writes:
    What you are saying is that only rich parents should be able to send their children to private schools. I am saying that poor children should be afforded the same opportunity to a great education as rich children.

    My local private school is pretty cheap. And there aren’t a lot of rich families in my area.

    If you think that “poor children should be afforded the same opportunity…” then fund scholarships. But cherrypicking students from the public schools and then shifting the funding from the public schools to the private schools is only going to make things worse for the students left in the public schools. To borrow a metaphor..you don’t save everyone in a burning house by only rescuing some of the people and then leaving the rest to burn.

    You have no “right” to send your kids to a private school. That is a privilege. Hence you have to pay for it..not me. Again…my taxes should go to religious private schools for what reason? If you choose to use a private school then you are choosing to pay for it yourself.

    Nothing you have proposed actually improves public education in this country. Nothing you have proposed actually helps all the students. You want to cherry pick.

    You write:
    I understand that hiring teachers, building schools, etc. makes education much more expensive than a home-school family, I’m just saying…$8,500 is a LOT of money to educate one child.

    You do realize, Joe, that just to use an example if Bill Gates makes $40 million dollars in one year and I make $100,000 in that same year the average between us is $20.05 million dollars. Does that mean that I’ve made just over $20 million dollars?

    Plus there is the cost of living. And oh yes..labor costs. Yeah I know you conservatives love to kvetch about how much teachers make but really they don’t make all that much and if you pay them like sh– the good teachers will abandon the field.

    I somehow suspect the cost of living in, say, Phoenix is significantly higher than it is here in my town which is a third tier suburb of Minneapolis.

    Lower writes:
    James, these three theories…which ones are not taught in public schools again?

    Strange world we live in where life from life and effects having causes are taught in school to be incorrect and life coming from life and causes creating effects is seen as religious and unscientific. Beyond this, it is a strange world where life is seen as coming from things that are not living and something that is living is seen as not really a life (the unborn).

    Well only the theory of evolution is actually a theory. Intelligent Design and Creationism are religious beliefs. They are no more theories then I am the King of Norway. Now what’s the reason they aren’t taught in public schools? Because 1: Not everyone in this country is Christian and 2: It is not the job of the government to be engaging in religious instruction or showing favoritism. Since your fellow conservatives would throw a fit if, say, a pagan tried teaching their creation beliefs in science class that means that yours aren’t allowed. All or none, Joe. That is the only way the government can treat all religions as equal.

    As for your statement about the unborn..yeah you and your sides concern about the “unborn” would be a lot more credible if 1: you supported every pregnant mother having the best of health care or even ensured that they had adequate health care and 2: if you and your side would ensure that everyone who has been born has adequate health care.

    Until then really..your sides concern about the “unborn” really amounts to something akin to Joseph Stalin caring about the unborn in his country…so he’d have enough cannon fodder to use.

    Your side’s “concern for the unborn” more boils down to the abject desire of a bunch of old white men desiring to punish women for having sex and enjoying it.

    One teaches science in science class rooms. If your church can’t handle its job, Joe, then find a new church. But it is not the job of your local public school to be a proxy for your religious beliefs. If you were my kids public school teacher and you tried teaching Creationism or its mutant bastard child ID I would have you fired. Then I would have your teachers license stripped. Then I would bankrupt you in the very biggest civil rights lawsuit you ever did see. In short, Joe, I would destroy you, I would leave you and your family broke and penniless living in the gutter. And why? Because your religious beliefs do not grant you the right to teach them to my kids in their classroom in any public school in the country.

    And I’m Christian. This is not Afghanistan and your side seriously needs to stop acting like the Christian Taliban.

    And you might want to expand your mind just enough and question your faith long enough to consider the possibility that God used evolution as a means to an end.

    Or is your faith in God that weak?

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  34. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, of course it is competition! In any market there are a limited number of clients and a limited amount of dollars. Wal-mart doesn’t complain that Safeway is sucking their funding – they compete for the clientele and for the dollars. You are saying that no such competition between these schools should exist. You are saying the public schools should get all the money and if people want to send their kids elsewhere, they should fork over thousands more to do so. This is competition? What you are saying is that only rich parents should be able to send their children to private schools. I am saying that poor children should be afforded the same opportunity to a great education as rich children.

    This is one thing that I never get about the left. You guys are trying to say that you are fighting for the poor when it is you who refuse to allow parents the choice of where to send their children to school. So if they are in a poor neighborhood in a failing school, they have no opportunity to get a better education because they’re stuck.

    Ed, education doesn’t need more money! Holy smokes, I wish homeschoolers were given that much money! if I were given $8,500 per child per year to educate my children (AZ’s average), they would be able to go to Europe, Washington D.C., etc. to study its history instead of just readings about it in books. We’re talking MacBooks, gym memberships for P.E., etc. Wow!

    I understand that hiring teachers, building schools, etc. makes education much more expensive than a home-school family, I’m just saying…$8,500 is a LOT of money to educate one child. In fact, the US spends more on education than any other nation in the world…and we are still failing to compete. Are you sure the answer is just more money instead of just utilizing the money to its fullest potential? I know I sure could do a lot more with it than is being done! I am sure more money would be NICE, but in this economy it’s probably not going to happen.

    Are vouchers and charter schools the sole answer? Probably not. I agree with you that there are not enough of them at this point and that the answer is more complicated than just charter schools.

    James, these three theories…which ones are not taught in public schools again?

    Strange world we live in where life from life and effects having causes are taught in school to be incorrect and life coming from life and causes creating effects is seen as religious and unscientific. Beyond this, it is a strange world where life is seen as coming from things that are not living and something that is living is seen as not really a life (the unborn). Strange and very sad…

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  35. To quote myself:
    And as long as, for example, Texas quits quite a bit of its budget from taxes

    Apparently, today is typo day for me. That should be “And as long as, for example, Texas gets quite a bit of its budget from taxes….”

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  36. Oh and by the way, lets just say we tried your “if a state wants to teach ID alongside evolution that is the right of that state” and your kid walked into my biology class at whatever University they were attending..the second they tried bringing ID up, Joe, is the second I would fail them for the entire year.

    Sorry, the stakes are too high to let the states pander to the religious mouthbreathers on the far right. This is not the 18th century..this is the 21st century..and this country’s future depends on our children and our grandchildren not being reduced to blithering idiots in the name of religious mouthbreathers on the far right.

    And as long as, for example, Texas quits quite a bit of its budget from taxes paid from people in my state then my state, via the federal government, gets to exercise some amount of control over what Texas does.

    Because that’s the one thing that you on the right conveniently ignore when you talk about taxes and the federal government.

    That the blue states subsidize the red states one and all.

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  37. Lower writes:
    Frankly, if a state votes to teach intelligent design as a plausible explanation alongside the explanation that nothing exploded and everything just happened for no reason, they have the constitutional right to do that.

    No really, they don’t. Because intelligent design is a religious belief and under the 1st amendment the government, no matter which arm of it, has no right to foist religious belief off on it’s citizens.

    Oh and by the way..the Big Bang theory doesn’t say everything happened for no reason. And the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory are two different theories. In fact the theory of evolution doesn’t even talk about how life started..much less the universe. The theory of evolution explains what happened after life started. The theory of abiogenesis explains how life started.

    You’re fairly intelligent, Lower, and you don’t even bother to be honest enough to keep them straight. Three separate theories, Joe, and you either aren’t smart enough to recognize they’re three separate theories or you’re dishonest in pretending it’s all the same mishmash.

    Sorry, I am not willing to condemn this country to third world status just so you on the right can pander to the religious fundamentalist mouthbreathers in your party by making the children of this country stupid. If you and yours want to pander to the religious mouthbreathers and create Christian Madrasssas then I suggest taking your own advice…move. Preferbly out of the country. I would suggest the country of Kiribati since apparently the citizens of it are all fixing to move somewhere else.

    As for your inane interepretation of the 10th amendment..tell me..when has that interpretation of the 10th amendment ever been upheld? Sorry, we should hold your interpretation of the 10th amendment as the only correct one for what reason?

    One teaches science in science class. Intelligent Design is no more science then Algebra is foreign languge class.

    But you really should bother to get it through your head that just because, for example, the theory of evolution doesn’t mention God did something doesn’t mean it’s saying that God didn’t do something.

    Or would that be expecting too much intellectual breadth and honesty from you?

    Lower writes:
    James, surely the only reason why Santorum should not have taken those funds was more than just because he is a millionaire! Rich people do not have a right to public education even though they pay way more in taxes than you or I?

    If he sent his kids to a public school then I wouldn’t have cared. That he homeschooled his kids, took the publics money and yet is far rich enough to have educated his kids on his own dime..and then turns around and kvetches about other people taking the government’s money is what bothers me. Sorry, I’m Catholic. It’s bad enough he’s a piss poor representative of my faith. It’s worse that he’s a piss poor representative of my faith and a God damn hypocrite to boot. He has all the moral integrity of a $500 dollar whore chiding a $50 dollar whore for being a whore.

    When my fellow Christians ask themselves why Christianity tends to have a bad reputation at times…Rick Santorum is the poster child of why.

    Lower writes:
    Oh James, how’d you ever find us out?! Well, I guess the jig is up and we’ll have to find a new scheme to destroy our country! Sigh…seriously? You really have the audacity to judge the “right wing’s” like with this kind of slander?

    It’s not slander. In my lifetime the right wing has done absolutely nothing to improve public education, has treated teachers and their unions as enemies of the state, has done everything possible to turn public schools into charter and private schools, has stolen funding from the public schools to pay private schools and homeschools, has stolen funding from public schools to patch deficit holes that they themselves had created with their tax cuts, etc.

    I had a Republican representative ask me in an email why the teachers unions in my state don’t support the GOP. When I got up from falling out of my chair my response was “Because the GOP has treated the unions, the teachers and the public schools like an abused wife with the GOP being the abusive husband.”

    COnsidering the rampant slander and other claims that your party routinely uses, Joe, I don’t think you’re in a position to chide me for anything I say. Unless of course you’re going to bother have the integrity to go after them too? Like when your party somehow contends that Obama is both a fascist and a communist at the same time? Which is like saying that a Cruise Ship and Boeing 747 are the same thing.

    Let me know when you’re going to get after Rick Santorum for his little slander against the President regarding colleges and day care. Somehow I think your only response to that will be…silence.

    TO quote:
    The decline in our education does not mean that we need to turn to a nanny state, it means that parents are neglecting their responsibilities making it very difficult position for the government to be in

    Then quit blaming the government and quit blaming the public schools. Quit trying to depower the former and quit trying to defund the latter. It doesn’t help. THe greatest single leap in the educational standard of this country in the last 100 years, Lower, was because of the government. It was the GI Bill.

    Charter schools and private schools can not pick up the slack. There simply isn’t enough of them. Depending on them is nothing more then stick a very small bandaid over a very big gash. It doesn’t work. And your precious “vouchers” in no way shape or form fixes the problems. It merely shuffles them out of sight.

    So until you and your side actually want to improve education in this country..until you’re actually willing to help come up with actual solutions..the best thing you can do is sit down and shut up. Because you and yours are nothing more then a distraction that this country can’t afford.

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  38. Lower writes:
    I think that’s a great idea! If there were competition amongst public schools, I cannot see anything but better schools. I would love to see your school receive more funds by more parents desiring to come to your school. That’s the way it should work!

    Let me know when you’re going to bother to turn on your brain long enough to figure out that if kids start being taken out of a school that means the ones that stay are actually going to be in a worse position.

    My state has had open enrollment for most of my life. There is “competition” as it were, Lower.

    Your brand of “competition” isn’t going to improve the public schools..it’s going to decimate them. If you want to send your kids to a private school then fine..be my guest. But do it on your own dime. You don’t need my money to do so and you can stop kvetching about “paying twice” since you’re choosing to exercise a privilige, not a right.

    QUit pretending that a small bandaid is going to heal a 10 inch gash, Lower.

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  39. Ed Darrell says:

    I think that’s a great idea! If there were competition amongst public schools, I cannot see anything but better schools. I would love to see your school receive more funds by more parents desiring to come to your school. That’s the way it should work! It’s the way it does work in AZ as many public schools in the SE Phoenix area are set up as charter schools. As far as charters go, AZ would be a fairly good model for other states to consider.

    That’s not really competition. Charter schools in Arizona are just as much vampire-funding as any other charter — they can only take money away from public schools. If a public school does better than a charter school, there’s no particular advantage to the public school (and in Dallas, public schools regularly outperform charter schools).

    Education needs more money. Rearranging the coal shovels of the engine room crew on the Titanic doesn’t make the ship go faster, or sink more slowly. Charter schools rarely bring more resources to fight ignorance, but instead sap resources from schools, and most often from struggling schools. Stupid idea, to me.

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  40. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, I am not saying that education should not be funded by anyone. I am saying that the constitution is silent on the subject which means by default that it falls under the 10th amendment. It is a state by state issue and none of the Federal government’s.

    The fact that our eduction is funded 10% by the Feds demonstrates that we (both on the left and right) don’t really believe that anymore and haven’t for years.

    Frankly, if a state votes to teach intelligent design as a plausible explanation alongside the explanation that nothing exploded and everything just happened for no reason, they have the constitutional right to do that. And you have the constitutional right not to live in that state. This is what makes Obama-care so problematic – I cannot move to another state that does not require me to have state-mandated healthcare. Remember, our states are intentioned to be unified sovereigns, that collectively make up one nation. If the federal government dictates what is taught in school then while it may seem helpful for the whole, it will be severely damaging to the parts. What is relevant to teach in Alaska will be something different than what is relevant in Maine based on the unique area in which they live. There are staples, to be sure, but each state and local government, with the involvement of the parents in their communities should know the best way to handle their children’s education.

    The decline in our education does not mean that we need to turn to a nanny state, it means that parents are neglecting their responsibilities making it very difficult position for the government to be in. The blame for the government taking charge of education is because parents have abdicated their responsibility thereby making it a necessary evil. However, if parents take their child’s education seriously, the state should not make that difficult for the parents but should be a help to them. I am saving my state soooo much money by home-schooling my children, teaching them to be good citizens, who pay their taxes honestly, who will be involved in their community, who will be college educated (I expect them to work their own way through school as I did – no one could afford school in my family and yet we all worked our butts off to get our degrees) and will have a strong work-ethic. I do not expect a thank you from AZ anytime soon, but it would be nice. :-) I do not consider myself to be a role model in the slightest, I look at myself and my wife as a declining demagraphic of parents who used to be commonplace in this country but are becoming increasingly rare, to the destruction of our country.

    For instance, I was talking to a college graduate recently who did not know who Newt Gingrich is. I talk with high-schoolers who do not know what happend in 1776, 1812, 1861-65, or in 1941-45. They do not know who the vice-president is, nor any of the judges on the Supreme Court. They couldn’t recite any part of Gettysburg adress if it meant they would win a million bucks! People know more about the World of Warcraft than the world in which they live. This, my friends, is unacceptable and will be the ruin of our country if it continues.

    James, I personally do not look at the education of my children as a right or a privilege but as a responsibility. I am responsible to give them the best education that I have the ability to give. In our situation, since we cannot afford a private school, my wife and I can provide them with a far better education than they will receive in a public school and so we feel responsible to give them that quality of education, even if it means that we live on a shoestring budget. Knowledge is better than a myriad of toys, in my opinion. It means plenty of sacrifice for our family, but this is something that is becoming lost in our society – sacrificing one’s life for the betterment of another. This generation is sacrificing their children’s future so that they can have the lives that they desire now, flushing their children’s future for their own greed. We are doing that through our entitlement programs (like people winning the lottery and remaining on food stamps) and our education. We pass our children off to day-care and expect someone else to raise them so that we can pursue our own dreams and desires rather than help our children pursue theirs. Again, our society will not long last if these things continue.

    James, surely the only reason why Santorum should not have taken those funds was more than just because he is a millionaire! Rich people do not have a right to public education even though they pay way more in taxes than you or I? I disagree with Santorum. He should not have taken those funds, but you cannot argue that he did not have a right in the State of Pennsylvania to take those funds because he is rich. He was wrong because he perpetuated the problem of getting what you can out of government just because you can. Not cool!

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  41. But hey, Lower, if you think government should give money to private schools then I’m fine with that.

    Under certain conditions.

    1: No religious instruction. Nor any organized school prayer.
    2: No creationism or it’s mutant bastard child Intelligent Design
    3: Said schools can not kick out any student for failing. In other words they can not cherry pick their students so they seem to be doing better then public schools.
    4: Said teachers at said school have the right to unionize if they wish.

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  42. Lower writes:
    Frankly, those of us who home-school or private school are double charged. We have to pay taxes that go to public schools and pay for our kids’ education. Perhaps a simple “thank you” would suffice from public educators to home-school families as they would be overwhelmed with 2.5 more million home-school students and no additional funding to cover them.

    To answer James’ question about Santorum, from what I researched, the base cost for educating a child in PA is $8,000 with an average cost of over $12,000 per student. Santorum was paid $100,000 for schooling 5 children for three years of online education. At $8,000 per child, the Santorum’s actually saved the taxpayers of PA $20,000 by enrolling in PA’s online educational system. Should they be sent an additional check for the difference?

    Home schools and private schools are not a “right” they’re a privilige. Hence any kvetching about “double charge” is stupid because wait for it…they’re the ones choosing to be double charged. Sorry, any who home school or use private schools knew that going in.

    And no…he cost PA $100,000.

    Why? Because Rick Santorum is rich enough to educate his kids on his own bloody dime without getting the people of his state to pay for it.

    Rick Santorum is a millionaire quite a few times over. He needed the state to pay for his kids education why? And if the state paid for his kids education doesn’t that mean he should have the intellectual honesty to not kvetch about the government paying for other people’s educating their children?

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  43. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m running a bit, here, with a choir rehearsal in 45 minutes — so this is not a broad answer, just a hit and run.

    First, Joe, take a look here at spending on education in the early 1990s: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/backgrounders/school_funding.html

    I fear that, if the federal share of education spending has drifted up from the 6% it was for a decade or more, it’s because states have slashed their funding, and not because the feds increased it. That would be the story in Texas and Wisconsin, for example.

    That’s borne out in this chart based on statistics from our friends at the National Center for Education Statistics:

    Chart showing sources of education funding.

    See this description of the trends, here:

    Today, states play a large and increasing role in education funding, a trend that emerged in the 1970’s when state spending first overtook education spending by local governments. Federal funding has always been minor with respect to total direct elementary and secondary education spending, though the federal government’s role in education funding has slowly increased, along with the role of the federal government in education policy.

    I cannot imagine why you think funding education is unconstitutional. Education is a sacred duty, according to Jefferson and Madison. Without it our democratic republic cannot function at all, and would be lost. Surely you’re not arguing that the federal government has not duty to defend the Constitution.

    Gotta run. More later.

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  44. lowerleavell says:

    The article that I read that provided the was 8% from ed.gov. and was out of date (2005). You are correct, it is more around 10% now. If it is a decreasing trend then maybe it is a result of “new math.” 10% is more than 8% last time I checked. At least if my math is wrong then my self esteem is high. :-)

    10% certainly is not a controlling interest, but it is still a violation of the constitution that has been ignored by both parties. For better or worse, I think the Federal involvement in education is here to stay. If you want to make the case that it should grow even more, you’ll be arguing against our founding fathers. You may be right, but it’s not a part of how this nation was set up and personally, I like Santorum’s idea of custom build education.

    I am fairly ignorant when it comes to teacher’s unions – therefore my question.

    Ed said, “If charter schools are such a good idea, why not let students do the same thing with public schools — choose a public school and get money from the state to make it better?”

    I think that’s a great idea! If there were competition amongst public schools, I cannot see anything but better schools. I would love to see your school receive more funds by more parents desiring to come to your school. That’s the way it should work! It’s the way it does work in AZ as many public schools in the SE Phoenix area are set up as charter schools. As far as charters go, AZ would be a fairly good model for other states to consider.

    You do realize however, that if you do that, then you will have the same problem as with charter schools – long waits to attend the school, higher score levels in public schools that have better education, and people claiming it’s not fair!! For the sake of all our kids’ mediocrity, perhaps your idea isn’t so good after all.

    Frankly, those of us who home-school or private school are double charged. We have to pay taxes that go to public schools and pay for our kids’ education. Perhaps a simple “thank you” would suffice from public educators to home-school families as they would be overwhelmed with 2.5 more million home-school students and no additional funding to cover them.

    To answer James’ question about Santorum, from what I researched, the base cost for educating a child in PA is $8,000 with an average cost of over $12,000 per student. Santorum was paid $100,000 for schooling 5 children for three years of online education. At $8,000 per child, the Santorum’s actually saved the taxpayers of PA $20,000 by enrolling in PA’s online educational system. Should they be sent an additional check for the difference?

    Man, I can’t imagine what my wife and I could do for education of our children if we were given a check for the average price of $8,500 per child in AZ! With four kids, I could probably just do school with them full time instead of going to work. :-)

    By the way, yes, I have a problem with it, if that helps. Only because he was living in VA at the time. I’m not a Santorum fanatic to think that I agree with him 100% of the time.

    James said, “Your party wants to destroy public education in this country. Why? Because if you do then you don’t have to educate everyone..especially the poor and minorities..and it makes it so much easier to brainwash and control people with right wing hogwash.”

    Oh James, how’d you ever find us out?! Well, I guess the jig is up and we’ll have to find a new scheme to destroy our country! Sigh…seriously? You really have the audacity to judge the “right wing’s” like with this kind of slander? Come on, my nine year old knows more about this country, has read more books, etc. than the average high-school grad coming out of public school these days. So, you really think I’m interested in destroying this country’s education? James, you have no credibility here.

    James said, “Or to put this another way, he is simply following the Republican motto of “In this world only the fittest survive. If you’re strong (rich) you live, if you’re weak (not rich) you die.”

    While this is not true of Republicans, if Darwin is right, what is wrong with this?

    Ed, I continue to ask: are you going to rebuke your fellow bloggers on this thread who continue to slander and characterize the right as the “bloody Taliban” who want to bring about a theocracy in this country. Seriously, I try to take your site seriously, but this trend of slander continues and continues to pervade the temperature of the bathtub.

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  45. So the ultra religious Rick Santorum, for the year 2010, gave less then 2% of his wealth to charity last year. (that would include his church which he claims sustains him)

    WHen asked about it by Chris Wallace, this was his response:

    SANTORUM: Well, I mean, we always need to do better. I was in the situation where we have seven children and one disabled child who we take care of and she’s very, very expensive. We love her and we cherish the opportunity to take care of her. But she’s — it’s an additional expense and we have round the clock care for it and our insurance company doesn’t cover it, so I pay for it. And you know, that’s one of the things that, you know, you have to balance the needs of your immediate family.

    That’s an incredible amount of chutzpah there considering that 1: he and his family has the best health care in the world courtesy of the US tax payers for the rest of his pathetic life and that 2: he thinks insurance companies should have the right to exclude children and adults for pre-existing conditions.

    And then to even add to the amount of chutzpah he objects to the US government helping those who are less fortunate then him get insurance in the bloody first place.

    So Rick Santorum’s message to the American people is apparently “I got mine and you paid for it. Screw you getting anything.”

    Or to put this another way, he is simply following the Republican motto of “In this world only the fittest survive. If you’re strong (rich) you live, if you’re weak (not rich) you die.

    Tell me, Lower, where is Mr. Santorum’s Christian compassion and concern for all the people who have the same or similar conditions that his daughter has?

    Or does he think they should just crawl off into the gutter and die?

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  46. Lower writes:
    By the way, vouchers for schools has really helped here in AZ with charter schools and private schools.

    You mean the voucher system that apparently gave vouchers to students already in private schools? Like to the tune of 76% of the vouchers it gave out went to students that were already in private schools?

    But tell me..what do you think of Rick Santorum getting $100,000 in vouchers to send his kids to private schools?

    Let me know when you and your fellow people on the right wing are going to be interested in fixing things for every student..not just the chosen few.

    Because the cherry picking of the chosen few does not help the rest.

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  47. Lower writes:
    By the way, vouchers for schools has really helped here in AZ with charter schools and private schools. Why are the feds trying to shut that down if they are not involved in education?

    Oh really? Yeah of course the fact you’re missing is that charter schools and private schools can cherry pick their students. So it makes it real easy to make them look better then public schools because they don’t have to teach everyone. if a student is doing badly at a charter or private school……

    ….they get kicked out.

    That and the fact that taking money from public schools in the form of vouchers does nothing to improve the lot of the students left in the public schools. Do public schools need improving? Yeah…but vouchers isn’t a fix..it’s not even a bandaid…it’s nothing more then an attempt to destroy the public schools with paper cuts.

    If you want “vouchers” for charter and private schools then I suggest you try an alternative…this little concept called “scholarships.” Of course..you and yours would have to pay for them out of your own pocket instead of raiding my pocket. Because I have absolutely no interest in funding charter schools and I have even less interest in funding private schools when none of my nonexistant kids go there. I should be expected to fund private schools for what reason? Especially when 99.99999999% of them are religious in nature..why?

    And as for my state specifically..that would be Minnesota..school vouchers are a violation of the Minnesota state Constitution which specifically forbids state money being used for such things.

    Of course that hasn’t stopped your precious Republicans in my state from blithely trying to pretend that part of the state Constitution simply doesn’t exist.

    But as for your claim for Arizona..feel free to provide the unbiased and verifiable evidence to back up your claim. Because charter schools have been a very definite mixed bag up here in Minnesota. If I bothered I can find the names of at least a dozen charter schools that got shut down for financial shenanigans and another that got shut down for religious shenanigans up here.

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  48. Lower writes:
    Ed, the Feds fund over 8% of our education and their involvement is on the sharp increase in recent years.

    Oh really? You have the stats to back that up, right?

    And gee..as for any supposed “increase of their involvement” lets see…what party was the one that saw to that..hm…yeah…um..yeah it was the Republicans.

    You do remember NCLB right?

    How about you go take a look at former Senator Santorum’s record on voting for NCLB. Because not only did he vote for it but he tried using it as an opportuntiy to shove the right wing Christian belief of Creationism down our kids throats.

    Once again..Republican hypocrisy at work and you blithely ignore it, Lower.

    Your party wants to destroy public education in this country. Why? Because if you do then you don’t have to educate everyone..especially the poor and minorities..and it makes it so much easier to brainwash and control people with right wing hogwash.

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  49. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, the Feds fund over 8% of our education and their involvement is on the sharp increase in recent years.

    A declining trend. When we were serious about education, when we thought knowledge was a tool against the very real darkness of the Soviet communist threat, when we were more serious about science and reality, the federal share of education spending rose to about 15%. It’s been declining in particular since the Reagan administration. I’d be surprised if any school district has 10% federal funding any more, and with the possible exception of stimulus funds to prevent teacher layoffs, the national average federal funding is closer to 6%, special aid to fund programs that help handicapped students.

    10% funding is not a controlling interest in any rational accounting.

    The trend is going towards more and more federal involvement thanks to guys who meant well but were wrong (like Bush and the NCLB act). I agree that the feds do not control education but that is the direction it is heading more and more each year. Your post makes it sound like a good thing. I’m not blaming the Dems here, it has been the Republicans who have been pushing NCLB, etc. I hold Santorum’s feet to the fire for voting for the thing! Unfortunately, it has not helped.

    If you take your trend lines back to, say 1940, the trend for the past four decades is down. Federal funding is decreasing, not increasing. We have a law that says the federal government will not write curricula nor act in any other way to dictate what school districts do — an unfortunate law, all too often. Texas rewrote social studies texts to eliminate slavery’s origins in the U.S. (now part of “the triangle trade routes”), and to eliminate the great work of Thomas Jefferson for religious freedom, emphasizing instead the influence of John Calvin on the Constitution of the State of Washington (no money for Catholics, basically — “Oops, we forgot about Washington’s ‘right to education’ clause, but teachers are ordered to ignore it”). Instead of the world-class, National Science Foundation curriculum in up-to-date science, we get most states with weak biology education (cancer isn’t a serious problem, nor is other disease, apparently) and some states adopting oil company-generated materials that claim air pollution is not harmful, glaciers don’t melt, and there’s global warming is a hoax perpetrated by millionaire, communist tree huggers like Teddy Roosevelt, John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, and Thomas Jefferson (George Washington was left off the list because the authors didn’t know Washington was a farmer).

    With the very great exception of NCLB, federal involvement in education at all levels has almost always been for the great advantage of democracy and the American people — if you can find a contrary example, you’re twisting history most likely. Bush got Democrats to sign on to NCLB with a promise of full-funding of programs to provide individualized education for special needs and specially-talented children — a promise which Bush reneged on. No state is obligated to follow NCLB, but it does provide a lot of convenient hammers to chip at the foundations of public education, and so states have been happy to seize that initiative — uneducated peasants make better slaves and fewer unions, even if education does make them more moral, healthier and better taxpayers. What good is being elite if the peasants cannot be abused?

    There is no “direction” to greater federal control of education. As I noted, every nation that beats U.S. students in achievement has a strong, national education system, and a system that treats teachers with some respect. Until we, as a nation, stop flogging teachers and denigrating education and public education and the great good work that public education teachers do, we will continue to flounder as a society, in all the ways you claim to rue, Joe.

    What role do you think the Teacher’s Unions have had in the problems we face in education?

    Not a great enough role. They were unable to make NCLB a useful tool. They have been unable to protect teacher jobs anywhere. They have been convenient flogging attractors for the enemies of public education and an educated populace, and that has hurt education. Teacher unions have no great power in any state with the possible exceptions of New York and New Jersey, where achievement typically leads the nation. The once-powerful Utah NEA that elected governors and led the nation in education achievement at bargain-basement prices was eviscerated with no-strike rules, and as a consequence Utah achievement has made a long slide to mediocrity. There is no teacher union in Texas, by law; there is no effective bargaining in California. Teacher unions could be a tool to make education work well, to make U.S. education great again. Wisconsin’s Gov. Ahab Walker, and state legislatures in most other states where Republicans rule, have created impassable hurdles for teachers to do much to help out, either as individuals, or especially in an organized fashion. The Lenin-style propaganda that scapegoats teacher unions would be laughable, if otherwise intelligent people were not so enamored of its full-blown error.

    Utah’s teacher union showed how to make education great, on the cheap. Ideologues papered over the message, and gutted the union’s power.

    By the way, vouchers for schools has really helped here in AZ with charter schools and private schools. Why are the feds trying to shut that down if they are not involved in education?

    Why do you tell great tall tales like that if you’re not a dedicated enemy of education? Among Obama’s greatest sins is his support of charter schools, and Arne Duncan’s unswerving support of more charters is a sore spot in education. Despite a national, two-decade record of abject failure, charters continue to suck the life-blood out of schools that need help. Education is the only area in which vampires actually live, attacking virginal damsels and sucking their blood. If charter schools are such a good idea, why not let students do the same thing with public schools — choose a public school and get money from the state to make it better? In our neighborhoods, including my own “low-performing” school, we have beaten every charter school on every measure. Don’t you believe in meritocracy? Why can the charter schools take away my salary, but I can’t get their money even when I beat them?

    Soviet-style governance of education is a bad idea, Joe, especially when the Soviets support charter schools over education quality, and even when the soviets are locally elected.

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  50. Ellie says:

    LL, I provided a link to JFK’s speech. Perhaps you could point out exactly where Kennedy said that religious speech is off limits? He did say “But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.” Here’s the link again: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkhoustonministers.html

    I’m happy that you are able to live on one income and are able to homeschool just as I am happy that two of my friends are able to do so (one the Atheist I mentioned and one who has recently become a “Jew for Jesus”). My mother would never have had that luxury, even if she had so desired. Had we relied solely on my Dad’s income, we would have been living in abject poverty. He had to quit school after 8th grade (the first in his family to go that far!) to help support his siblings, and none of his jobs paid much. They were also supporting my grandmother who had no income at all of her own, and was ill. So my mother taught other people’s children in one of those “warehouses.” Did a darn good job of it, too.

    In case it has escaped your attention, the current contraceptive brouhaha is not about the government paying for contraception, but rather what is covered by employees’ health care coverage. I do not attempt to censor Santorum’s views and neither would Kennedy, I’m sure. I can say that, never having been entranced by the Kennedy mystique, but just looking back at history.

    Few people who fight for clean water, clean air and safe food would go for that “a fish is a boy” nonsense. It’s a complete straw man argument whether by you, or Mr. Santorum. And his record on mercury pollution is what influences my opinion as to whether he thinks this Earth is the Lord’s or belongs to corporations.

    Thank you for the discourse. I will, of course, read any reply, but I think this will be my last on Mr. Santorum, unless he comes up with something even more offensive than he already has. And yes, I do find his notion that Satan has taken over my denomination (because I’m no longer RC) offensive. Of course, I found that idea offensive when I was seven….something, I assure you, that didn’t put me in good stead with the nuns. He’s entitled to his opinion. His arrogation of the salvation of the majority of the human race….not so much.

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  51. lowerleavell says:

    James, unfortunately it is near impossible to have a dialogue with you. I do not know if you know how to do anything BUT distort people’s positions into being what you want them to be. If you make my position into something you don’t like then obviously you’ll be against it. But instead of just taking my arguments at face value, you create new ones to meet your purposes which is the classic straw man approach to discussion. I shouldn’t have to try and defend positions to which I do not hold. I will try and respond as I can but it is hard when both my views and others on the right are skewed. This goes back to my original premise on this post that liberals should have enough to disagree with Republicans that they shouldn’t have to drum up false accusations and distortions to paint a horrible picture (Christian Taliban) that is not true. If you disagree – fine. If you want to have a serious conversation – fine. If you want to just jab barbs back and forth – count me out.

    The left is giving Limbaugh for using rhetoric like “slut” and “prostitute” of an individual as worthy of rebuke by the president on down. How about it Ed…you OK with people on your site equivocating me and others on the right as Christian terrorists who are trying to set up a theocracy? You all make me wonder if the only reason why those of us on the right haven’t been rounded up into concentration camps as traitors to this country is because we’re the ones who actually exercise our 2nd amendment rights. Scary times in this country to be a conservative…the rhetoric is getting more and more inflamed. Ed…you condone this by your silence.

    Ed, the Feds fund over 8% of our education and their involvement is on the sharp increase in recent years. The trend is going towards more and more federal involvement thanks to guys who meant well but were wrong (like Bush and the NCLB act). I agree that the feds do not control education but that is the direction it is heading more and more each year. Your post makes it sound like a good thing. I’m not blaming the Dems here, it has been the Republicans who have been pushing NCLB, etc. I hold Santorum’s feet to the fire for voting for the thing! Unfortunately, it has not helped.

    What role do you think the Teacher’s Unions have had in the problems we face in education?

    By the way, vouchers for schools has really helped here in AZ with charter schools and private schools. Why are the feds trying to shut that down if they are not involved in education?

    Like

  52. Lower writes:
    James said, “Lower, if I and my girlfriend use contraception what business is it of Santorum’s? For that matter..what business is it of Minnesota’s? Or Texas? Or North Carolina? Or any of the other states? Should not that be the choice of my girlfriend and I?”

    James, that’s exactly the point! You should have that freedom to do that! Santorum’s position was not to limit that but to clear a constitutional point that the states had the right under the constitution. Is he wrong? He went on to say that they could but should not. I’ve said this in other conversations, but should and can are two different things. But beyond, this, would you like contraceptives to be mandatory as it is in China? The government isn’t mandating that Wal-mart sell condoms, are they?

    Sorry, Santorum is a religious nut who has no problem in thinking that his religious beliefs should be the law. In fact he’s said as much. And there are others on your side that would gleefully legislate religious belief.

    As for China..no I wouldn’t. But it isn’t my party that’s trying to set up that scenario. It’s your party conjuring a boogyman..a false reality that says that Obama is trying to do that.

    Showing once again the Republican habit of never dealing with reality.

    So..tell me..why should your party be trusted when your party can’t even debate from an honest position? Your party constantly conjures up strawman scenarios.

    After all..your party acted like Obama just came up with that rule regarding contraceptions. Blithely ignoring the fact that the EEOC implemented that rule in December 2000 and noone..not the Republican Congress from December 2000 to December 2006 and not the Bush administration from Jan 2001 to Jan 2009 did anything about it. After all..if insurance companies are going to cover prescriptions for guys..they probably should be required to also cover prescriptions for women. Else it’s…oh what’s that word…..ah yes…..

    discrimination.

    But if you want to argue that then I’m sure you’d have no problem if, say, United Health refused to give Christians health insurance? Or lets say I was CEO of US bank…you’d have no problem if I yanked the health insurance of every single conservative/Republican who worked for me because…well…I find your party morally reprehensible?

    Sorry, Person A’s religious freedom do not entitle that person to decide what Person B’s health insurance pays for. Person B’s religious freedom protects them from Person A’s religious beliefs.

    It’s time your party stop pandering to the mouthbreathers on the evangelical right who desire to turn the United States into the Christian Afghanistan with them as the Christian Taliban.

    And knock off the stupid “liberals want to remove religion from public discourse” nonsense. You’re not a stupid person, Lower, but that is your absolute most mentally deficient statement ever. Because in my experience..the only ones who seem interested in removing religion from “public discourse” are the Christians who, for example, open a city council meeting with a Christian prayer but when a Wiccan citizen of that town asks permission to open a meeting with a Wiccan prayer not only is she told no..but her tires are slashed and her cat is killed.

    Ensuring that all religions in this country, Lower, are all treated equally is not “removing religion from public discourse”…it is merely ensuring that everyone has the same rights and same equality in this country. So what is your problem, Lower, with Christianity being treated exactly the same as every other religion?

    What is your objection to this statement by Justice Blackmun: The mixing of government and religion can be a threat to free government, even if no one is forced to participate…. When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some. Harry Blackmun, Majority Opinion, Lee v. Weisman,1992

    Or this:
    Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and private schools entirely supported by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.
    –Ulysses S. Grant

    Or this?

    “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights. malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed.” Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, 1890-MAR-18.

    Or this?

    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, –Treaty of Tripoli, 1797. Negotiated under President George Washington, Negotiated in part by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, ratified by the Senate of 1797-1798 without Dissent and signed by President John Adams

    What is your problem with the phrase “separation of church and state” as uttered by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson?

    Oh and please don’t argue “It doesn’t appear in the US Constitution” because the second you do is the second I’m going to shove the fact that under a literal reading of the US Constitution…the US government and the state governments have every right to regulate firearms in this country from pillar to post. Curious how often you conservatives ignore the “well regulated” part of that amendment.

    Then we’ll have to throw George W Bush and Darth…er Dick CHeney in prison for, in effect, usurping the office of the President of the United States and same with the Vice President’s office.

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  53. Lower writes:
    Government intervention-wise, people have no right to ask for the government to support their choice to have large families and others have no rights to ask the government to support their desire for spending $3,000 a year (I think that’s the total cited) on contraceptives. Both are a choice of the individual and each should be responsible for their own choices. I should not have to be taxed to pay for either choice.

    Since government is not paying for contraception you are blowing smoke. Since your taxes go to pay for noone’s contraception you are blowing smoke. Since the government is not forcing anyone to use contraception..you are blowing smoke. All the government did..all the President did was reiterate a rule that has actually been in place for the last 12 years…12 years in which your party..and your precious George W Bush for his 8 years did absolutely nothing about.

    The person paying for the contraception, Lower, is the person using the contraception.

    Sorry, little one, your rights to your religious beliefs..Santorum’s rights to his religious beliefs do not entitle you or him to decide what other people’s health care pays for. And government, under the commerce clause, is well within its rights to regulate insurance.

    As for the specifics of your apparent “I shouldn’t pay taxes for things I don’t like” fine..you can hold that position just as soon as you pay me the roughly $80,000 dollars in taxes that George W Bush took from me to pay for his stupid wars..wars that I disagreed with on religious/moral grounds.

    We all pay taxes for things we don’t like, Lower. If you don’t like it..too bad. Find the door.

    Again, noone is trying to take away anyones religious rights. You and your party, however, are indeed trying to take away people’s rights to be free from your religious beliefs.

    Time for you and your party to stop acting like the bloody Taliban.

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  54. Lower writes:
    JFK’s speech has been used by liberals (like Kerry) to push secularism on this country and push anything religious out of political discourse by clamoring for a complete separation of church and state.

    You have a problem with secularism? Really? You have a problem with the idea that government should stay neutral when it comes to religion so that all religious beliefs are treated equal?

    Noone has attempted to push religion out of political discourse, nitwit, but there is a difference between “religion being part of political discourse” and legislating religious beliefs. Your party, Lower, wants to legislate conservative Christian beliefs. Your party wants to make Christianity, especially evangelical Christianity, the favored and religion with special rights. Your party wants to make so called Christian law the law of the state.

    That phrase “separation of church and state” that you conservatives so love to hate..is not a recent phrase. It was said by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

    You do not have equality and religious freedom, Lower, if the government is allowed to favor one religion over all the rest.

    The Founding Fathers full well knew what happens when religion and politics and religion and government mix. That being persecution, discrimination, oppression….and ultimately mass murder.

    You’re not so dumb, Lower, that you’re stupid enough to ignore the explosive combination that government and religion have a tendency to be.

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  55. Ed Darrell says:

    The Federal government will never be able to do this so education should be sent back primarily to the local level.

    Hold on, there, sailor! The federal government plays a minuscule role in education at the elementary and secondary levels. Our schools are not governed by the federal government, but instead by 15,000 locally-elected school boards (or a few locally-appointed); the bulk of the money in 60% or more of those districts comes from local funds; in the rest, the bulk comes from a combination of local and state taxes.

    Our current “mess” as you call it is the fault of that local control, if anyone is to take the blame. We compete against national systems in every other developed country. Of those nations who score better than the U.S. in achievement at any level, 100% of them have national school curricula, or completely national systems.

    It bugs the tar out of me that so many people blame the federal government for problems in a program it does not fund and it does not govern — and then claim that we need to “get the feds out” in favor of the people who have screwed it up already.

    It’s like voting for Republicans to lead Congress because the economy is a mess.

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  56. Ed Darrell says:

    Santorum, or anyone else I know, is not proposing that we all switch to homeschooling. He is saying that customized education is needed to best educate our children.

    Then he votes against that every chance he gets. “I got mine, screw you,” he says.

    That’s part of why I think he’s unfit to be dog catcher, or any other office that is nominally in public service.

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  57. lowerleavell says:

    No worries, Ellie. I am not trying to get into a homeschooling discussion here either. Not everyone can home-school, and I thought I made that clear. But for those who do, the test results are clear that the education level is superior to public school. Why? Usually because they are getting a more personalized education than is possible in our current system. Santorum, or anyone else I know, is not proposing that we all switch to homeschooling. He is saying that customized education is needed to best educate our children. If we can create a custom built car on an assembly line, why can we not figure out how to custom make our children’s education as they develop? An education system that plays to the way they are bent. That’s the point. The Federal government will never be able to do this so education should be sent back primarily to the local level. To say that he or anyone else (maybe there’s someone out there somewhere) is advocating homeschooling for everyone is not accurate.

    It is a sacrifice to homeschool, to be sure. My wife and I made the choice when our first son was born that she would stay with the kids at home. We decided to live on my income which is nothing to write home about. But God has supplied and we have never missed a meal. My wife is smarter than I and works better with the children. However, I do better in math and history so I tend to help in those subjects. To think that all families should home-school would be naive on our part.

    Here is an article by the huffington post that I think articulates Santorum’s position on JFK speech:

    huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/jfk-religion-speech_n_1307282.html

    JFK’s speech has been used by liberals (like Kerry) to push secularism on this country and push anything religious out of political discourse by clamoring for a complete separation of church and state. Yet our religious beliefs (or lack thereof) make up a core part of who were are as humans and Americans. To relegate them off limits to the reason why we believe something is right or wrong takes the separation of church and state far beyond what Jefferson ever envisioned. Any position that is held because of religious beliefs is seen to be imposing one’s views on someone else. So no discussion on one’s religious beliefs is permissible. Santorum disagrees.

    Contraception is a great example. Santorum should be able to come out and say that he is personally against contraception without being blasted as against women’s rights and trying to outlaw contraceptives! He is entitled to his beliefs and to be vocal about his beliefs. He isn’t trying to outlaw contraceptives, though he isn’t for them being funded by taxpayers. He is expressing his own religious beliefs. According to JFK, he should not do that. I am not offended by by his views. I find it refreshingly honest for someone to voice their actual convictions that may or may not be politically correct. By the way, whether it matters or not, I do not agree with Santorum that contraceptives are wrong. I do not agree with the Duggars. While children are a blessing from the Lord and a gift to be celebrated, I do not think there is a prohibition in Scripture to stopping having children. Yet good people disagree and if they want big families, that’s their right to do so. The Duggars aren’t trying to impose their religious beliefs on everyone by legislation, so I am not offended.

    Santorum may believe that sex is solely for procreation, I have no idea. He has a right to his view, does he not? You and I have the right to disagree. But he should not have to limit his free speech because of JFK, should he?

    Government intervention-wise, people have no right to ask for the government to support their choice to have large families and others have no rights to ask the government to support their desire for spending $3,000 a year (I think that’s the total cited) on contraceptives. Both are a choice of the individual and each should be responsible for their own choices. I should not have to be taxed to pay for either choice.

    Regarding stewardship of the earth, I would be surprised and disappointed if Santorum puts the earth as distinctly belonging to man. That would be antithetical to the term “stewardship.” A steward is someone who is put in charge of something that someone else owns. Like if you lend your kid the car – they have a responsibility to both use the car and keep it nice. We are here to both use the earth and to understand that it belongs to God and should not be mismanaged.

    Using the car illustration, an environmentalist’s position would be that a teen can sit in the car, but the teen exists to keep the car nice and should try to use it as little as possible. This is ridiculous. A car is built to be used. A teen better keep it in good shape, but it should be used! God (yes, I’m invoking my theology here) put us on this earth to use it. Keep it nice, yes, but use it. Use it’s natural resources. Eat the food it produces. Harvest trees and forests. God gave us dominion over this planet and that’s not a bad thing. But…plant new trees as fast or faster than you use old ones. Don’t hunt animals out of existence. Many of the conservation movements are very good – trying to save rhino’s, whales, etc. Those are good things! Trying to preserve the beauty of National Parks and lands. That’s a good thing! But these are attempts at stewardship of a resource that God has given us, not that we exist to keep the earth green because we are a product of nature. We save whales and and trees and discard children. Why? Because a fish is a rat is a dog is a boy. Humans are not endangered and so environmentalists see humans as an enemy of the earth rather than guardians of the earth. Obama holds to the latter while Santorum holds to the former. There really is a difference between the two theologies (which they are) as Santorum indicated in his interviews.

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  58. Ellie says:

    BTW, when Santorum says, “I’m talking about, you know, the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should have dominion over it and should be good stewards of it,” I would like to ask him for his definition of stewardship. Somehow, his views on, say — mercury pollution for example — appear to be at odds with “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” and seems to say rather, “The earth is Man’s and we can do anything we want to it.”

    OK, that’s really it for the day. Really.

    Like

  59. Ellie says:

    LL, I do not wish to get into a discussion about homeschooling here, as I do not object to it as an idea, as long as those teaching are qualified to do so, but if both parents work outside the home (as was as true lo these many decades ago when I was young as it is now), who do you (or Mr. Santorum) propose should do the homeschooling?

    Re: JFK, Mr. Santorum lied by both comission and omission about what Kennedy said. Not unusual for a politician from any party, but generally speaking, a no no for someone who claims great faith. Here is a link to the speech. I remember it, but then, I’m older than dirt.
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkhoustonministers.html

    You respect the rights of those who wish not to use contraception? Wonderful! So do I! However, I also respect the rights of those who do wish to use contraception, for whatever reason. Reversing the decision about that would remove those rights depending on who was in power in the individual States, and I would prefer the government stayed out of my vagina, thank you very much. And let me say, I’m old, past my reproductive years, and celibate, so the only dog I have in this fight is as a female citizen of these United States.

    Rick Santorum says that you should not use contraception even within marriage because it diminishes the act, because it should always be for procreation, so yes, I did put words in his mouth because I was interpreting what he was saying. I still believe that’s what he meant, and I’d have to hear some very different words from his mouth than I have heard to believe anything else.

    I think I’m finished here. Mr. Santorum raises my blood pressure, and I can only take him in small doses, once a day.

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  60. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “A “legitimate case” that Santorum has repeatedly said he believes should be criminal, for any woman other than his wife.

    Well, actually, he didn’t exclude his wife. Perhaps he thinks his wife should be jailed, or executed.”

    Well, looking at “ontheissues.org”, it appears Santorum did vote in favor of banning partial birth abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Of course, his stand is that this will be abused significantly so that if (my illustration here) the mother says she has a headache the doctor can put down that they were concerned the mother would die so they could go ahead and perform the abortion. His stated concern is abuse of the system. So, it appears if (by his practice and voting) the mother’s life is legitimately threatened that he would say that the sanctity of life should always be protected (in this case, the mother’s). If you can provide quotes otherwise then by all means…He takes a hard stance against abortion, but let’s not invent and distort things guys. If you disagree that’s fine. Just take the time to actually get his position instead of inventing one. That’s my point.

    James says, “Rick Santorum? He’s nothing more then a Christian Taliban preaching fear, hatred, persecution, discrimination and theocracy.”

    James, if these statements are true than Santorum is a traitorous war criminal and should be charged accordingly. To be equating any presidential candidate of being the equivalent of someone who has murdered American military members is shameful and should be rescinded with apology! There is no room for this kind of inflammation of rhetoric that merely cuts away at any possible means of communication between the left and right. You guys are quick to blame the right for not working with liberals, but seriously…would you work with someone who accused you of such atrocities? This kind of putrid slime that comes out of people’s mouths has got to stop…both sides!

    Now, if you would like to have a conversation of someone’s actual beliefs and viewpoints without slander and putrid accusations then by all means. Otherwise, count me out of this.

    I agree with Santorum in his views about Protestants. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Huss, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Wesley, the Puritans, and those who penned both the London and the Westminster Confession of Faith would roll over in their graves if they knew the liberal theological positions of many of their spiritual descendents. They are certainly not the same. Even, as you verified, the Catholic Church no longer holds to the theological positions it once did (i.e. the Counsel of Trent). For better of worse, to say that many of the mainline denominations hold to the same theological viewpoints as their ancestors would be inaccurate. Santorum is right.

    What constitutes someone who is a Christian is not the debate here. If you want to have that conversation I would be more than happy to though as Jesus made it quite clear and I am not as shy as Santorum. I’m pretty sure being a part of a particular denomination wasn’t on Jesus’ list however. :-)

    As far as the trillions required for customized education…I’m sure it could be done much cheaper than what you claim. We spend less than $1,000 a year for both our children and they seem to be doing just fine. :-) You’re probably right that under our current paradigm it would require countless dollars to fund. I’m sure teachers like Ed (though I can’t speak for him of course) would love to do more educational mentoring than being overloaded with more and more students every year. It could be done, but it would require very open minded education boards…with our current teacher labor unions…unlikely.

    Ellie says,”He wants contraception laws left to the States. It was once; that’s what Griswold v Connecticut was all about. Perhaps he and his wife do not wish to use contraception, but most married couples do, and do not, perhaps, look at sexual intercourse as being inherently wicked.”

    You wouldn’t be putting words in Santorum’s mouth would you? Has he stated he believes sex is inherently wicked? He might…I just haven’t heard quotes one way or the other. I agree that the laws should be left to the states as well. I know many couples who do not use contraceptives because of religious views. I do not share those views but I respect their rights.

    “I’m glad you are successfully homeschooling. I have a friend who “unschools” and is also an Atheist. However, she does not presume to think that all parents are capable of this, especially those parents who must be employed. Contrary to popular “conservative” thinking, women working outside the home was only unheard of on ’50s and ’60s tv. It was very heard of in my neighborhood.”

    I have an acquaintance who unschools as well. Interesting approach to education, but the child is learning a lot in the areas she cares about, that’s for sure! Thank you for your comment. I was also homeschooled after forth grade. My parent’s travel for a living so it was necessary. Beyond this, in 4th grade I was subjected to a public school curriculum that had me learning how to cast spells and recite incantations. My older brother’s teachers also told my brothers not to go to my parents if they had problems because they weren’t professionals – they needed to go to their teachers because they knew better. Obviously, my parents (who happen to be professionals btw) were mildly offended to say the least.

    Women working out of the house is not an issue in this discussion, I do not think. I do a fair share of helping my children in their school and I also have a job. The only downside is that we don’t get to watch as much sitcom TV as the average family. Rats…(insert sarcasm here). :-)

    Regarding the JFK thing, I am pretty sure (I could be wrong) Santorum takes a very common stance that separation of church and state does not mean that people who are religious are excluded from public service or from referencing their religious beliefs in a public forum.

    Shoot, Obama practiced this position recently by invoking Jesus as the reason for raising taxes on the rich (a position I happen to disagree with, but he had that right)! Beyond this, it’s not Santorum who is seeking to impose by executive order that religious groups are mandated to do things against their religious beliefs.So…rebuke of Obama coming soon on this blog?

    James said, “Lower, if I and my girlfriend use contraception what business is it of Santorum’s? For that matter..what business is it of Minnesota’s? Or Texas? Or North Carolina? Or any of the other states? Should not that be the choice of my girlfriend and I?”

    James, that’s exactly the point! You should have that freedom to do that! Santorum’s position was not to limit that but to clear a constitutional point that the states had the right under the constitution. Is he wrong? He went on to say that they could but should not. I’ve said this in other conversations, but should and can are two different things. But beyond, this, would you like contraceptives to be mandatory as it is in China? The government isn’t mandating that Wal-mart sell condoms, are they? Why then should insurance companies be mandated to give them away? What business is it of Obama’s if I want to use contraceptives or not? Why should private companies be mandated what they can and cannot sell…or even what they have to give away for free?! What is to legally stop the government from mandating that couples use said contraceptives? They are mandating healthcare instead of having private companies give a product that people want to buy (i.e. capitalism). This is not just a matter of religious freedom – it is a matter of freedom period! But no one in this country should disagree with religious freedom at the very least!

    Your rant against homeschoolers not being very good at it…check your facts man:
    hslda.org/docs/news/200908100.asp

    Santorum has said nothing about destroying public schools. He merely has stated that our system is out of date. I happen to agree. National testing scores verses other countries would indicate that Santorum is not wrong. Our public school system is broken and it is not something that merely throwing more money at it will fix.

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  61. Lower, if I and my girlfriend use contraception what business is it of Santorum’s? For that matter..what business is it of Minnesota’s? Or Texas? Or North Carolina? Or any of the other states? Should not that be the choice of my girlfriend and I?

    And yes, Santorum would destroy the public schools. And being the son of a set of parents who both worked full time..yeah my parents didn’t have the time to home school me. And considering most “homeschoolers” are lunatics and mouthbreathers..yeah that’s something that is not the “panacea” that Mr. Santorum thinks it is.

    Most homeschoolers do it for the wrong reason and simply are not any good at it.

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  62. Ellie says:

    Re: Mrs. Santorum’s procedure. You can dress it up, flavor it with strawberry, and call it a lollipop and it will remain a procedure that Mr. Santorum does not want available to any other woman.

    Santorum’s position on prenatal testing is disingenuous. It is not mandatory. It does sometimes lead to abortion (for many reasons) but it also leads to treatment for RH factor when Rhogam doesn’t work, to pre-birth heart surgery, and many other life saving procedures.

    He wants contraception laws left to the States. It was once; that’s what Griswold v Connecticut was all about. Perhaps he and his wife do not wish to use contraception, but most married couples do, and do not, perhaps, look at sexual intercourse as being inherently wicked.

    I’m glad you are successfully homeschooling. I have a friend who “unschools” and is also an Atheist. However, she does not presume to think that all parents are capable of this, especially those parents who must be employed. Contrary to popular “conservative” thinking, women working outside the home was only unheard of on ’50s and ’60s tv. It was very heard of in my neighborhood.

    He flat out lied about what the President said about college education, while conveniently forgetting what he himself said about Pennsylvanians going to college back in 2006.

    He flat out lied (and a disgusting, repugnant lie it was, even though it was a Lie For Jesus) about old people in The Netherlands having to wear bracelets asking not to be euthanized.

    The Protestants = not Real Christians thing has multiple sources, although not always in those words. When I have time to look through my saved files, I’ll provide them. In the meantime, don’t try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs. I was a woman grown before I crossed the Tiber, never to look back. The fact that he, unlike JFK, who apparently nauseates him, feels no compunction about letting the entire non-RC voting populace know they are less than he in this regard, would make me turn away from him, even if I had thought for a moment of supporting him. It is a sign of these confused times, when fundamentalist Christians will get into bed with anyone (including the moonies), that people like the Duggars will support Santorum even though each of them is sure that the other is going straight to hell. I think I’ve used up more than my space. Sorry, Ed.

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  63. Lower writes:
    No public education. This is also false. His statement is that our system is outdated and one dimensional. Every child’s education should be custom built for the child

    Oh really? So…you and the rest of the Republicans are going to fork over the trillions of dollars to accomplish that right? Oh..and that would be on top of what we already spend.

    Yeah..I didn’t think so.

    As for his line about Protestants, have fun choking: Ave Maria University, 2008: We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantims, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/santorum-mainline-protestants-are-gone-wor

    Now, first off I’m quite sure the Jews would be quite bemused at the concept of “Judeo-Christian” and secondly..exactly how do you get a Protestant Judeo? THen there is the fact that according to the Founding Fathers…no this country was not founded or based on any part of Christianity. Sorry, their words mean more then some mouthbreather fanatic even if he is a fellow Catholic.

    Thirdly…oops..there he is saying that Protestants really aren’t Christians. And yes the council of Trent may still officially be in effect..but the Catholic church does not actively teach anymore that Protestants really aren’t Christians. We’ve gotten over that whole fire and brimstone lets kill the infidels thing and use the government to shove our religious beliefs down other people’s throats.

    Rick Santorum? He’s nothing more then a Christian Taliban preaching fear, hatred, persecution, discrimination and theocracy.

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  64. Ed Darrell says:

    You may call it an abortion is you want, but if it is, it would be a legitimate case for one.

    A “legitimate case” that Santorum has repeatedly said he believes should be criminal, for any woman other than his wife.

    Well, actually, he didn’t exclude his wife. Perhaps he thinks his wife should be jailed, or executed.

    In which case he’s a lot more weird than is comprehensible. In any case, he’s crazier than any person we’ve ever had as president.

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  65. lowerleavell says:

    Sorry guys, I haven’t had time to get on here. I only have a few minutes now.

    OK no abortions except for his wife. In the case of his wife, they did everything medically possible to save both the baby and the mother. After every other option was exhausted and considering the baby was dying already and was going to take the baby’s mother as well, the horrifying realization was made that the baby’s life could no longer be saved. This was a far cry from an abortion but was an unsuccessful attempt to save a baby’s life. You may call it an abortion is you want, but if it is, it would be a legitimate case for one. Now, are you going to take the inch and take a mile for abortions of convenience? Will you advocate infanticide as Obama has voted for?

    No prenatal testing: This is simply untrue. Santorum’s position is no MANDATORY pre-natal testing. My wife and I declined the same test because it often shows up positive when there really is no problem and wouldn’t change our love for the baby anyway. I have friends who took the test and it showed up positive. Guess what the doctor’s immediately recommended? ABORTION! She delivered a healthy baby boy with no problems whatsoever. Santorum’s right that these tests often result in the recommendation of an abortion, which is not a positive thing at all. Even if a child has DS, is that cause for an abortion? Santorum and I agree that the answer is “no.” That being said, if you look at his speech, he has no problems with people getting prenatal testing, sonograms, etc. if they desire. They simply should not be government mandated and forced on insurance companies.

    No public education. This is also false. His statement is that our system is outdated and one dimensional. Every child’s education should be custom built for the child (A Biblical concept by the way) to play to their strengths. This can only be achieved on a local level, so the less of a role the federal government plays in education the better. I agree. My son is 9, is finishing up 5th grade, fascinated with politics, and would be miles behind where he is now if I had simply placed him in a public school. We home-school, not because we want to, but because we do a better job working with unique individuals that are our children. If it were possible to get even close to the level of education he is getting at home in a public school, we would send him there.

    Protestants aren’t real Christians: I would need the quote from Santorum on that one. You do know that this is the official doctrine of the Catholic Church though, right? The Counsel of Trent has not been rescinded. Beyond this, there is a reason why Mormons baptize the dead who are not Mormon. They have beliefs that differ from mine, but I would hope you wouldn’t make religion a litmus test for who you choose to vote for POTUS, would you? Santorum said, “Obama is a Christian.” He has a problem with his worldview of environmentalism, not whether or not he is a Christian.

    Pre-existing conditions: If I smoke all my life knowing full well the health risks, it is somehow the other people who are insured’s job to pay for my bad habits? How about someone who eats ding-dongs all the time and then gets a heart condition? Insurance companies will have to raise their rates considerably to pay for people’s poor health choices. This is one reason why Obamacare will do nothing to make our healthcare system better but more expensive and will hurt our economy even more. There is a reason why smokers pay a higher rate than non-smokers. You think this is unfair?

    Your assumption of people being born in the wrong womb is just ludicrous and destroys your credibility.

    Like

  66. mark says:

    Santorum today: “I’m for separation of church and state. The state has no business telling the church what to do.” Santorum yesterday: “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

    This comes from the Catholic who gave an anti-John Kennedy speech in Houston in 2010. He called Kennedy’s words “abhorrent” and they made him “want to throw up.” He does not realize that Protestant Christians found Kennedy’s words reassuring (Oh, that’s right, Santorum has declared that Protestants have gone over to Satan).

    Although he reviled JFK, Santorum did not feel it appropriate to quote St. Ronald of Reagan, who spake: “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

    Like

  67. Jim says:

    I’d love to hear Lower explain where old “man on dog’s” positions have been distorted.

    The only thing I can say in his favor on the abortion issue is that he has not officially taken a position on whether having an abortion or performing one should be a crime worthy of capital punishment.

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) actually holds that view. Frankly, I think that question should be asked of every single candidate who wants to criminalize abortion. Fair enough. You want abortion outlawed. What then shall be the punishment?

    If Rick can take a moment to stop advocating war with Iran or eliminating WIC and SCHIP, I’d love to hear what he thinks the penalty for having an abortion or otherwise being involved in one should be.

    It’s not a black and white issue, Rick. Oh wait. Sorry. I meant to say, “It’s not a blah and white issue”. My bad.

    Jim

    Like

  68. Ellie says:

    lowerleavell, I do not distort his views. I would be happy to provide quotes with accompanying video for most of them, if you like.

    Like

  69. Perhaps, lower, you can try explaining where the requirement that the President be a “proper Christian” is?

    Then you can explain exactly who died and appointed Santorum the judge that can say “there is no such thing as a liberal Christian”?

    Sorry, the distortions, Lower, are on your side. Your party is suffering from a distortion of the brain.

    Like

  70. Ed Darrell says:

    No prenatal testing — it leads to abortion. No public education. Rape victims should look at the ensuing pregnancy as a gift from God. Protestants aren’t Real Christians. Insurance companies should charge more to people for pre-existing conditions because they made bad choices (I assume that children born with birth defects are responsible because they picked the wrong womb).

    Joe, each of those quoted above come from statements he’s made in the past couple of weeks, I think. Where is there any distortion of his position?

    Like

  71. lowerleavell says:

    Especially when you distort his views so much, Ellie. You’d think that liberals would have enough to disagree with on his stands without having to invent distortions. If you cannot repeat back someone’s stand in a way in which hey would agree is accurate then you are distorting their position.

    Tinfoil hat envy…gotta love it. lol :-)

    Like

  72. Ellie says:

    No abortion at all (except for his wife), no contraception — it should be illegal. No prenatal testing — it leads to abortion. No public education. Rape victims should look at the ensuing pregnancy as a gift from God. Protestants aren’t Real Christians. Insurance companies should charge more to people for pre-existing conditions because they made bad choices (I assume that children born with birth defects are responsible because they picked the wrong womb). Yeah, I don’t know why anybody is against this guy.

    Like

  73. joesix says:

    It’s a requirement to be crazy now in the Republican party.

    Like

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