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Is this American?

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Brad
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0 posted 12-30-2004 08:38 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Is this American?

I'm not going to quote from here, but whatever happened to advocating free speech?
Huan Yi
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1 posted 12-30-2004 08:49 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Iím sure if you wrote that there were no extraterrestrial
visitors you could get some percentage of the American,
or any, population to call for your head.  Some is not
most fortunately.
serenity blaze
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2 posted 12-30-2004 08:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

It dismays me, but doesn't surprise me Brad.

But I do just feel like another migraine nail was hammered into my head.

What I'd really like to know though, is what can the average shmoe like me do about what appears to be an alarming and irreversible trend of loss of freedom? I'm baffled.

I feel as though every day, our rights are being chiseled away.

It leaves me feeling suffocated and a little bit frightened.

I wish someone could explain to me, sans the political science jargon, just how the United States got to this point.

It'd be nice, too, to be able to feel like I can do something about it.

I'd like to start the new year with a little bit of hope.

Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 12-30-2004 09:32 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

It is not suprising we continue to witness this sort of backlash, as this is exactly the hinting of the "media oligopoly" and the "militant theocracy" I was talking about. Patriotic pride has become so fervent now that just about anything that is even felt as a gentle disagreement to the policies of this Administration is seen as a "Bush-bashing opportunity" and in result there is an increasing oppression of the party not presently in control.

All those respondents have the right to say what they want to say, but I'm just saddened by these personal accusations made on him, aimed rather at his experience in World War II than on this war itself.

I certainly wouldn't foulmouth a weekly columnist on the other side of the political spectrum in support of this war who served in World War II or Vietnam because of the role he played on during WWII, but raise my voice simply in saying how senseless and immoral I believe THIS present war in Iraq is.

Neuharth's comment was tame, in fact, tamer than many of the opinions I express, where I not only believe we should bring our troops home sooner than later, but that this war in itself is senseless. Wow, imagine if I were in Neuharth's place, running this weekly column and putting that plus the "senseless" part in. (shakes head with sad sigh) I'd probably be getting death threats in the mail!

Justin Lovenitti summed it up so very well. It was an opinion, and an opinion alone, and was even in the opinion column. And apathy is indeed the only thing our troops don't need right now, which sadly there remains so much of it. I'm not sure if there is a "silent majority" or not for this war (I believe there is) but I believe with all my heart dissent is a beautiful all-American right, and though I am disappointed and fiercely disagree with those still supporting the war no matter what, they're expressing their personal opinion also and there's nothing un-American about that.

What would be un-American is to silence Al for his opinion.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
serenity blaze
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4 posted 12-30-2004 09:43 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

First, Noah, I'd like to thank you for not posting your opinion in fuschia. (I wasn't kidding about the migraine.) I do, however, respect your right to post your opinions in whatever color you see fit.



Now y'see, folks? What's so difficult about that attitude?

( 's and hugs to Noah too. I was out-voiced on the war thing too. grumble but oh well, we do go on)

Now maybe I'll go read some more about Caligua. That seems to help when things look particularly bleak.
ice
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5 posted 12-30-2004 09:54 PM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

Brad

I just read the link...what a crock of stinky stuff..especially the one by Mel Gibbs...could this be Mel Gibbson?

I think he is cofusing Bush and Cheney for Christians...I mean the real followers of the messege of Christ, which with some careful study, anyone can see that they ain't...(bad grammar)

But it does bring in a lot of votes if you pretend to be...

The ones who wrote those replies to the opinion are the real traitors to the American political system, and to denouce an opinion with such fanatical ferver is anti American no matter how you say it.

Or perhaps they have been watching Fox News , especially OReily, and have picked up his method of over shouting their opponent in order to get their own opinions across...

Grrrrrrrrr


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6 posted 12-30-2004 09:56 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Freedom of speech, is the very thing many of those soldiers are fighting and dying for, right? Whether that's why they are in Iraq is almost irrelevent, it is one of the things we Americans supposedly fight to the death to preserve.
The unAmericans are the ones who threaten to shut everyone else up when they don't agree with their personal political, social or  religious agendas.  
Talk about the irony of it...Americans fighting for freedom. Yeah, right.
GRRRRR
Balladeer
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7 posted 12-30-2004 10:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"NEW YORK In a column noting the high number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq who will be far from home on Christmas, USA Today founder Al Neuharth declared today that if he were eligible to serve in Iraq, "I would do all I could to avoid it." He also wrote in his weekly column for the paper that America's New Year's resolution should be to bring the troops home "sooner rather than later."

I assume this is the article referred to. My only question is this....what does this have to do with the government or our rights?  I saw no reference to the goverment making a response there. I only saw citizens responding with their opinions. WHether their opinions are right or wrong, they are still their opinions. Are the responders of this post offended that the readers are giving their opinions to the writer giving his opinion? In other words he should be allowed to but they shouldn't? I don't quite understand the point. Serenity gal, I don't know why readers responding to an editorial make you feel like YOUR rights are being chiseled away or making you feel a loss of freedom.

It's an editorial by a fellow giving his viewpoint and responses of readers giving theirs. What's the big deal here???
Denise
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8 posted 12-30-2004 11:14 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes, it is American, a free expression of opinions. I don't agree with the opinions of any of them, but that doesn't make any of them UnAmerican, in my opinion.

Now, being charged with a felony for reading bible verses at a gay parade is definitely UnAmerican.
Brad
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9 posted 12-30-2004 11:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Mike,

So you think they're just blowing off steam?

Brad
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10 posted 12-30-2004 11:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Whatever happened to, "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death the right to say it."

--Voltaire.

He wasn't American, but when did that turn into, "I don't agree with what you say and I'll condemn you to death for the right to say it."?
serenity blaze
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11 posted 12-31-2004 12:18 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Actually, my response to Noah about his choice of font was an attempt at a tongue-in-cheek editorial in itself.

sigh.

I was trying to point out that it is all freedom of speech--even the stuff that gives me migraine.

(and noah, sweetie, it's just the color, k? I just have poor vision and some colors hurt my eyes)

It was indeed an editorial, and the responses were editorial responses.

But the new year is still coming, and I'm still looking for hope.
Balladeer
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12 posted 12-31-2004 01:53 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Whatever happened to, "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death the right to say it."

Nothing happened to it, Brad. It's alive and well. It pertains to the writer as well as the responders. Surely you don't mean it should serve one but not the other. They are simply voicing their opinions as he did. Do I think they are blowing off steam? I'm sure there is some of that. There may also be anger at the writer saying he would do anything possible to get out of going to Iraq when we have thousands of boys over there fighting and even dying.

As far as your title to this thread is concerned.....Is this American? The answer is a resounding yes. It is the American way and freedoms we enjoy that he may print whatever he likes and people may respond however they like. It doesn't get more American than that...
Tim
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13 posted 12-31-2004 02:24 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

again I am lost.

Free speech only applies if you are advocating a "progressive" position?  If a wing nut on the left wants to make any statement they wish, it is American as apple pie and an excericize in democracy in action.

If a wing nut on the right makes a statement it is anti-American?  

I guess I am impressed with the moral outrage over a few right wing-nuts and am equally impressed with the restraint excercized when the left-wing nuts make their pronouncements.  
Mistletoe Angel
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14 posted 12-31-2004 04:36 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Like I said, I believe dissent is an all-American right we should celebrate having, and I said those angry respondents were simply expressing their opinions and there's nothing un-American about that. In fact, it IS American.

I was just saying that though everyone has the right to say what they want to say, you can also simply be deeply saddened with much of what you hear. So many of those mailed messages sounded hateful to me. Mel Gibbs' especially bothered me, where he was actually speaking of the desire of execution and death row under the Patriot Act for people like him and me. Boots Harvey also had that same desire. Then there were others in that bunch that didn't hint out things as extreme as execution but still full of brimstone, like "siding with the terrorists", etc.

I'm a liberal, who shares the same sentiments as Neuharth, in that I believe we must stop this war as soon as possible so that further terrorist instincts aren't incited and we spare the lives of more that can be killed in the months ahead, and that if asked to serve, I also would refuse, because I believe in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and I choose to live my life outside the guns and camouflage uniforms.

If something as tame as Neuharth's comment can arouse such brimstone like that in those letters, imagine what I'd get if I had a column and I said this war is "senseless". I may very well get death threats and postcards with my head under a guillotine blade!

I am upset and frustrated with so much this administration has done, but I certainly would never wish anyone in Bush's cabinet execution, or assassination, or any such physical harm, for I believe violence is wrong by all means, and I WOULD be outraged if that happens. I simply believe the best solution or punishment is to simply see their term end quietly, and that they go quietly, impeachment, resignation, etc.

Look, I visit indymedia news boards all the time, which are deeply progressive communities, and often I shake my head at what I read there as well. There are left-wing nuts there too who say things like, "I'd assassinate Bush, but then, Cheney would be in!" Then in the past when I'd respond without rage saying, "Look, this is not the way we solve this sort of problem, non-violence is one of the progresive party's values, I believe we must keep addressing these issues in a civil way, for the truth shall set you free..." then they'd respond calling me things like "fascist" and "treason-lover". (shakes head with sad sigh) And I'm had it all up with all that "fascist" talk personally, as words like that I believe just give back so much bad blood, so many dark memories and histories.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, I absolutely believe in Voltaire's philosophy, and also will defend to the death the right for those even with so much brimstone in them to speak, but still surely it is startling to even hear or imagine words like that coming from the average everyday American. It always makes me wonder, "How'd we get here?"



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Brad
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15 posted 12-31-2004 05:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Now, it's my turn to be lost.

I'm not supposed to show outrage? I should censor myself? I should forget it? The difference I see is that between, "I support the war and here's why" and "If you don't support the war, you'll be tried and executed."

I simply do not see this as particularly conducive to the promotion of free speech.

That's a progressive position? I thought it was an American position. What is the conservative position?
Tim
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16 posted 01-01-2005 02:23 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

A major network in one of its late night shows presented a photograph of the President some years ago with the words, assassin wanted.  I recall no outcry from the left.

You can go to any number of web sites and read individuals indicating the president should be killed and that is some of the more polite discussion reference the President.

You can go to inumerable sites, including this site and read about Christians and member of the Administration referred to in terms that certainly rival anything the comments causing such consternation in this thread apparently create.

Brad, you have attempted to turn the issue again.  No one has indicated you do not have the right to express your feelings or have any sense of wrong about any statement you desire.  The gist of your intitial thread is that is unAmerican to express an opinion critical of an individual who suggest we should withdraw our troops from Iraq.

How is that any less un-american than the garbage that is put forth from the left?

My view is that the individuals who most generally offer the more egregious comments are those who are the least intolerant of a position contrary to theirs.

I suppose my position is that the majority of us Americans have to put up with the garbage from both ends of the spectrum, but realize it is a price we pay for certain of our basic freedoms.

It is no less un-american if it is spewed by the left or right, although it is the ends of the spectrum who are most vocal in decrying the other end of the spectrum as un-american.

Brad
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17 posted 01-01-2005 06:15 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
A major network in one of its late night shows presented a photograph of the President some years ago with the words, assassin wanted.  I recall no outcry from the left.


I never saw it. Do you consider those who wrote comedians?

quote:
You can go to any number of web sites and read individuals indicating the president should be killed and that is some of the more polite discussion reference the President.


Yes, I suppose you can. Does that make what was written, right?  Does that mean I shouldn't post this?

quote:
You can go to inumerable sites, including this site and read about Christians and member of the Administration referred to in terms that certainly rival anything the comments causing such consternation in this thread apparently create.


I'm not sure I understand this.

But this administration isn't exactly fair or nice or justified in much of anything.

quote:
Brad, you have attempted to turn the issue again.  No one has indicated you do not have the right to express your feelings or have any sense of wrong about any statement you desire.  The gist of your intitial thread is that is unAmerican to express an opinion critical of an individual who suggest we should withdraw our troops from Iraq.


No.

It is you who wish to turn the issue. I said nothing like what you've said. What bothers me are those who wish to threaten treason and execution for voicing opinions different from your own. Show me the same for contrarian voices and you'll see the same thing from me.

I have no interest in killing the president or the other morons who pretend to understand international relations.

quote:
How is that any less un-american than the garbage that is put forth from the left?


So you admit it is garbage?

quote:
My view is that the individuals who most generally offer the more egregious comments are those who are the least intolerant of a position contrary to theirs.


Yeah, I disagree with these comments. And your point?

quote:
I suppose my position is that the majority of us Americans have to put up with the garbage from both ends of the spectrum, but realize it is a price we pay for certain of our basic freedoms.


I just wish those who wrote their responses agreed.

quote:
It is no less un-american if it is spewed by the left or right, although it is the ends of the spectrum who are most vocal in decrying the other end of the spectrum as un-american.


One begins to wonder what you think the left or right means. I suspect you don't care.

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18 posted 01-01-2005 12:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The only issue I have with this thread, Brad, is that you take a couple of individual responses and paint the entire country. You do that many times. In a previous thread you said, "most Americans...(blah blah blah)... I don't think you can speak for most Americans, nor do I believe you have any valid argument to support what most Americans do or think. You just like to generalize. In this case you have a small handful of distasteful comments and and you make it sound like all America is going berzerk. It's a couple of hotheads out of over 200 million people, for God's sake. Recignize it for what it is. There are those types on both sides. There was an organization down here supporting the Democratic party that made comments about killing Bush and the party immediately dissassociated themselves from it. It happens. It's around. You want to be upset or angry that there are these types of people, be my guest but don't try to create the scenario that it is rampant and widespread and America is going down the tubes because of a couple of retard camments. That's what's silly and that's what makes your thread transparent. You wanted to take a shot at republicans so you did, as you have stated previously you might do at any opportunity. Don't be lost when we don't take it seriously..
Brad
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19 posted 01-01-2005 08:00 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Mike said:

quote:
Why do holiday names need to be changed, symbols that have existed for centuries be banned, carols that have been sung over the years be blacklisted just because 5% of the population wants it so


It's pretty hard to take your complaint seriously with this comment around.

1. If you asked the American people, "Do you want Christmas banned?," how many would actually say yes?

5%? 1%? one tenth of one percent?

Don't you think your number is inflated here? But from your argument above, you have no right to make the comment as you don't know 5% of the American people anymore than I do.

2. You don't understand what the nature of lawsuits entail. They have nothing to do with banning Christmas, the ACLU is concerned with separation of Church and State, not with banning Christmas. It's a funny thing that on a number of cases that World Net Daily gives front page news, you fine no information at the ACLU website. Why is that?

3. World Net Daily trumps up these charges for a reason. They don't want separation of Church and State. Did you not know this? Did you honestly think that they have unbiased reporting? They are quite an entertaining network, aren't they? I laughed out loud when I read one headline:

UFO's: Aliens or demonic presence

3. Now, are you going to get upset that you generalize as much as I do. Not only that, you mischaracterize the issues presented  and inflate the numbers for your own position.

4. Where did I generalize here? Sure, I've done it before and I'll do it again. But every generalization I've made is backed up statiscally, historically, anecdotally,and sociologically. I'm not saying anything controversial.

5. And your response is that all of these models are invalid. Face it, what you are saying is that you can't say anything at all.

And this is something you most definitely do not do.

Uh, Happy New Year!  

[This message has been edited by Brad (01-01-2005 10:01 PM).]

serenity blaze
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20 posted 01-01-2005 08:20 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Happy New Year Brad.

And Happy Groundhog's Day in advance...which by the way, is a pagan holiday too.

But what the heck, I take my milk homogenized too.



(and I swore I was staying outta here)

but have a good one anyhow...

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21 posted 01-01-2005 08:50 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A fairly new tactic in the Christmas wars can be called the sensitive person's veto. In 2000, the city of Eugene, Ore., banned Christmas trees on public property, then allowed firefighters to put up a tree on Christmas Eve and Christmas, with the provision that if one person objected, the tree had to come down. The next year, Kensington, Md., banned Santa Claus from a tree-lighting ceremony because of two complaints. So the city's most sensitive person was, in effect, allowed to make policy.

My comment you refer to applied to the above news article. You're right, Brad. I did inflate. I'm sure that 2 people from Eugene, Oregon do not comprise 5% of the population, which makes it it even so bizarre. Even a fraction of a percent can cause Christmas celebrations to be cancelled there.

Other than that, you asked questions in this thread and I answered them. If you want to blow smoke or finger point as a defensive response, be my guest. If you don't want the answers or the opinions of the readers, then don't ask for them.
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22 posted 01-02-2005 06:04 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Some of you guys make me laugh.

-I didn't read thew dudes article so I can't say he is antiamerican. Personally, from what I presieve he is just an extreemly libral person. Though I must add, since where in Iraq it would make me very upset if we leave with out accomplishing makig Iraq an stable government. Most of you here all ready know my reasons.

-Conserning the writer of the linked artical. He maybe should lay low on the some of the fallacies. It will hurt his image. Then again his stance is a good one. well overall. He was right it was an opinion article and people should relize it, yet it amuses me that he fales to realize that the people who were speeking there opinions on the writer were simply expressing their opinions too(:

-overall
freedom of speech is a double edged sword and when you play rough, don't cry when you get cut by the other side.

Juju
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23 posted 01-02-2005 06:40 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I don't know, Juju. I'd say as of late Al Neuharth leans somewhat to the left, as the general position of the left right now is the war was the wrong thing to do and want our troops home as soon as possible, while the right is generally in favor of the war and believes in their safety but also believes they should stay there as long as it should take, and believes no specific return date should be specified as that would encourage the terrorists.

But to simply say our troops should come home "sooner than later" certainly isn't an "extremely liberal" position. The nation has consistently been deeply divided as it is whether the war is right or wrong, and if we are winning the war on terror or not. Besides that, traditional conservatives have mixed feelings on this war, as not to be confused with the neoconservatives who support an aggressive foreign policy.

You're absolutely right about freedom of speech and realizing the consequences when yielding it as a sword. Like I've said twice already, I believe in the freedom of speech for all and even those who cry execution on Neuharth have the right to voice their concerns and opinions.

My concern here is, I don't consider what Neuharth said using his freedom of speech as a sword. How is saying you believe our young men and women in uniform should return home as soon as possible "playing rough"? I believe Neuharth was very tame, and exhibited class, in expressing his sentiments without even sharply criticizing Bush's war in that specific article, where my opinions are more extreme than his. He was simply drawing on his own experiences when he was about my age and serving in World War II, hearing Bing Crosby's Christmas hit and yearning to be with his family, politely saying he'd refuse to serve if asked again, and then wrapping up his opinion column with the thesis. I'd say the two most controversial words in the entire article is "ill-advised", in reference to the wars of Iraq and Vietnam, but it is a quite generally accepted opinion as well about these wars.

My concern here is, if all those readers can get THAT angry and violent over something as tame as that, that just saddens me. They have the right to say things even as hateful as that, but all the same it can just only make you shake your head, just as I shake my head and cry over those angry equivalents on the extreme left who call all those who voted Republican and Democratic in last year's election "fascist" (a.k.a over 99% of the entire voting population) and call for Bush's assassination.

That's my concern. It seems we're so indulged now in our own divided beliefs that anything that is even seen as a gentle disagreement is pounced on, and in result, we don't even know when one is intentioanlly "playing rough" and so many innocently are getting hurt.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Balladeer
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24 posted 01-02-2005 08:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It seems we're so indulged now in our own divided beliefs that anything that is even seen as a gentle disagreement is pounced on,

Noah, I have to say the same thing to you as I have already posted here - how did a couple of comments become "we"? We're so indulged? Noah, there a only a couple of comments. Ignore them. They don't mean anything. They are not "we". They are not the United States nor are they red or blue. They are a couple of comments out of millions of people. Don't expound on them and give them importance they don't deserve....let Brad do that.
 
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