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79 years

That’s about how long it’s been since the United States Supreme Court ruled that requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First Amendment. Apparently, a teacher here in Texas decided that since he had at least one student declining to recite the Pledge, he would get around the SCOTUS ruling by requiring all the students in the class to write out the pledge…or fail. The result of the ensuing lawsuit? The teacher has agreed to pay the student $90,000. Fair enough. Case closed.

Except…some people, including some right here in my town, are of the opinion that

  1. The teacher should not have agreed to pay anything, or
  2. The teacher’s actions were not legally wrong, or
  3. It should have been settled without a lawsuit, or
  4. The lawsuit was frivolous, or
  5. The “why” of the student’s refusal is significant

Allow me to respond to these objections. They are all a very large crock of s***. I’m not sure what bothers me the most, that some of those expressing these opinions would not dream of tolerating such a flagrant violation of the Second Amendment, or that some of those same people at some point in the past swore the same oath to the Constitution that I did.

I guess freedom doesn’t matter to some people if it’s someone else’s freedom and that’s depressing and annoying as hell.

Just sayin’

Gotta give Will Smith some credit. Not everyone would defend someone else’s girl like that.

A common trait?

With so many people asserting “we need to take the fight to Russia,” allow me to share what I see as a common trait among many of them.

As someone noted, “everyone wants to be a warrior until it’s time to do warrior s***.’

I forgot

If your one of the people I forgot to get anything for today, you don’t need to feel left out. No one got me anything, either.

Color me unimpressed

I suppose it’s inevitable that when military conflict arises somewhere in the world, people suddenly appear to call for the US to get involved. Sometimes, it’s a relatively well-known jackass of a writer who, having previously expressed his disdain for military personnel, now tweets something like this gem.

Other times, it might be someone local who argues on fecesbook that “We all need to go over there an (sic) fight”. My experience has been that such people are more than willing to send others to fight and die, at least when the risk of their having to do the same thing is virtually nonexistent. They are, generally speaking, not the first to line up at a recruiting station to volunteer. Actually, they seem to never do so.

The best line from the movie The Patriot? This one, from Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, comes toward the end of the clip: “I will not fight. And because I will not fight, I will not cast a vote that will send others to fight in my stead.”

Finally, there are those like the person who, when I expressed the above, asked me “So it doesn’t bother you that innocent Ukrainian lives are being taken unprovoked? We should do nothing?” though I had neither said nor intimated anything of the sort. Of course, it bothers me and of course, something should be done. I am not willing for that something to be spending our blood and treasure (especially our blood) in the Ukraine.

In which I vent and offer a mea culpa

I have come, once again, to the realization that the vast and overwhelming majority of people on social media have no real interest in a discourse in which each seeks to understand the other. They are, rather, very interested in “winning” arguments. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that I tend to ask a lot of questions that deal with other people’s motivations. It might be that those sorts of question make people pretty uncomfortable.* One of the hazards of years spent as a psych nurse, preacher and life coach, perhaps.

The point of the above observation is this: First, unless the disputants in a discussion can agree on, and commit to, some basic ground rules for that discussion, it is far too easy for it to fall apart. Second, it’s important to recognize that all of us tend to have so much of ourselves invested in our opinions that it’s very difficult to no consider an attack on our opinions as an attack on ourselves. Subconsciously, what is being called into question is not the validity of our opinions, but rather our value as people. That’s a pretty serious psychological threat. No big surprise, then, that we respond with fear-based aggression.

*Okay. There’s no “might be” to it. It’s just so difficult to approach those questions more appropriately once I smell blood in the water. I should probably work on that.

How soon we forget

The news about inflation isn’t good. The jobs report is likely to be dismal, too. Somehow, people are surprised. I’m truly curious. Does no one remember how these things were predicted at the start of the Covid/Wu Flu madness? Covid didn’t cause what we’re currently experiencing. That responsibility needs to be laid at the feet of those who implemented so many government mandated, over-the-top restrictions on activity.

Well, s***

Meat Loaf has died. He was 74. As one person said, “I don’t always listen to Meat Loaf, but when I do, so do my neighbors.” My neighbors and I will be listening, today. Requiescat in pace.

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Happy Birthday, Professor

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Merry Christmas