Monday, September 08, 2008

Sarah Palin tried to fire librarian who refused to censor books

Sarah Palin seems to have Jimmy Carter's big negative (he was a micromanager) without his positives.

Sarah has apparently been quite the busybody, going to the Wasilla library before she was sworn in as mayor to ask the librarian if she would censor books. The folks at the Library of Congress might want to keep an eye peeled for a tough-talking brunette who's going to be really upset to know that they keep just about EVERYTHING that's printed.

Palin pressured Wasilla librarian
Anchorage Daily News
September 4th, 2008

WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.

Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

When evangelical Christians were liberals

I was surprised to find out that William Wilberforce (1759–1833) was an evangelical Christian. He is the hero of the recent movie Amazing Grace.

In the United States over the past few decades, evangelicals have leaned to the far right, more interested in preventing what they see as misbehavior in other people's bedrooms than in making sure that all human beings are treated with respect and decency.

But the old days, when an evangelical forced the abolition of the slave trade in England, may be coming back.

Are evangelical Christians returning to social activism? It seems that they are. More evangelicals are fighting for justice for all, and preservation of the environment.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Should we toughen the weak by taunting them?

Police aren't the only ones who believe in showing contempt for the weak. It's a strategy also used by teachers, school administrators and others who "care for" young people.

Family Calls for New Police Policy for Suicide Threats
CW San Diego Channel 6

The family of a 20-year-old Oceanside man who barricaded himself inside his home, then committed suicide is calling for change. They say their son's death didn't have to happen, and a police negotiator may have pushed him over the edge.

His parents, Bill and Julie Hillestad, are now calling for a policy change because of the way an Oceanside Police Department negotiator handled their son's case. Sattaur had locked himself inside his home with a gun, threatening suicide after a break-up with his long-time girlfriend.

This is part of his exchange with an Oceanside police negotiator.

Police Negotiator: "Grant shut up and listen to me. Will you do that, keep your mouth shut. You need to come out of the house so other people can go home."

Police Negotiator: "Are you going to be a coward to stay in the house or are you going to be a man and come outside and take care of your problems?"

Sattaur: "I don't know"

Police Negotiator: "So you're a coward?"

Sattaur: "Yes"

The ACLU of San Diego has joined Sattaur's parents to bring attention to the case. "The Oceanside Police Department's whole system for responding to depressed people contemplating suicide is broken, " says ACLU Executive Director Kevin Keenan... "It's policies treat suicidal patients the same as barricaded homicidal individuals and hostage takers," says Keenan.

An Oceanside Police spokesman says Sattaur's death is tragic, but their negotiator did nothing wrong. They have no plans to change their policies...



Canine commemoration: K-9 units pay tribute to Stryker, fallen Oceanside police dog
North County Times
January 15, 2008
A funeral service for Stryker, the Oceanside police dog who died after falling from the Coronado Bay Bridge on New Year's Eve, drew about 100 police dogs and their handlers to North County from throughout Southern California on Monday.

Oceanside Police Officer Kedrick Sadler, speaking publicly for the first time since the dog was killed, thanked his canine partner for his loyalty, discipline and bravery on the bridge that night.

"The only thing I regret is that I was not there to comfort you in your final moments and tell you that you did a good job," Sadler said..

Oceanside remembers Stryker
By Lance Cpl. Shannon E. Mcmillan
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

... OPD canine Officer Stryker [a dog] sacrifice[d] his life in the line of duty.

People and dogs from all over California mourned the loss of Officer Stryker at a memorial here Jan. 14.

...The suspect struggled to his feet and hurled himself from the bridge, carrying with him one of Oceanside’s bravest peace keepers.

“You died doing what you do best, getting the bad guys,” said Sadler, Stryker’s handler and police officer of Oceanside K-9 unit. “With a selfless act to get the bad guy, you lost your life.”

Stryker touched the heart of many police officers’ in the K-9 unit.

...said Manual Villa Nueva..."Stryker was dedicated to the job. He never showed weakness and gave 110 percent..."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

American Jews and Sarah Palin

Poor Sarah Palin. Belonging to a judgmental religion can backfire. I think it's arrogant to claim that God intentionally caused harm to one's enemies. Was it God's doing when some crazed person attacked one of their churches? Of course not.

Jewish voters may be wary of Palin

Barack Obama has struggled for 18 months to lock down the support of a traditionally Democratic group, Jewish voters.

In the past week, John McCain may have helped Obama with his Jewish problem by choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate...

An illustration of that gap came just two weeks ago, when Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus.

Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church’s website.

“He’s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism,” Kroon said.

Brickner then explained that Jesus and his disciples were themselves Jewish.

“The Jewish community, in particular, has a difficult time understanding this reality,” he said...

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.

"Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."

Palin was in church that day, Kroon said, though he cautioned against attributing Brickner’s views to her...

VP choice Sarah Palin and Britney Spears' mom: what's the difference?

The basic difference between Sarah Palin and Britney Spears' mom (both have been in the news recently as a result of their underage daughters becoming pregnant) seems to be political. Spears accepted silently all the discussion of the problem of pregnant unmarried teenagers.

Sarah Palin is suddenly trying to stop the discussion of family values.

It's quite clear that abstinence-only sex education doesn't work for many teenagers. Sarah Palin needs to discuss that subject.

Then there's the subject of communication with teenagers. I simply don't believe that Palin informed John McCain of her daughter's pregnancy. I don't think Palin covered it up, either. I think she didn't know.

How could she not know her daughter is 5 months pregnant? I suspect that the pregnancy is not that far advanced.

I think Bristol Palin was afraid to tell her mother because her mother is unable to deal with reality. Not surprisingly, Palin wants to silence discussion of the matter, not open up to the American people about any realization that she might have been wrong when she opposed sex education that teaches about birth control and cut food and shelter programs for pregnant teens in Alaska.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Good teacher, bad teacher: Women sabotaging women in the workplace

Do women in the workplace sabotage each other? Some of us have noticed this. Below is an essay by a woman born in 1982.

Washington Post
by Hannah Seligson
Aug. 30, 2000

"...Inspired by my own rocky entrance into the work world, I decided to interview other young women and discovered that many of them, like me, were facing a steep workplace learning curve. What was it, I wondered, that was making our first career steps so wobbly when we had been so accomplished and self-assured in school?

Every workplace is different, but certain patterns began to emerge. I experienced and heard of instances when some women, instead of helping a new female colleague, tried to undermine her. Rather than giving “the new girl” the tools to succeed, they might try to sabotage her advancement.

... Women, I have found, can let perfectionism stop them from speaking up or taking risks...

Sarah Palin's fuzzy thinking about pregnant teenagers

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote in her line-item veto (note the initials "SP" in the above document) in this copy of a 2008 spending bill obtained by The Washington Post.

People who make harsh judgments of others are vulnerable when their own shortcomings are exposed. Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is now one of those people.

Palin cut back on help for other people's pregnant teenage daughters, apparently because she found those girls undeserving of society's support. She also opposed teaching teenagers about contraception. I imagine she's more surprised than I am that her seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant.

Washington Post
By Paul Kane
Sept. 2, 2008
...Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million.

...According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."

Palin's own daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant and has plans to wed...

Earlier today the Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, opposed funding to prevent teen pregnancies, a position that Palin also took as governor. "The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support," she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates.

Reporters asked McCain in November 2007 whether he supported grants for sex education in the United States, whether such programs should include directions for using contraceptives and whether he supports President Bush's policy of promoting abstinence.

"Ahhh, I think I support the president's policy," McCain said.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Did the founding fathers say the pledge of allegiance?

From Daily Kos
by J L Finch
Aug 31, 2008

Here is [VP candidate Sarah] Palin's response to a candidate questionnaire for the Alaska 2006 gubernatorial race:

Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance

First, the Pledge of Allegiance was not written by the Founding Fathers. It was written much later. Secondly, the words "under God" were not originally part of the Pledge. "Under God" was added even later.

Wikipedia on the Pledge of Allegiance:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898).

Bellamy's original "Pledge of Allegiance" was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America, conceived by James B. Upham.

Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

...In New York City on April 22, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend their recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation..."