Sunday, 1/1/12, Public Square

Ring Out, Wild Bells

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in navyress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.


Filed under The Public Square

38 responses to “Sunday, 1/1/12, Public Square

  1. Happy New Year to everyone. The year 2012 has been predicted to be one of enlightment and change.

    Some people interpret that as Obama will be kicked out of the White House.

    Some people interpret that as Obama will keep the White House and more Republicans will be kicked out of Congress.

    But bottom line – I just hope whatever change or enlightment that comes our way will bring peace, prosperity and a more unified country in which all Americans can have the same opportunities to achieve their goals.

    To me, without all Americans coming together for the good of the country – we will soon not have a country.

  2. Well, Obama signed the recently passed law that allows the indefinite detention of Americans. This is getting alot of blog time – what do you all think?

    Obama did make the statement that he plans to exempt Americans from this new law – but the provision is still in this new law, of which he just signed.

    • What exactly does the NDAA do?

      The NDAA is a spending authorization bill for the military for fiscal year 2012. At more than 1,000 pages, it does a great many things. Almost all of the controversy about it, however, deals with a single portion of the bill: “Subtitle D–Counterterrorism.” This subtitle contains a number of provisions related to military detention of terrorism suspects and the interaction between military detention and the operation of the criminal justice system. Broadly speaking, the controversy relates entirely to the following provisions:

      • I think the problem with this law – as some are pointing out – is that Obama may want to exempt Americans. But if this provision is in the law, then the next president may have no problem with detaining Americans indefinitely.

        Seriously, with the current crop of GOP 2012 hopefuls – would you trust any of them with this power?

    • Didn’t Dubya have a way of making his wishes known on bills by adding something at the end of it? I can’t remember what that was called, but I do remember that he made a big habit of doing it.

      • “In his signing statement attached to the NDAA, President Obama made it clear that the language about detentions does not apply to US citizens.”

      • Thanks, Moonshadow!

      • IIRC – George W. Bush signed an executive order giving him the power to detain any person that was deemed to be an ‘enemy combatant’. As I understand this new law – it just makes what GWB did something that went through Congress and not just GWB’s desk.

      • indy – my understanding is that the what you’re talking about is what Obama had them remove before signing it. They (Repubs) wanted to make it congressional order instead of executive order.

      • That’s just it, moonshadow, I don’t think Obama had them remove that provision. If I am remembering correctly, that is why the liberals are so upset with Obama. He did threaten a veto if this provision was left in and then he signed it anyway but with his signed amendment as to his promise that it would not be used against Americans.

        Maybe I am misunderstanding something here? Which is quite possible – it’s been a long week and alot of this stuff on the blogs is maybe true and maybe not true – an issue we have discussed previously.

      • Setting The Record Straight: The Changed Language In The NDAA

        The National Defense Authorization Act has come under fire by the libertarians and the progressives. It was under this pressure that the language has been changed in regards to the detention sections 1031 and 1032.

        In prior bills the sections in question would have allowed the indefinite detention of American citizens accused of terrorism, but the new language says:


        Section 1031 authorized detention

        b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows: (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks. (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported AL-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

        (e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

      • Thanks for the link …..this does make me feel better. For a minute there, I was beginning to wonder whose side Obama was on.

        I had read where Republicans were trying to make Obama look bad if he carried out with this threat to veto because he would then appear to be not wanting to support the troops with their funding.

  3. Have any of you watched “God in America”? If not I would recommend that you do and then get everyone you know to watch it too. I need to rewatch it a time or two myself, my memory ain’t what it used to be.

  4. I’ve been pondering something for a while and would like my PPP peers to ponder with me, if you would…

    It has to do with this whole abortion issue. My thought has to do with the unborn, life and death. The christians (I don’t capitalize that because I don’t recognize all to have earned that designation) are the loudest oponents, correct? When one dies they, especially innocents, they go to heaven, right? Unwanted children usually end up suffering to a great degree, wouldn’t you agree? So why is life the better option? Why is suffering and abuse the better result? These anti-abortionists certainly aren’t opening their homes to babies as an alternative, are they?

    I think we should all start carrying a little notebook and when we run into people demanding that abortion be made illegal we need to ask them their name, address and phone number and asked for a signed commitment that they will take in and raise all these babies. Many of these have severe mental and physical problems requiring round the clock care. I’m sure they would say “Bring it On” but I don’t believe the babble, otherwise why would there ber over 1,800 children awaiting adoption now.

    • The 1800+ babies and children aren’t white or healthy or newborns.

      A few years ago, I chatted in one of the user rooms at Yahoo chat. (User rooms are no longer available.) There was a man there who constantly ranted against abortion. When asked repeatedly if he was ready to adopt one of the babies his beliefs “saved,” he answered that he and his wife had adopted a child. Come to find out, it was a foreign (Asian) adoption and they were having the child’s “eyes fixed.”

      • I’ve noticed that alot of white wealthy Christians seem to be the ones who go to foreign countries to buy (excuse me, adopt) kids.

        I’ve often thought that their logic is really no different than these Christian missionaries who have gone into foreign countries and taught the natives our English, our English ways of living, etc.

        I think it is this sense that Christians think they are superior and the only ones that God truly loves (because, after all, God has given them the only way to get to Heaven – if you believe these folks).

        When in reality – if God truly has only way to get to Heaven and he gave it to the white Christians – then why did God put so many foreigners on this planet with no or very little hope of having these white Christians come ‘save’ them?

    • Several years back I researched my family geneology and found out things I’m sure I never would have known about. My mother’s grandmother died unneccesarily. My great-grandfather, her husband, was a male chauvinist pig. The doctor had told both of them that if she were to get pregnant again she would probably die. The baby survived, she didn’t. My grandmother was the eldest and was then required to take her mother’s place in raising her siblings and taking care of the house. That’s when grandma met gandpa. They had not known each other long before they were married and grandma was out of her dad’s control. There’s a lot more to the story, but leave it to say that he felt women were only of value as in what they do in service to men.

    • I wish I could say those days are in the past. They aren’t.

      • Sadly, I must agree with you. I think my problem is I am too independent for the likes of some churchy people. I know I was way too independent and broad-minded to be in that Fundy Baptist College for more than the two years it took to get the 2-year business associates degree I wanted and to say BYE-BYE to those wackos.

  5. Moonshadow – I’ve been thinking about your comments about abortion …

    What I always ask these Pro-Life supporters is that if they truly believe that every fertilized egg is a person and that every baby is a gift from God – then why would God knowingly give that precious gift of a baby to people that will abuse that baby?

    I was in the Evangelical Fundy Baptist group and I remember many sermons about how God has pre-ordained our destiny. So if God knows those bab ies are going to be abused and even killed by the people he is giving this gift of a baby to – then doesn’t that God an accomplice to that baby’s abuse and/or murder?

    It’s quite a rosy little picture these Fundies paint when they say that God has pre-ordained them to be well-fed, financially stable, well-dressed people who go to a mighty fine looking church with it’s big golden cross and singing those pretty songs and praying those beautiful prayers.

    But what about those babies that God has pre-ordained to be born into poverty, hungry, tattered clothing and nowhere near that beautiful rosy picture of the big church that has everything it wants?

    This is the type of independent and broad-minded thinking I was referrign to previously that got me into trouble. LOL

    I think some churchy people are quite content to sit and eat up everything their preacher says like it is cotton candy – as long as their world is rosy.

    And in the past few decades, I’ve seen these mega churches that I am talking about do very little in showing their compassion and love for all human beings.

    But these mega churches should do build alot of fancy buildings – on tax free, prime real estate – don’t they?

    • On the other hand – if these Pro Life people would only open a basic biology book – then they would know why babies are conceived – whether the parents are white, black, rich, poor, Christian or non-Christian.

      Let’s face it – Biology 101 pretty much tells yout that when a sperm fertilizes an egg – there will be a baby born in about 9 months.

      So, to me, rather than screaming and ratning about abortion – let’s make our country a place where people can get a living-wage job so they can choose to raise that baby. And let’s get accesss to health are for everyone. And let’s get access to education for everyone.

      These are the things our government could and should be doing – not passing laws outlawing abortion. After all, no matter how many laws are passed – if a woman wants an abortion, she’ll find a way to have that abortion. This has been a fact for many, many centuries.

      • I don’t think we’ve discussed this here, it’s something that was posted on one of my FB pages…

        Numbers 5:27
        New International Version (NIV)
        27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.

        There are herbs that will cause miscarriages, one of the main ways they aborted pregnancies, and most midwives, medicine woman knew what this was. Do you see that passage above as biblically approve abortion?

      • Sorry for lateness getting back to the discussion – had to eat supper and watch an old movie.

        Yes, I read this as an abortion but what bothers me about this passage is that it puts the blame onto the woman for being ‘unfaithful’.

        So, again, we have this logic that women are somehow evil and is the cause for all the suffering and curses in the world? How about the Garden of Eden where Eve supposedly tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. Well, didn’t Adam have a brain with which to think for himself and Just Say No?

        What makes me so frustrated with these Pro Life supporters is the fact they seem to think that just because we pass some law banning abortions that bingo, presto – no more abortions will happen.

        In what universe or reality are these folks living in?

        As you pointed out – most midwives and any health care professional should know how to cause a miscarriage. Hell, I remember some old movies where the pregnant woman just fell down the stairs and that did the trick. I remember one graphic French movie where the woman used a coat hanger.

      • Coat hangers, knitting needles, anything of that type where used more often and more reliably than taking a fall.

        More to the point on the bible verse is the fact that abortion IS mentioned in the bible and NOT saying that it shouldn’t be done.

        I was just telling a friend the other day not to get me wrong when I speak the bible. I have many bibles in my house and love them dearly. I have my grandmother’s German bible. The problem I have with the bible is the way it’s used. My God did not cease to exist after the last book was sealed into the bible. My God did not stop communicating with His/Her children. The stories/letters in the bible were directed to specific people in named locations addressing events that were happening at that time. There are lessons that we can learn from the bible, but they need to be applied with wisdom and compassion.

      • The same Bible also tells of how God spared Cain’s life after he killed his brother Abel. So, for all those pro-death penalty supporters who claim the Bible teaches that the death penalty – an eye for an eye – is commanded – then how do they explain God not using the death penalty on Cain?

        I think the Bible is a guide – a reference book – as to how we could and should live – with the one constant theme which is love your neighbor as thyself.

        There are many contradictions in the Bible but when I studied Jesus’ life and the way he walked amongst the outcasts of society and healed the sick, stopped the stoning of the woman, raised the dead, showed compassion to the thief hanging on the crucifix next to his own – NOW that is what my faith Christianity means to me. I am to strive to show that same compassion and love to every human being I come into contact.

        And I must confess, I fail miserably – especially when I get my back up by some of these Fundy Evangelical Christians. But it is very easy to love and show compassion for those folks who you like – it is an entirely different story to show love and compassion for those folks who seem to take such pleasure in pushing every hot button that I’ve got.

        Like I said, I fail miserably some times.

      • Moonshadow – your grandmother was German?

        My husband was born in West Germany and many of my father’s ancestors came from Germany. I’ve always had a strong streak – and my mother (non-German) always said that was my German side coming through….LOL

        My husband was an orphan that was adopted by a Christian couple. The father was in the USA Air Corps at the time (1954). Now the father was very nice – I liked him. The mother was a different story. Talk about Fundy Christian – she was a Southern Baptist through and through. She was a preacher’s daughter, a preacher’s wife and the mother of a preacher – that is, until he married me and we had that horrid 6 months of his Southern Baptist church feuding with my Fundamental Baptist church. That is when we decided to leave the ministory and go work in the long-term care business. My husband wanted to be a preacher to find a way to serve people – and we have found the long-term care nursing home business to be a place in which to help people.

        So, I don’t see what the problem was – but my mother-in-law did not share our viewpoint.

        And as for adoptive parents like the ones wicked commented on – my mother-in-law was upset with me because I never thanked her for adopting my husband. I never knew why the old battle axe was upset with me until one day my husband finally told me what that stick up her butt was for – LOL.

        I told my mother-in-law that it never occurred to me to even thank her for adopting my husband when he was a baby because I just assumed she and her husband adopted the baby because they loved him as their own son.

        Wow – talk about a stone-cold face looking back at me. This woman is yet another book I could write about those good ol’ Christians…..

      • Just for the record – did you know there are people who adopt orphans simply because the Bible commands us to take in the orphans and widows?

        Did I fail to mention, my mother-in-law also found some widow in some nursing home in Vermont that had no family and she yanked her out of the nursing home to come home and live with them. My husband’s family moved around the country alot and took the widow with them. I suspect that widow’s monthly pension check might have had something to do with the mother-in-law’s desire to take in widows, as God commanded her to do.

        Oh, no, wait a minute – I’m wrong. My m-i-l told me once that she was looking forward to receiving that crown with the two gems in it for taking in an orphan and the widow. I told her then that I thought whatever gem-filled crown we received were to be given back to God. She looked at me like I had two heads…

        The Bible is up to interpretation…and some people have some very imaginative interpretations…

  6. The divisive stands on abortion and too many other issues isn’t going to change. The most I feel we can hope for is mutual respect. I don’t expect to change another adult’s opinion and must respect that each person thinks through the issues and comes to their conclusion after careful consideration, just as I did.

    I’d put birth control in the water supply if it was left up to me! (just joking … kinda) 🙂 I know what a great responsibility and even greater privilege nurturing children is. Utopia would be a world where every child was cherished and had vast unlimited opportunities. What a world that would be!

    Because I am fully aware I can only make decisions for myself, I am pro choice. There is no way I could make such a personal decision for anyone else. Today each woman who makes this decision has legal and safe options available. If Roe v Wade were overturned, abortions wouldn’t stop, just as they didn’t begin when they became ‘legal.’ Until that is acknowledged as fact, we probably won’t see that day when mutual respect is offered.

    • Mutual respect would be nice – but in the world of the black and white mode of some of these more Evangelical Christian circles – I’m afraid that showing respect to someone who is pro choice is frowned upon.

      I was listening to this NPR story about the history of left-handed and right-handed people. This man was from Sweden (I think) and he has studied the history of how society has viewed left handed people.

      He made a statement that I had never even thought about before – he says that most Christian-based society that tend to have the black and white view of the world are more prone to viewing left handed people as ‘bad’ because being left handed is not the majority.

      This guy went on to say that in the Chinese culture – where they view the world as more ying and yang as being necessary to make a more harmonius society – left handed people are not frowned upon. In fact, being left handed is not even viewed as being either bad or good – it is just how a person uses their hands.

      That got me to thinking about my own past experience with the Fundy Evangelicals and now I think I know why these folks tend to be so – black and white. If you’re accepted into the ‘white’ group – then you’re not the target of any potential backlash, judgment as being inferior, etc. If you belong to the ‘white’ group, then you’re safe from ridicule.

      Maybe that is why there are so many of these Evangelical mega churches popping up everywhere – people just want to belong to the ‘white’ group and feel superior?

      To me, that is not being one of God’s faithful, spiritual believers. These mega churches are for the dog and pony show churchy people – and some people like that – because then they belong to the ‘group’ and are safe from any ridicule.

      • IIRC – the mob that yelled for Jesus’ crucifixion were also a part of the group that wanted to feel superior. After all, this rebel man that was upsetting the money vendors in the Temple and calling out the Temple leaders was making the outcasts of society feel they had the same rights as those in their elite group.

        In their eyes – this rebel, Jesus, was dangerous to their seat of power and wealth.

        At least that is the way I view Jesus – as the spokesman for the outcasts of society .

        But I hear certain Evangelical Christians of today are actually trying to label Jesus as some elite person that had wealth and was only concerned about how much wealth one can accumulate while on this Earth.

        Hm, I find this to be alarming and maybe now I can see why so many seem to be drawn to these mega churches – hey, they actually preach that the more money you give in their offering plate, the more money God will send you in return.

        But I am reminded of the Bible verses that talk about how God takes care of the sparrow – so why would He not take care of his followers? When was the last time you saw a sparrow carrying a money belt?

      • Of course, He takes care of the sparrow! He is love! It’s so simple to understand, and so difficult to attain. All the other less admirable qualities of humans set up roadblocks to overcome, and we don’t always allow unconditional love to be the first and prevailing reaction to every situation, every person. It takes great humility to always love, never feel the need for vengeance.

      • I agree fnord – Gove is love (at least that is the prevailing message I get from the Bible). And I must confess, sometimes my temper can get the better of me when being confronted by these Religious Rightees and their incessant yammering as to how God wants to punish everyone for not believing in the RR’s narrow version of God.

        But I view God as a spiritual being – and when I was in the Fundy Group – God was always described as some Supeme Being sitting on a golden throne (there is that gold mentioned again) just waiting for human beings to step out of line.

        I don’t fine that description as very loving – do you?

      • P.S. – One thing I see too much of is this attitude of ‘never having enough’. Whatever happened to being content with what you’ve got?

        One of the most spiritual men I’ve known did not attend church regularly. He did not say beautiful prayers within earshot of people he wanted to impress. He did not kneel and pray whenever he was successful at something (like making a touchdown).

        But, rather, this man worked hard at a menial job which did pay enough to keep his 6 kids fed, clothed and healthy. This man worked his entire life and his only wish was to retire so he could go fishing. This man died when he was 64 yrs old – just a few months shy of his planned retirement date. This man did not get his final wish – to be able to go fishing more.

        But what this man left behind was a legacy of how spiritual people should be – this man had so many people at this funeral who told countless stories of how he helped them when they needed it the most. Sometimes it was money, food for their kids or sometimes it was simply a ride to work when their car was broke down.

        This is how a true Christian should live – showing his love for his fellow man – not just preaching down to everyone else to make himself feel superior, and in some cases, becoming quite wealthy preachers.

        We need to stop emphasizing religion and just get back to be spiritual people. Religion seems to divide way too much…..

      • No, that vengeful hating God doesn’t match anything I believe.

        It’s difficult for all of us to overcome our human tendencies. Humans are all imperfect. I’m more human than most. 😉

        Why do you think some people seem to need fear to the point of feeding it? The Republican Party seems skilled at making bugaboos out of everything they don’t understand, but why don’t they just gain the knowledge necessary to understand and therefore end the fear?

      • Sad to say, using fear tactics has always brought the Republicans the votes.

        Case in point – all but two of the current GOP 2012 hopefuls are banging the warm drum to bomb Iran. Now that puts the fear into me to vote against these people.

        But I see Republicans flocking to be able TO vote for these folks because they see it as these folks are being strong for America.

        It’s just two different perspectives, I guess.

        But I do agree with Ron Paul on his views towards war – and that is but one issue I agree with Ron Paul. His other views are too extreme for me.