Archive for POLITICS

Should President Obama Use Drones to Kill American Terrorists?

The Obama administration is deliberating whether or not to use a drone to kill an American citizen living in Pakistan, who is a suspected member of al-Qaida and may be planning or helping to organize a terrorist attack against U.S. targets overseas, reported in the Associated Press.

 

In a speech last May at the National Defense University, the president said he would curtail the use of drones in order to turn the page on the post-9/11 era, but he also promised that the systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations would continue. This is the first time since that speech that officials are considering the use of a drone to takeout an American citizen overseas.

What some people may not realize is that according to the U.S. government, counterterrorism drone strikes have killed four Americans overseas since 2009. In a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledges the death of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki by a drone, along with three other men who he says were not specific targets. Holder’s letter also says an American who is posing an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States and is located someplace where capturing this individual could be difficult could be killed by a drone.

The underlying question up for debate is whether the Obama administration should use a drone to kill this latest alleged terrorist who is an American citizen, or any other suspected terrorists who are American citizens, or whether these cases should be subject to judicial review. Some senators are calling for the establishment of a special drone court, which would support the president’s plan to make counterterrorism efforts more transparent and consistent with checks and balances. The downside to this is that such a court would more than likely encounter too many constitutional and legal issues.

Critical thinking says that if the evidence proves conclusively that someone is a terrorist, then they should be targeted regardless of citizenship, nationality or anything else. Of course, the president will have to answer for it and make the case to the public, which has fueled a mixed reaction from both the right and the left. It’s nice to say the government should never be in the business of targeting American citizens, but it’s a new world, and a much more dangerous world. The level of threats we face both here and abroad is unprecedented, which means we have to take new steps to ensure public safety.

Prior to 9/11, we’d lived in a protective bubble for so long that most Americans (including me) felt like we were immune to terrorism. We were wrong, and thousands of innocent citizens died as a result of our naïveté.

If substantial proof points to an American citizen partaking in terrorist activities, the government should do whatever is necessary to thwart an attack while preserving the American way of life. If this means using a drone to assassinate an individual who is well-protected or hidden amongst rugged terrain that would risk the lives of our own forces, for example, then so be it. The world is a much more dangerous place than it has ever been. We’re living in an era of briefcase-sized bombs and religious extremists with grand delusions of virgins and martyrdom who believe they are carrying out God’s will. I sleep better at night knowing that my government is using state-of-the-art technology to protect us from these radical extremists — American citizens or otherwise.

I’m a libertarian-leaning social liberal who cherishes personal freedom and opposes most forms of government intervention. However, any American who joins the enemy to potentially kill or harm other Americans is a defector who has declared war on the United States — and deserves to be a marked man. In this case, the proactive approach is what’s going to keep us safe.

In critical thinking, we break down issues through logic-based thought devoid of emotion, which helps us explain and understand things for what they really are. This may be one case where it’s difficult to take the emotional aspect out of the equation, because after all, terrorism is an attack on our freedom, our liberty and our very way of life. The logic certainly backs drones when justified and after a comprehensive review and analysis, and the emotion adds fuel to the fire.

The terrorists wanted Americans to be living in fear of another attack after 9/11, but we have gone back to our pre-9/11 way of life. And I don’t know about you, but after 9/11 I wondered if America would ever be the same.

The government’s main role is to protect us, and as long as after a thorough review there is enough evidence that a citizen has in fact joined forces with al-Qaida and poses an imminent threat to the United States, and his capture is not feasible, drones should continue to be used to take out the enemy regardless of citizenship, to protect us and hamper all terrorist activity.

 

Message to Obama: ‘Stop Being the Policeman of the World’

President Obama’s approval rating on foreign policy sinks to an all-time low according to the Pew Research Center, as the latest results show most Americans disagree with the president’s position over a potential airstrike in Syria.

 

The underlying question is: Should the United States of America be the policeman of the world? Do we have the right to occupy foreign lands with military forces? The United States currently has troops in 130 countries with 900 military bases, according to former congressman Ron Paul, and we justify their presence in a multitude of ways.

 

Not only is it a question of right or wrong, but also one of money. We are broke. If the Federal Reserve couldn’t print money, we’d be defaulting on loans across the world. Thanks to wars we didn’t need to fight and money we didn’t have to spend, the government has so mismanaged our wealth that we are struggling for our very survival. We are 17 trillion dollars in debt, with no viable solution for solvency.

We can’t even secure our own borders, much less maintain our military might overseas. Our foreign occupation strategies were created after World War II, and they continue to increase. The problem is the world has changed, and we are no longer the fiscal powerhouse of the past. The delusional thinking is that we can continue our 20th century strategy without bankrupting the country. Critical thinking says it’s time to bring all the troops home, secure our borders like Fort Knox and reduce our foreign policy to negotiation, trade embargoes and other fiscal restrictions.

No country is foolish enough to attempt to invade the United States using traditional military tactics. And with our borders probably secured and heavily guarded, we could all sleep better at night. This strategy would cost a fraction of what we’re spending overseas, not to mention the goodwill it would create by allowing other countries to live their own way without U.S. interference.

Former President George W. Bush used to speak about God wanting every country to be free. Have you ever wondered where he got this idea? I know where. He made it up. God didn’t have anything to do with it. As much as I love America, I hate the image we’ve promoted around the globe that we have all the answers and are the standard bearers of the world. For all our claims of “American Exceptionalism,” we sure have a lot of problems.

I’ve traveled all over the world, and there’s no question that in many ways America is outstanding. That’s why I choose to live here. But to imply that we are smarter, more educated or morally superior to the rest of the world is ridiculous. Yes, we’ve done a lot of good things. We’ve also squandered our wealth, imposed our political values and moral code, and invaded countries for oil.

In the richest country in the world, 40 million of our citizens live in poverty. We are the world’s largest consumer of addictive narcotics, and we’ve stopped producing products other countries want to buy. Washington is bookended by left wing socialists determined to create a nanny state and right wing fundamentalists trying to legislate morality. We’ve gotten away with this nonsense for years because we were rich and powerful. No one argues with the biggest kid in the class. It’s not smart. But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone. The other kids in class have been working out, saving their money and getting smarter.

The American empire we created against the founder’s wishes is unsustainable. Unless we change radically in the next few years, our way of life is in jeopardy. We begin by pulling the troops out of every country we occupy. Next, we secure our borders and beef up our military at home. Then we stop imposing our beliefs, morals and values on other countries.

It’s time for us to grow up and realize we’re no smarter than anyone else. It’s time for America to stop telling the world what to do and start minding its own business. After all, if we’re so smart, why are we struggling with so many self-inflicted wounds? Let’s get our act together before telling others how to live.

President Obama Is Right: We Must Pass ENDA

President Barack Obama wrote an outstanding blog post on The Huffington Post, giving his reasons why we must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also known as ENDA. This new law would make it explicitly illegal for employers to make employment decisions (e.g., firing, hiring, promotions, compensation, etc.) based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

ENDA would extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s important to note that ENDA isn’t offering any special rights but simply fair employment practices for LGBT employees.

In 2013 it’s absolutely repulsive that 29 states don’t explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that 33 states don’t explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. It’s also part of the reason why so many American men and women are living lives of secrecy, afraid to admit who they really are. The United States is known as the “land of the free,” yet in some ways we’re anything but free. It’s time for all LGBT men and women to stop having to live in fear and worry that if their employer “finds out,” they’re going to lose their job.

 

Crosby Burns and Jeff Krehely at the Center for American Progress write, “Studies show that anywhere from 15 percent to 43 percent of gay people have experienced some form of discrimination and harassment at the workplace. Moreover, a staggering 90 percent of transgender workers report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job.” If that isn’t bad enough for you, consider these statistics from the Williams Institute:

 

  • Eight to 17 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers report being fired or denied employment because of their sexual orientation.
  • Ten to 28 percent of LGB workers received a negative performance evaluation or were denied a promotion because of their sexual orientation.
  • Seven to 41 percent of LGB workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workplace vandalized because of their sexual orientation.

 

Behind these statistics are the heartbreaking stories of hardworking Americans who are outstanding at what they do but were let go or had to overcome unnecessary obstacles because of a discriminating employer. Even in states that currently have laws making this kind of discrimination illegal, it’s sometimes not enough. There are stories all over the Internet of people being fired, demoted or passed over for a promotion simply on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Critical thinking is simple on this one: Your sexual orientation or gender identity should have absolutely nothing to do with your career. The only thing that should matter? Your job performance. There are so many very qualified, talented and hardworking Americans who happen to be LGBT. And so what if they are? Does it really matter? Of course it doesn’t, and that’s precisely why it’s imperative that Congress pass ENDA. The good news: The majority of Republicans and Democrats back ENDA.

It’s time to put a stop to workplace discrimination and singling out some of our best employees simply on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Any employer or person who fails to see that is exhibiting bigotry, discrimination and hatred.

As President Obama said, “[This kind of discrimination is] offensive. It’s wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.” The president got it 100-percent correct this time!

 

Solving Chicago’s Economic Crisis

The financial nightmare that’s been facing Chicago seems to be getting worse. Moody’s Investor Services downgraded the city’s credit rating on $8.3 billion in debt last week from A3 to Baa1, dropping it just three levels above junk-bond status. This comes just after a three-step downgrade for the city last July. Chicago’s downgrade also means the third-largest U.S. municipality has the second-lowest credit score among major cities.

Pensions

By 2015, state legislation will require Chicago to increase contributions to its public safety pension plans, seeing increases from $467 million in 2014 to roughly $1.2 billion by 2015. What Chicago must not do is follow in the footsteps of neighboring Detroit. Just on the other side of Lake Michigan, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s proposed bankruptcy restructuring plan could significantly impact retirees with pension reductions and health care cuts. It’s a slap in the face to the poor public workers who dedicated their entire lives to serving the city. How do you explain it to all the police officers and firemen who put their lives on the line every day and were relying on those pensions?

 

Government Bailout Not The Answer

The larger picture lurking in the shadows is whether or not Chicago is headed for a federal government bailout. This would have disastrous consequences, setting a precedent that could open the door to municipal bankruptcies around the country — and that’s just the beginning. A federal bailout sends a message that it’s ok to mismanage your finances, because the federal government will come riding in as the hero on the white horse signing, “Here I come to save the day.”

Last year, a poll from Quinnipiac University showed that a majority of Democrats believed the federal government should bail out Detroit, but thankfully an even larger majority of Americans opposed such a move. Of course that’s not to say it won’t ever happen. In 2013, the city of Detroit received $300 million from the federal government. This wasn’t called a bailout, however, because none of the money was used to reduce the staggering debt that forced its July bankruptcy filing — and most of the money came from existing national programs for which Detroit was already eligible.

The final hearing on Detroit’s bankruptcy will come July 16, allowing additional time for creditors to reach deals with the city prior to what is expected to be a massive court battle. In Detroit, Chicago and anywhere else, a federal government bailout should be off the table.

Solutions

In most cases, the solution starts with eliminating wasteful spending with money that’s not available, liquidating assets, dissolving the unions, and getting out of an entitlement way of thinking that a bailout is the solution. More specifically, there are what will be seen as more radical methods of eliminating the debt and raising capital:

– Legalize Marijuana: The Department of Revenue is expected to report this week how much money dispensaries in Colorado paid in sales taxes in January. The tax haul is expected to outpace projections of about $70 million this year. If Illinois followed suit and legalized marijuana, that would be an enormous source of income for the city of Chicago. Those dollars could be put towards reducing the debt, paying pensions, building schools and in so many important other ways. Marijuana prohibition now costs state and federal governments as much as $20 billion a year, an economist told The Huffington Post. And guess what? There’s no evidence in Colorado that legalized marijuana has led to hard drug use or increased crime.

– Legalize Gambling: U.S. casinos earned $37.3 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2012, according to the American Gaming Association. The taxed income is money we could use to reduce the deficit, rebuild our aging infrastructure, and protect our borders. And in cities like Chicago and Detroit, imagine what that money could do. Instead, we simply inflate the currency by asking the Federal Reserve to print more money with no way to pay it back. How moral is it that with every billion-dollar bailout another generation of unborn Americans will be strangled with their grandparent’s debt?

– Abolish The Unions: Unions aren’t necessary anymore in America. Collective bargaining raises the costs of providing services. Congress shouldn’t be making those decisions for the state. In North Las Vegas last month, for example, a district court judge ruled in January that the city did not have the authority to suspend collectively bargained union raises. This will force the city to pay out a settlement ranging from $25 million to $42 million, and that’s on top of its already existing $18 million structural deficit the city is trying to solve.

Thirty to 40 years ago, employers abused their power and unions leveled the playing field. Today, the power is in the hands of the people, and the abuse of power is now coming from the unions. Just look at what happened in Chicago last year when unionized teachers went on strike because they became spoiled with inflated wages, tenure and guaranteed work based on every factor outside of job performance and results.

Chicago has other elevated debt levels, not even looking at its pension obligations. If there is a glimmer of hope for the city, it’s that it is one of the nation’s largest and most diverse economies. It also has a large property tax base with the legal authority to levy property taxes and sales taxes, which obviously won’t be popular with anyone, especially when there are other options.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “The resolution to this crisis must be a balanced approach.” But actually, the answer lies in significantly increasing revenue. Some people will kick, scream and argue that it can’t be done this way, but these same so-called “radical” tactics have been implemented around the country and have brought in millions of dollars to local economies and municipalities.

Judge Rules to Allow Physician Assisted Suicide in New Mexico

A New Mexico judge has ruled that terminally ill, mentally competent patients have the right to get a doctor to end their lives. The ruling by Judge Nan Nash of the New Mexico Second Judicial District would make New Mexico the fifth state to allow doctors to prescribe fatal prescriptions to terminal patients.

Judge Nash said:

This Court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying. If decisions made in the shadow of one’s imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, than what decisions are?

Faced with terminal illness and significant suffering, we don’t even have the legal right to end our pain in most parts of the country. For animals it’s humane; for humans it’s a capital offense. We refuse to allow animals to suffer yet we are committed to making sure people die naturally no matter how much misery they must endure. Heroes like the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian were villianized and thrown in jail for helping people escape their suffering. The delusion is we don’t own our own bodies and lives. Critical thinking say’s that people should have 100 percent control over their own decisions as long as those decisions don’t violate the rights of others. This is 4th grade logic our elected officials are apparently incapable of comprehending.

Dr. Kevorkian had the moral courage to answer the desperate pleas of the terminally ill and was subsequently rewarded with an eight-year jail sentence. In the Roman Catholic Church suicide is a sin because only God has the authority to end a human life. No evidence exists to support this claim, yet it’s the undercurrent of the laws banning assisted suicide. We have religious leaders and organizations telling us what God wants with no proof to support their statements. Make no mistake: this is not about what God wants. This is religious zealotry masquerading as morality. This is about controlling society, and it works on the masses.

The problem is once critical thinking is injected into the equation, this mass manipulation becomes obvious. The Catholic Church, one of the most powerful organizations in human history, believes the patient seriously damages his relationship with God if choosing to end his or her own life. But how do they know? The Church has no more information than you or I do. Years ago they did, and that’s where the manipulation began. People didn’t have access to information and were largely ignorant and terrified to challenge the church.

Today, Americans are armed with more information and education at their fingertips than all the generations that preceded us combined. It’s easy to scare an uneducated, ignorant populous, but once the playing field of education, knowledge and awareness is leveled, everything changes. Educated people cannot be bullied or brainwashed. In the information age, you better have extraordinary evidence to support extraordinary claims, and religion offers no such evidence. Today’s 12-year-old knows more about the world than the greatest scholars of the iron age and the authors of the Bible. How can a merciful God be against ending human suffering? It defies even a child’s logic, yet it’s ferociously observed and defiantly defended by most Americans.

Unfortunately, the church isn’t the only powerful group of people protesting assisted suicide. There are many physicians who are banding together to fight physician assisted suicide as well. Once again, here’s another powerful group of people who used to have far more clout in society than they have now, due to education and information available to the masses.

Critical thinking on this is simple: if a physician assisted suicide violates the individual physician’s belief system, he shouldn’t be forced to perform this service. For physicians who believe it’s the right thing to do, they should be able to do it. This whole argument boils down to a simple premise: who is in charge of our lives? Doctors? Politicians? Religious leaders? Or Us? Are we so feeble minded that we cannot be trusted to be responsible for our own existence? The answer is obviously no, yet that’s exactly what the people in power would have us believe. They brainwash us to believe we need their laws, dogma and leadership to live our lives so they can exert their control.

A terminally ill cancer patient named in the New Mexico lawsuit said, “Most Americans want to die peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, not die in agony in a hospital. If I face intolerable suffering, I want the option to cut it short, and to die peacefully at home.”

It’s time for thinking people to stand up and start pushing back on issues that involve human suffering. The states have the power to allow and regulate assisted suicide or to prohibit it, and with enough pressure from critical thinkers we will someday have the freedom to end our lives with dignity. If enough critical thinkers band together, someday we’ll be able to live and die on our own terms.

Hawaii Says ‘Aloha’ to Same-Sex Marriage and Equality

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign a bill today legalizing gay marriage, making Hawaii the 15th state to allow same-sex marriages, and allowing thousands of gay couples living in Hawaii and tourists to marry in the Aloha State starting Dec. 2. Hawaii, which is a huge tourist destination to begin with, is expected to see a boost in tourism of $217 million over the next three years, according to estimates from the University of Hawaii.

Back in the Midwest, Illinois is set to become the 16th state to allow same-sex couples to unite in matrimony when Gov. Pat Quinn signs state measure S.B. 10 on Nov. 20, as is expected.

It’s remarkable how much progress our country has made in the fight for equality. Fifteen years ago, Hawaii and Alaska became the first U.S. states to pass constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage. And in this short period of time, despite massive opposition from the right, Americans are finally doing the right thing and starting to recognize everyone as equals. While we’ve come a long way, there’s still a lot of work left to be done. Until all 50 states legalize gay marriage, we must keep fighting on in the battle for equality.

Harvey Milk, the martyr in the gay community who was called “the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States,” said, “All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”

 

Unfortunately, America has a long history of discrimination. In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled that an African American could not be a citizen. Lincoln freed the slaves, and it still took another 100-plus years for blacks to be treated like equals under the law. The point is that when it comes to all our country’s claims of exceptionalism, we have some pretty slapdash history as it relates to human rights.

Critical thinking on gay marriage is extremely simple and straightforward. There are three things to understand.

First, regardless of what you think of any LGBT person, they are our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our children’s teachers and many others and should be treated with dignity and respect. If you can’t find it in your heart to treat them like you would treat anyone else, you’re exhibiting hatred, discrimination and bigotry.

Second, same-sex marriage is not a fad or a temporary movement, and with almost 16 states supporting it, it’s only a matter of time before every state follows and welcomes the LGBT movement into our culture and allows people to live their lives on their own terms.

Third, does it really matter? Does it really matter who someone is attracted to? Does it really matter if a man wants to be with another man, or a woman with another woman? The main premise of marriage is to take two individuals who love one another, and create a union of shared hopes, dreams and aspirations that will hopefully last a lifetime. Denying marriage to two individuals who love each other is to deny them a fundamental freedom. Gay men and women possess the same potential and desire for sustained loving and lasting relationships as their heterosexual counterparts. As Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” Does it really matter if those two bodies are two men or two women? Love is love.

President Obama said, “Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation.”

It’s time for other states to step up to the plate and stop living in the dark ages and hiding behind the Bible or constitutional amendments. We must follow the example of states like Hawaii and treat everyone as equals. The conservatives can kick and scream all they want, but it’s only a matter of time before all of America, and the world, respects and honors same-sex marriage.

 

Federal Judge Strikes Down Key Texas Abortion Limits

The issue of abortion grabs the spotlight yet again, when just one day before a new abortion law was scheduled to take effect in Texas, a federal judge has struck it down. The law would have required physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they’re providing abortion services, and also controlled usage of RU486, a drug that induces abortions.

When handing down his decision on the 30-mile rule, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said, “It places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.”

 

I’m happy, yet amazed Roe v. Wade hasn’t been overturned. It’s proof that there are so many people who believe in a woman’s right to choose but are only brave enough to admit it when it’s law. I don’t blame people for being afraid, because taking any social position in America that goes against the religious right can cost you your job, friends, and even family. Religious extremists are a mob you don’t want to cross. At least gangs don’t pretend to exhibit “Christ-like” behavior.

 

The delusional thinking is that a fetus is a human being. A fetus is only a fetus and it cannot survive without its mother’s body, which makes critical thinking on abortion simple: we own our bodies, and neither the government nor the church has any jurisdiction or say in what we do with it. Once it’s breathing independently outside the mother’s womb it has rights, but until a fetus becomes a human being it is part of its mother’s body.

The problem with people who argue against this is they are thinking through emotion instead of logic. Abortion is a sad but sometimes necessary event, but the mother should be free to choose what happens inside her own body. The fact is that the advent of contraception and legalized abortion has done more to liberate women than any two events in history, and the all-boys club of “women should be kept barefoot and pregnant” is none too pleased. Women have been controlled, bullied, and abused by men since the beginning of time, and maintaining control of their reproductive rights is one of the methods men have used to keep them from rising up in the world.

As long as a woman had to be home raising kids, she couldn’t go out in the world and stake her own claim or make her own money. Men not only had a physical strength advantage over women, but they enjoyed absolute monetary power as well. It’s hard to have equal rights with empty pockets, and unplanned pregnancy was the catalyst of inequality.

Birth control and abortion changed all that, and in the past 40 years we have witnessed the greatest emancipation of women in American history. Women now have the power to forge their own destiny, earn unlimited amounts of money, and challenge men for political power. This evolution would never have taken place in America without legalized abortion.

 

Overturning Roe v. Wade has never been about saving babies. It’s about controlling women, and the religious extremists will continue masking this hidden agenda until they are exposed. All a critical thinker has to do is read what the Bible says about women, which treats them as the property of men with about the same status as cattle. It baffles me that any woman of even modest education can embrace a book that demeans them to this degree, yet this is the power of delusional thinking.

 

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, “The ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: it is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors.”

 

To Richards’ point, fortunately millions of strong independent women refused to be subjected to the tyranny of ancient religious dogma and puritanical societal norms and are boldly creating their own futures. As women continue to gain more political power, social status and financial equality, they will make America a stronger, more prosperous country. It’s a great victory for women in Texas, but we must keep pushing forward to always guarantee a woman’s right to choose.

 

Petraeus Sex Scandal

The firing of General David Petraeus as the director of the CIA for having an affair is yet another example of America’s emotional immaturity. What does Gen. Petraeus’ s sex life have to do with how he runs the CIA? If we fired every politician and military leader that has had an extramarital affair, Washington, DC would be a ghost town. When will America grow up and get out of people’s bedrooms?  Watch this short video and I’ll look forward to your comments. For more on this, read my article in the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-siebold/cia-director-david-petrae_b_2119965.html

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

 

 

 

 

Romney for President

In this crucial election, who will get your vote? The whole world is waiting to see the outcome, and big money is on the sidelines. Watch this short video I taped in Grand Cayman and I’ll look forward to your comments

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View on YouTube

Should a High School Football Coach Be Preaching Christianity to His Players?

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is making headlines again

This time targeting the coach at Ridgeland High School in Georgia for allegedly conducting prayers at school football games, sending players to different churches for pre-game meals, using bible verses as motivational tools and placing pressure on players to attend a religious football camp.

Critical thinking agrees with the FFRF and says this is completely uncalled for and inappropriate behavior.

Here’s why:
  • The United States is the most religiously diverse nation in the world, boasting more than 1,500 religious bodies and sects. There are nearly 360,000 churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues representing millions of members and an untold number of beliefs and philosophies. The idea of mixing religion with education is therefore ridiculous. America is a melting pot with room for all religions and belief systems, but not under one roof.

 

  • Fundamentalist Christians have damaged their credibility over the past 50 years by proclaiming that the government has “kicked God out of the schools.” The faithful are as free to pray and believe as they have always been without making a public display out of a private, personal process.

 

  • Before the 1962 Supreme Court decision to ban faculty-led school prayer (Engel vs. Vitale), the brainwashing began in kindergarten and continued through high school. Convincing an intelligent, informed high school sophomore born in the information age of a man living inside a whale, a virgin birth, and a dead man coming back to life, is going to be next to impossible—unless you’ve been brainwashing him from infancy. And that’s the real reason the religious have been fighting the Engel vs. Vitale decision for the last 50 years.

 

  • The bottom line is I can’t prove if there is a God, but neither can you, or the highest of religious leaders or a high school football coach, which is why it’s fine to believe what your heart tells you to believe, but it should be kept a private matter.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Steve Siebold, CSP