Oil and Meat
I wonder how many of the dedicated volunteers who were helping save pelicans from the deadly Gulf oil have other birds for dinner or at a local fast-food outlet.
They are not alone. Most people are appalled by the devastation of animal life by the Gulf oil spill yet subsidize the systematic killing of other animals for their dinner table. They know that meat and dairy harm the environment and their family's health but compartmentalize this knowledge when shopping for food.
And it goes beyond dietary flaws. We tolerate the killing of innocent people when our government and media label them terrorists. We ignore the suffering and starvation of a billion people, except when our government and media tell us to care because an earthquake or tsunami has struck.
Our society would benefit greatly from more original thinkers, and our personal diet is a great place to start.
Bellevue Baptist and Gays
In regards to the Bellevue Baptist Church banning a lesbian softball coach: Being raised Baptist and now openly gay, I had conflicting feelings about the situation. My first thought was that Jana Jacobson had to know Bellevue's position on homosexuals. I certainly wouldn't have expected to (or wanted to) play ball for them. Baptists have always been very open about the way they feel about gays, and they are entitled to their opinion.
However, Christians, although well-meaning, are not always on the right side. You don't have to go too far back in our country's history to find many so-called Christians hiding under white sheets, persecuting African Americans, or burning perceived witches at the stake.
The struggle for civil rights didn't happen because people accepted things the way they were. Civil rights happened because a few brave Americans had the strength to stand up and push the envelope in battles large and small, whether it was giving up your life for what you believe in like Martin Luther King or refusing to give up your seat on a bus like Rosa Parks. These folks were heroes, even though society didn't always see them as such. Even today, there are still some churches where an African American wouldn't receive the warmest welcome.
In our struggle for equal rights for gays, we need these same kind of heroes. Jana Jacobson, although maybe unwittingly, is a hero. If not yours, she is certainly mine.
The Fairness Doctrine
As Independence Day approaches, the political season is heating up. Each side is locked and loaded with focus-grouped talking points and divisive issues designed to stir passions. One topic that ignites both sides, the Fairness Doctrine, is beginning to crackle across media outlets. The doctrine, an FCC rule, requires companies who rent public airwaves to present both sides of controversial issues.
The concept is similar to an idea James Madison proposed in 1828: "Could it be so arranged that every newspaper, when printed on one side, should be handed over to the press of an adversary, to be printed on the other, thus presenting to every reader both sides of every question, truth would always have a fair chance."
These days, even with the diversity of radio, print, TV, mass e-mails, and blogs, a person might not hear competing points of view. Some find themselves locked in ideological bubbles. And it appears the companies who control the media wish to keep it that way. However, practices that are good for popularity-driven markets are not always good for the health of our republic. America's democracy is not ratings-based but structured to give unpopular voices an opportunity to be heard.
Maybe it is time We the People declared independence from the media monopolies that want to control the messages we hear. Maybe it is time we restructured the lease agreements attached to our public airwaves. Maybe it is time we took Madison's advice and gave truth a chance.
Brandon Chase Goldsmith
Have you noticed that there are a lot of stupid people in office? Have you noticed that there are a lot of really stupid people running for office? The Democrats are not immune, but mostly the really stupid people are Republicans. Does that mean that there are a lot of stupid people voting for stupid people?
We've got to isolate and destroy the stupidity gene, if we want to save this country.