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I Guess It’s Only Wrong if Obama Does It May 30, 2010

Posted by Dindy in barack obama, Obama, Politics, Uncategorized.
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The other day I violated one of the unofficial Facebook rules– I posted a comment in response to someone’s message in which I disagreed with that person’s message. Facebook is kind of a warm and fuzzy place– it has a like button that you can click if you like someone’s post but there is no dislike button. It is generally understood that even if you disagree with what someone says in a post, you don’t say so in a comment. However, I had someone post a negative comment in response to a cause I signified support for a few weeks ago, so when she posted a petition yesterday about Obama’s Memorial Day plans and added a comment expounding on Obama’s disrespect for men in uniform and his betrayal of his duty to his country, I felt it only fair to ask her if she had thought the same thing when  Dubya handed off the duty to Dick Cheney in 2007? Or when Bush I handed it off to Dan Quayle in 1992. Or when Reagan handed it off to his Deputy Secretary of Defense in 1983? I also pointed out to her that Obama is NOT skipping the Memorial Day ceremony, but will be giving a speech at the national cemetery in Illinois on Memorial Day. I asked her if it only counted as doing his duty if he was in Washington.

Not surprisingly, the comments in response to mine have been very supportive of her and not of me– after all, I did break a FB rule. One guy angrily told me that he had noticed that I only referenced Republican presidents; evidently he was unaware that the last Democratic president before Obama, Bill Clinton, spent all eight of his Memorial Days at Arlington National Cemetery. However, in the spirit of fairness, I will note that Jimmy Carter apparently did not visit Arlington on Memorial Day, in 1978. Ford attended both Memorial Days while he was in office but Nixon apparently did not attend at all.

The friend on whom I posted the comment responded thoughtfully and admitted that she didn’t like Obama, didn’t think he was qualified for office, thought he was a poor president, and added that the fact that his predecessors had done the same thing did not excuse him.

I appreciated the thoughtfulness of her response, however, my point to her, which apparently was lost, is that Obama is NOT disrespecting our soldiers. On Memorial Day he WILL be attending and speaking at a ceremony at a national cemetery. However he will be attending the ceremony at the national  cemetery in Illinois and not in Virginia. Here is my problem– once again the talk show pundits are seizing on a non-issue and working people up into a frenzy about something that isn’t even true. If you don’t think Obama is a good president– fine. I thought Dubya was a lousy president. If you want to criticize Obama for his policies, fine. I thought Dubya’s policies sucked. But don’t criticize Obama for disrespecting American troops and Veterans by claiming he is ditching them on Memorial Day to vacation in his home town when it just isn’t true. That only hurts your own credibility, and makes me seriously question your motives for criticizing Obama in other areas.

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What Are We Teaching Kids Anyway? September 13, 2009

Posted by Dindy in Church and State, Religion, Schools.
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In Texas, a proposal being reviewed by the State Board of Education would drop the mention of Christmas from the 6th Grade Social Studies curriculum, replacing it with information about Diwali, a Hindu religious festival. Not surprisingly, conservative Christians are up in arms and revisiting their Continuous “War on Christmas” battle cry.

Actually, to be precise, the standards being considered are a requirement that sixth graders be able to explain the significance of religious holidays such as Yom Kippur, Diwali, Ramadan and Easter. Christmas is not included in that list although it is included in the CURRENT standards and Diwali is not.

Personally, I’d include them both, however, it’s possible that the committee recommending the changes thinks that sixth graders are probably already very familiar with the significance of Christmas and don’t need the school to spell it out for them. Let’s face it, it is not possible to live in the United States and NOT be aware of the religious significance of Christmas. It’s kind of like expecting the schools to teach kids in Texas about the importance of football– oh, wait a minute, schools in Texas– Arlington, Texas– are already expected to teach students about the importance of football. That’s why the district is busing 500 fifth graders to the new Cowboys Stadium in September.

No! No! No! It’s not to teach them the importance of football! It’s so they can hear the former president, George Dubya Bush, explain the importance of a volunteer initiative that will happen during the 2011 SuperBowl.

Volunteering is important, and no one should have a problem with their kids hearing about it. After all, it’s an important value, kind of like staying in school and studying hard- but wait! This is the same school district that completely boycotted Obama’s speech to school children about staying in school and studying hard because it took 18 minutes of class time away from IMPORTANT things, presumably like teaching the significance of Christmas!