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hp blogger Pamela Gerloff's Comments

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Patty Murray Pre-K Push Planned In Tuesday Speech

Patty Murray Pre-K Push Planned In Tuesday Speech

Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 11:44:40 in Politics

“Those young ages are too early to insist that children learn to read and write. Money would be better spent helping parents and other adults develop the time and capacity to interact in loving and nurturing ways with their young children and the children of their community. Basically, these education efforts are as misguided as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.”

Lauren Kottwitz on Jun 25, 2013 at 13:35:30

“It's weird that you say that. I learned to read and write long before Kindergarten, at age 3 I was reading and writing. You think it's a bad thing to encourage that?”
Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 17:33:26 in Business

“There is no button appearing on my screen to respond to Chockolate's comment below, which I would like to correct because his statement is false. He says that boycotts never achieve their stated objectives. This is untrue. Classic examples of hugely successful boycotts are the Montgomery boycott of the 1950s, which successfully launched the U.S. civil rights movement and changed the course of history. Another is the table grape boycott organized by the United Farm Workers in the 1960s. Yet another, internationally, was the boycott of commercial salt organized by Gandhi in the 1930s, which, along with the movement it was part of brought freedom from domination by a colonial power to India and its people. If you type "successful boycotts" into Google, you'll find a lot. This link lists successful consumer boycotts since the year 2000: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/boycotts/successfulboycotts.aspx Of course, some boycotts have not succeeded in their objectives. By studying both successful and unsuccessful boycotts, it has been possible to determine what features it is advisable to include in order to make the boycott successful. I repeat: cynics and naysayers do not change the world. They do try, however, to keep others from changing it!”
Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 08:26:23 in Business

“Chocolate's comment here is abusive. It is an overgeneralization that also lacks awareness of the many interconnections that exist in the global community of nations. The desperate living conditions of so many in Bangladesh do have something to do with the West-- and Westerners, individually and collectively, can take steps to assist Bangladesh in upgrading the quality of life for its people. I have spent time in Bangladesh and what you say is not universally true there. Yes, Bangladesh has huge challenges. Huge. But what you say ignores the ancient history and culture of Bangladesh and the contributions of its people to the world, the very elevated level of consciousness of many Bangladeshis, and the heart of the people, which is astonishingly large. These kinds of comments do nothing to advance understanding or help improve the situation and really should not be allowed on HuffPo. There is an emerging, peaceful dignity movement in Bangladesh which is addressing many of its challenges, in a wide range of sectors of society. Your comment denigrates the courageous, humble, caring, and intelligent efforts of those Bangladeshis that are working with so much dedication to bring life-affirming change to the country they love.”
Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Bangladesh Factory Workers Fall Ill; Water Supply Suspected

Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 08:12:22 in Business

“Come on, Chockolate. There are ways to change working conditions. At this time in history, it requires a lot of people to participate and/or some people at the top of some of the hierarchies to act from principle rather than profit only. Obviously, the status quo is fine with you and you will not do anything to improve life for others on this planet, but the rest of us can, and will, and are. Bangladesh needs major change. There is an emerging, peaceful dignity movement there that is working in many different sectors of society. To say that boycotts will just result in joblessness is 1) not true, if done correctly and 2) the cynic's predictable stance and cynics have never changed the world.”

hp blogger Pamela Gerloff on Jun 6, 2013 at 17:33:26

“There is no button appearing on my screen to respond to Chockolate's comment below, which I would like to correct because his statement is false. He says that boycotts never achieve their stated objectives. This is untrue. Classic examples of hugely successful boycotts are the Montgomery boycott of the 1950s, which successfully launched the U.S. civil rights movement and changed the course of history. Another is the table grape boycott organized by the United Farm Workers in the 1960s. Yet another, internationally, was the boycott of commercial salt organized by Gandhi in the 1930s, which, along with the movement it was part of brought freedom from domination by a colonial power to India and its people. If you type "successful boycotts" into Google, you'll find a lot. This link lists successful consumer boycotts since the year 2000: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/boycotts/successfulboycotts.aspx Of course, some boycotts have not succeeded in their objectives. By studying both successful and unsuccessful boycotts, it has been possible to determine what features it is advisable to include in order to make the boycott successful. I repeat: cynics and naysayers do not change the world. They do try, however, to keep others from changing it!”

Chockolate on Jun 6, 2013 at 12:27:51

“How often do boycotts every achieve their stated objectives? The answer is never, and that means it's utterly senseless to try and expect it to be different this time.”
Joel Osteen Hoax: Man Allegedly Behind Ploy To Discredit Leader Wants Televangelist To Change His Message (VIDEO)

Joel Osteen Hoax: Man Allegedly Behind Ploy To Discredit Leader Wants Televangelist To Change His Message (VIDEO)

Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 16:56:47 in Religion

“No. HuffPo sought out the guy, promised him anonymity, and gave him a soapbox, thereby aiding him in keeping the hoax going and continuing to spread lies about a person who has spent many years building his ministry and reputation. HuffPo even reports that many people have believed the lies. I wonder if they'd do the same if someone put up elaborate websites and created multiple false news reports quoting Arianna saying exactly the opposite of what she has said for years, along with explicit retractions of statements of her fundamental political beliefs and positions she has taken on key issues of our time--while the perpetrator continues to create and disseminate more false statements attributed to Arianna. Or would they make some effort to reveal the person's identity and get the "disinformation campaign" stopped?”

exploreinfinity on Apr 11, 2013 at 22:32:44

“I'm positive Joel Osteen deserves every piece of disinformation thrown at him. He should be happy just disinformation is being tossed in his direction. An indefinite number of news sources pump out disinformation like their lives depended on it, take Faux News for example.”

Justin Tribble on Apr 11, 2013 at 19:59:46

“The hoax lasted a day and the site was quickly taken down. I think the "harm" inflicted is minimal compared to the hopeful intent that this would cause people to begin to question this guy and his ministry.”

Antix80 on Apr 11, 2013 at 18:09:17

“I find it amusing that you use the term "disinformation campaign" in your apparent defense of a televangical "christian" minister...

Oh the irony!”

RillyKewl on Apr 11, 2013 at 17:33:15

“She'd survive, I'm sure.
Grow up.”
Joel Osteen Hoax: Man Allegedly Behind Ploy To Discredit Leader Wants Televangelist To Change His Message (VIDEO)

Joel Osteen Hoax: Man Allegedly Behind Ploy To Discredit Leader Wants Televangelist To Change His Message (VIDEO)

Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 13:36:49 in Religion

“This is what HuffPo has come to. Aiding and abetting libel, just to get an "exclusive." The libelous hoax continues and HuffPo protects the identity of the perpetrator, as if there is some principle involved here. (This has gone far beyond a simple April Fool's joke.)
Arianna used to have higher standards. Does she really have no control over the site now? Who allows this stuff on here? It seems to have become the norm.”

RillyKewl on Apr 11, 2013 at 17:31:45

“Who the hell are you to judge?
No, Arianna does not personally edit every blogpost. Did you actually think she did?

I happen to love this story.
I believe in a free press. I believe in taking down big, corporatized, religion-selling fundamentalists.
And I'd suggest that you take a Valium + go watch The Yes Men for an hour or 2, before you tell anybody else what they should, or shouldn't publish.

Somebody pulled a hoax on a huckster, big deal.
He didn't seem to break a sweat over it. Why should you?”

nylawai on Apr 11, 2013 at 16:20:25

“I think you have it wrong, they are just selling a story that may interest people. It happens with every news organization.”
Maine West High School Sued For Student Hazing, Sodomy 'Sanctioned By Coaches'

Maine West High School Sued For Student Hazing, Sodomy 'Sanctioned By Coaches'

Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 15:36:03 in Education

“Yanking accreditation would not punish other students. Schools would shape up fast if there were any consequences at all their allowance of hazing, bullying, rape, and other violent behavior. They would shape up. And frankly, it could be the only thing that might get them to shape up pretty quickly. Rescinding accreditation and stopping state funding talks big. Perhaps it's also the one thing that would prompt enough of an outcry from the rest of the parents, teachers, and staff to elicit a response from the schools. Over the last week there has been a spate of letters to the editor in the Illinois town where I live, about the bullying at a local middle school; again, apparently known about and sanctioned by adults in the system. Believe me, if that school thought it would lose accreditation, it would take swift action. As long as people just shrug their shoulders and say "there's nothing we can do" (as you basically did, above), nothing is likely to change quickly. When we draw conclusions that things are unchangeable, they become so. Better to start asking, individually and collectively, "What would it take to change this?" And then listen to ideas.”

curmugin on Nov 21, 2012 at 18:10:22

“"Schools" do not tke action. People take action. I am not disagreeing with you. I am just saying you have to go after the right people. Who, exactly, is the "school"??? And I did not say nothing can be done. I said the power comes from people who want the winning teams and high testing schools and don't care how it's done. If you have the stomach for it I know exactly what has to be done, and suggested as much. Let me say it clearly: go after the administrators in civil court.
"”

ocenbrz on Nov 21, 2012 at 17:05:42

“You are right Pamela. It is those who have laid down their swords and just submitted to this kind of punishment that keep it going on.

Yes, plenty of bullies out there but in many places they do not win. And not doing anything to stop them? Is why we have so many of them in the first place. But they can be beaten and we have laws on the books to prove that when people finally take a stand, things change. We become a better society.

It does mean that sometimes the meek, have to raise a sword and enforce their threats but evil must be fought and overcome.”
Maine West High School Sued For Student Hazing, Sodomy 'Sanctioned By Coaches'

Maine West High School Sued For Student Hazing, Sodomy 'Sanctioned By Coaches'

Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 10:52:24 in Education

“As other commenters have noted, the behaviors this article reports constitute rape and sex crimes, i.e., criminal activity. Both the students and the adults who knew about it should of course be prosecuted. Why isn't that obvious to school personnel and local law enforcement? "Disciplinary action," "one count battery," "one count hazing"? That's it? Why are schools and the people in them exempt from the laws of the land. (Anyone care to create an online petition calling for criminal prosecution?) In addition, the school should immediately have its accreditation and all state aid suspended. That is, after all, the kind of thing schools pay attention to.

Beyond the criminal issue, how about we begin to recognize that there is no need for any type of hazing whatsoever, ever, in school or out. Hazing is backward and outdated, no matter how "innocuous" or "just in fun" people claim it to be. Time for humanity to do--and be--better. Is our society so enamored of sports and ritual humiliation that we can't recognize this? Apparently so, and large numbers of people still seem to be operating at very primitive levels. So how about those with greater awareness stop permitting hazing and bullying right where we are? How about we stop letting bullies run the planet?”

curmugin on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:31:05

“You answered your own question. The bullies run the planet. You either live with your bullies or you suffer worse under the other bullies. And the reason there is hazing and torture in schools is that it works to get the results of winning teams and high performing elites that people want.. And utopian cries to change "humanity" and to pull acreditation would punish students trying to get into college and teachers trying to make a living while leaving the perpetrators largely untouched. Sounds sincere though. And the prosecution is unlikely to get convictions even on the mild charges brought, The adults will claim ignorance of the events and the kid's parent's lawyers will claim "you can't ruin childrens lives for the adults failure"., Charging felony assault and rape would just be thrown out. And greater awareness just leads to greater indecision and lack of action. And the bullies do not need your permission.”
Democratic Solution To The Filibuster: Make Them Talk

Democratic Solution To The Filibuster: Make Them Talk

Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 09:09:38 in Politics

“It's about time.”

OneFluOverTheWooWoosNest on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:01:12

“For what? Some transformational change in the Senate?”
Why Do The Gallup Poll's Likely Voter Results Differ From The Rest?

Why Do The Gallup Poll's Likely Voter Results Differ From The Rest?

Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 18:30:16 in Politics

“I've got news for you: It can get a lot worse.”
Obama Responds To Libya Criticism: Romney Tends 'To Shoot First And Aim Later'

Obama Responds To Libya Criticism: Romney Tends 'To Shoot First And Aim Later'

Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 21:22:23 in Politics

“I clicked on "Marked as Favorite" by mistake, so please discount that! I meant to hit Reply.
President Obama's words and actions are not at all about "trying to get as much of the world as possible to love us." They are about upholding the values that our nation really stands for, and about treating everyone with dignity--and I mean everyone, including all parties to a conflict and those whom one may not consider "worthy" of dignity. On principle, America does not stand for religious tolerance, bigotry, hatred, and inciting violence. On a practical level, treating people, groups, and countries with dignity has been shown to be far more effective at resolving conflict and creating peace than picking and choosing when and where you adhere to the principle of dignity for all. "Making our enemies fear us" in order to get them to behave as we want them to do is an outdated and ultimately ineffective strategy; it's actually rather medieval, and in medieval times that commonly-followed strategy spawned and perpetuated violence grotesque levels of violence.”

duke1ca on Sep 13, 2012 at 15:01:47

“Your view of the world is naive and idealistic.  People who are trapped in a Medieval mindset (such as the Muslim extremists) are incapable of understanding modern diplomacy.  It's that simple.  We should always try diplomacy and good-will gestures first, but not delude ourselves that these will work with everyone.  Wake up, we are in a war whether you like it or not, for there are millions of Muslims who would either destroy us or rule over us under Shariah.”
Prejudice In The Brain: Can You Break Your Biased Habits? (VIDEO)

Prejudice In The Brain: Can You Break Your Biased Habits? (VIDEO)

Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 13:02:36 in Science

“Two things come to mind:
1. This is basically what dignitarianism is about--recognizing that humanity is still often acting on ingrained prejudicial, self-preservation, and predatory behaviors, but that those responses and behaviors can be retrained and transformed. We go a step further and suggest that in fact, humanity's survival, at this point in our species' development, depends on such retraining. (See Robert Fuller's and my book Dignity for All: How to Create a World without Rankism, http://www.amazon.com/Dignity-All-Create-Without-Rankism/dp/1576757897/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326299929&sr=8-1)
2. My mother believed, as this article suggests, that prejudice was innate in humans--because she saw it in animals. I remember her making such observations as, for example, in our herd of black and white dairy cattle, if there were 2 or 3 predominantly white or black-patterned calves in a pen together, they would tend to single out the one who was differently marked in color to be low on the totem pole. Yet she also believed that prejudicial thinking and responses could be overcome. I recall one day coming upon her in the calf barn "lecturing" some young calves who had not been allowing the "different" one to drink at the same time they were. They appeared to be listening with some interest--more than we can sometimes say for humans! :)”

horseguards on Jan 12, 2012 at 02:10:18

“Pamela,

Teach people to think, to rationalise, and then prejudice will decrease.

In a broader context, we tend to pre-judge on the flimsiest of pretexts, especially with regard to physical appearance - age, sex, colour, accent, stature, dress, behaviour (that is, behaviour unlike our own). If this arises within myself (or others), I ask, Who am I (you) to judge; what makes me (you) so superior or qualified? Humility is a great thing.”
rEDesign: University of Michigan Students Campaign For Education Redesign On Twitter (VIDEO)

rEDesign: University of Michigan Students Campaign For Education Redesign On Twitter (VIDEO)

Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 13:06:52 in Education

“You should try teaching. Then you'll see that what underlies the major problems of education, in the U.S. and around the world, are systemic problems. We need new fundamental assumptions, new operating principles, and new practices. We can't keep saying "we need better teachers" and expect to get anything resembling something new in education.”

roaddawg31 on Dec 17, 2011 at 16:40:20

“"You should try teaching"... I would LOVE TO; can you please tell me where I can "try" it? THERE ARE NO JOBS. Why? Because of antiquated seniority systems that place zero value on the quality of teaching (especially as it relates to relative cost).”

hp blogger Michael Evans on Dec 17, 2011 at 10:14:06

“Pamela, kudos for a simple yet powerful statement. The systemic question I often ask is, "HOW do we get better teachers?" Do we pay them more? Do we, via grassroots movements, somehow transform the perception of the teaching profession to be prestigious and elite? The answer is complex and too often ignored.
I'd be honored if you read some of my pieces! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-evans/school-arrests_b_1147455.html
Rosemount High School Prank Forces Students To Make Out With Their Parents (DISTURBING VIDEO)

Rosemount High School Prank Forces Students To Make Out With Their Parents (DISTURBING VIDEO)

Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 12:39:06 in Education

“I hope they suspend the principal of this school, who clearly supported this "prank" until there was public outcry. Kissing or no kissing, there is no place in schools for any activity that deliberately embarrasses or humiliates others, as this seemed intended to do, and did. (See the "embarrassing, right?" at the end of the video.) We teach kids that "pranks" such as these are legitimate forms of entertainment. What if, instead of locking kids up in schools all day and feeding them pablum and pranks, we created communities of learning where people do meaningful things that matter? What if young people learned to laugh and have fun without needing to make someone else the butt of a joke?”
Julio Artuz, 15-Year-Old Special Needs Student, Records Teacher Verbally Abusing Him (VIDEO)

Julio Artuz, 15-Year-Old Special Needs Student, Records Teacher Verbally Abusing Him (VIDEO)

Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 10:56:34 in Education

“Addition to my previous comment: That said, no teacher, even in our current education system, should be allowed to act the way this teacher has. Obviously, the teacher should be removed from his position. Moreover, people need to start believing kids when they say they are bullied and abused. Bullying--by both teachers and students--is rampant, and I mean *rampant*, in schools now, yet parents, teachers, and other adults continue to dismiss students' claims and requests for help, or to diminish the seriousness of the charge of bullying. What if adults started really listening to young people?”
Julio Artuz, 15-Year-Old Special Needs Student, Records Teacher Verbally Abusing Him (VIDEO)

Julio Artuz, 15-Year-Old Special Needs Student, Records Teacher Verbally Abusing Him (VIDEO)

Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 10:46:52 in Education

“Several commenters have stated that this is a result of low teacher pay--a specious argument, in my view. Ever hear of those prison-simulation studies? College student subjects were assigned the role of either "guard" or "inmate." The researchers had to end the experiments early because the "guards" got too abusive, even though they knew it was just an experiment. (This was in the days before ethical standards were established for research on human subjects.) The conclusion: given the right set-up, people will do what they normally would not do. Our current education system more resembles a prison system than a place of learning and development. We need to start over. Ask new questions, establish new premises. Like, What else is possible? What is the purpose of education? What would it look like to create schools that fostered the discovery of life purpose & the joyous development of talents and gifts, offering them in service to life, family, community, the world? What if learning happens naturally in a learning-rich environment? What if awareness-not ingested information and conditioned belief--are key to learning & growth? What if learning can be easy, joyful, and fun? What new structures, systems, ideas, questions, & relationships might enable the best of everyone--teachers, students, families, community members--to be discovered and expressed. Some of us are doing that now. In such learning environments, bullying--by students or teachers--simply doesn't happen. Let's change the conversation. Let's ask What else is possible?”
huffingtonpost entry

Confessions of a Twisted Gun Grabber

Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 11:02:56 in Politics

“Absolutely brilliant post.”
Obama's Next Economy: Why He Must Take This Opportunity to Reframe the Economic Debate

Obama's Next Economy: Why He Must Take This Opportunity to Reframe the Economic Debate

Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 15:14:57 in Business

“Why don't we have a Financial Transaction Tax on commercial transactions of stocks and bonds? Why don't we hear much about this idea?

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9155-a-us-financial-transaction-tax-how-wall-street-can-pay-for-its-mess

ModernGranny on Nov 7, 2012 at 16:50:11

“We don't have one because the Geitner/Sommers team talked Obama out of it. We had such a tax in the past and it worked to reduce the volatility of the stock markets as well as add to the coffers. Last year H.R. 1125 proposed a transaction tax on almost all transactions. It didn't get out of committee. The math showed then that a 1% transaction tax, with appropriate exemptions, could replace most of the taxes we pay and eliminate the national debt within 10 years. The one thing it doesn't do is allow the government to control behavior through the manipulation of the tax code. I might add that the stock market represents about half of all transactions.”

zogimperator on Nov 7, 2012 at 15:56:20

“Because that would make all those poor folks on Wall Street HAV A SADZ.”

PROGRESSISGOOD on Nov 7, 2012 at 15:52:42

“Because it makes too much sense; and, the 1% would have to pay that tax, which the GOP will NEVER ALLOW.”
Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 06:51:21 in Science

“Part 3
By the way, science author Chris Berdik has a great new book out called Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations, engagingly written for a popular audience.”
Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 06:49:01 in Science

“Part 2
It bears noting that there is a hidden "unscientific" element in the author's thinking, which is fairly common in the medical and scientific world. The author--and others taking a similar approach--either willfully or inadvertently ignore the placebo effect that occurs in their own scientific studies. Science itself has demonstrated that the expectations of the researcher can influence the outcome of experiments as well as the interpretation of data. And the author's standards for his own arguments against placenta eating seem to be quite low. As I already noted, he cites neither scientific nor anecdotal evidence for his position. He would do better to say outright: "There is no scientific evidence against placenta-eating in humans, but I worry about potential contamination by microorganisms, the presence of toxins, and possible negative immunological effects." That would be a reasonable conversation-starter because it draws on his knowledge as a scientist but does not presume that his view is automatically superior to those of women who have experienced the effects of placenta-eating for themselves or their clients.
It also implicitly acknowledges that he is human, with his own point of view, i.e. that there is no such thing as purely objective science. This would help both himself and his audience remember that, like anyone else, he and the research on this topic are subject to both errors in thinking and the effect of expectations.”
Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Placenta: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 06:35:39 in Science

“Part I:
re: your comment: "It is known to not work." That is not what the article says. It says, "there is no [scientific] evidence showing" that it does. Those are quite different statements. In fact, the author uses a good deal of space to discuss the placebo effect, which suggests that enough people are experiencing positive effects that he feels the need to try to stop them from doing something which has *not* been shown to be harmful. There seems to be at least as much anecdotal evidence in favor of placenta-eating as against it. And even the author admits that it does have an "analgesia-enhancing component." Although the effect of that on humans has not yet been scientifically determined, there is apparently no evidence proving that it has no effect whatsoever. The author cites no scientific, nor even anecdotal evidence, that proves that placenta eating is harmful to humans. He does not mention even one case of something negative having occurred. His only argument against it is that it is not widely done among humans and his own speculations that it might be harmful.
I am neutral on placenta-eating in humans. I would take the writer's concerns about microorganism contamination, toxins, and potentially negative immunological effects as reasonable cautions. At the same time, I would also consider the advice of experienced midwives and doulas. (continued on Part 2)”

Sir Guest-a-Lot on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:56:08

“"In fact, the author uses a good deal of space to discuss the placebo effect, which suggests that enough people are experiencing positive effects that he feels the need to try to stop them from doing something which has *not* been shown to be harmful."

That is not quite right. The author's point is that any potential benefit of the placebo effect needs to be weighed against the risk of harm.

Consider, for example, homeopathic products which have no medical benefit outside of the placebo effect. A "proper" dilution would render them harmless as a matter of science. The only risk that would have to be taken into account is the risk of indirect harm from forgoing legitimate treatment in favor of ingesting a homeopathic product. But there is a much greater potential for risk from eating placenta, as you recognize. And that risk may outweigh any placebo effect.”
We're Not 'The Entitlement Generation'

We're Not 'The Entitlement Generation'

Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 10:21:13 in Politics

“Thank you for writing this. Joe Walsh, alas, is currently my Congressman. His name-calling, unreasoned attacks on you, at least, are not personal; it's what he does, as a matter of course, to sane-talking people. When people like you respond with dignified, reasonable argument to his attempts at bullying, you elevate the public discourse, present arguments that others can use in their conversations with one another about the coming elections, and offer some hope that eventually we will have a more mature democracy.”
huffingtonpost entry

Beyond Fundamentalism and Relativism

Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 03:29:32 in Religion

“Part 2 -- To your last point: Everyone, including you, has the right to remain "willfully ignorant." Most people, and disciplines, do it all the time to some extent. But that cannot give others license to deride them because their beliefs don't fall within what someone else or collective belief has decided is "within the limits [of] what is an acceptable viewpoint." We know what has happened to heretics and visionary geniuses throughout history. When you appoint yourself--or the accepted beliefs and theories of your time, no matter how solidly true they may appear--as the arbiter of what is "acceptable" in order to merit respectful treatment, you begin the descent into an Inquisition-like mentality, which of course, is born of willful ignorance...”

solitude1951 on Sep 14, 2012 at 21:43:55

“You're right Pam. If you've followed a legitimate path to the point of realizing how ignorant you've been and still are, you cannot, and be true to yourself, tear down anything or anybody. The need to do so is constantly trying to tear down our awareness. I hope that need starts to fade. Knowing myself, I doubt it.”
huffingtonpost entry

Beyond Fundamentalism and Relativism

Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 03:28:43 in Religion

“Partt 1-- You write "Someone who argues that the Earth is flat and, despite all evidence presented to them, sticks to that argument does not deserve the same respect as someone who argues that the Big Bang may (or may not) have been the beginning of time."
My statement holds here: "...their position implies that they value their own (or their belief system's or academic field's) definition of reality and logic over the principle of respect for differing viewpoints."
You cannot compromise on the principle of respect for all viewpoints. Either you have it or you don't. As soon as you decide that some people are more worthy of respect because they have more "correct" viewpoints, you've violated the principle on which a post-fundamentalist society can be built. It can only be successfully built if the principle remains inviolable. (continued in Part 2)”
The Key to Raising Confident Kids? Stop Complimenting Them!

The Key to Raising Confident Kids? Stop Complimenting Them!

Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 21:55:08 in Parents

“Thanks for the clarification. That helps a lot. I agree, these things are really hard to discuss in this forum. A lot of misunderstandings happen. When I speak words of praise, it's not so much to get someone to keep doing something but just a natural exclamation of appreciation for something that someone has done that seems wonderful or amazing, kind, helpful, or well done, etc. But I believe I understand your viewpoint now. Bottom line, I would surmise, is that you're parenting with love, awareness, sensitivity, and good intent. I appreciate--and applaud--that! :)”
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