Midterm elections are being held in the U.S. on November 7. Midterms, which are called that because they are for open seats in the federal House of Representatives and Senate but not the President, tend to have low voter turnouts. That is a huge mistake. If you’re a U.S. citizen (and 85 percent of my readers are in the U.S.), I urge you to vote. Certainly, the other 15 percent of my readers care that you do.
Speaking of pointing out the foibles of politicians (as I did in last week’s entry), and speaking of political correctness, last week’s story about the U.K. Member of Parliament who called people in his district “inbred” brought quite a few comments, with most being hard on me.
A fair number of governmental bodies have a minister say a prayer at the start of official meetings — an invocation. When criticized by those who favor a true separation of church and state, they often insist that the invocation is not really religious. So what happens when an atheist is invited to give an invocation?
Ronald Reagan died last week. I didn’t happen to mention that fact in last Friday’s free edition — which “naturally” brought a grumpy complaint from Jeffrey in Florida:
We’re often told not to discuss politics or religion in polite company. But sometimes your hand is forced. It all started with two stories that appeared in subsequent weeks — in the 9 May and 16 May 2004 issues:
Proof The Terrorists Have Won
Girl Scout troops in Martin County, Fla., decided to have a Mother’s Day “scavenger hunt” at the Treasure Coast Square Mall. Fathers would accompany their daughters and go “window shopping” for items on the hunt list, marking them off as they spotted them, and then shop for a nice present for Mom when they were done. At least 150 father/daughter pairs signed up, but mall management wouldn’t allow the hunt, citing “security” concerns in the post-9/11 world. “Since Sept. 11, we have looked at our security procedures very closely,” said mall spokeswoman Rachelle Crain. First, “How do we know they’re Girl Scouts?” she said of the uniformed 5- to 18-year-old girls. But, more importantly, “Our enhanced security prohibits us from hosting events that allow participants to wander freely around the mall area.” (Stuart News) …Right. Their dads could whip out a concealed credit card or something.
When some idiot in the public eye spews forth an outrageous racist remark or two, they’re always called to task! And rightly so. Well… are they really? What happens when people are afraid to call a racist a racist, because they’ll be called racist? This story was in True’s 29 February 2004 issue:
In last week’s issue I ran two stories that were wonderfully balanced, politics-wise. Yet the response was very, very telling. First, here are both stories:
Last week there was Yet Another Political (this time, anti-war) ad, and as expected I got a bunch of complaints and petulant “unsubscribe” demands.
In the 25 August 2002 newsletter, there was a paid ad for an anti-Bush bumper sticker. The ad’s headline: There’s Dirt Under Every Bu$h. That led to (ahem) several reader letters:
Anytime This is True runs stories with (shall we say) controversial subjects, it generates letters. But nothing brings more letters than the division between left- and right-wing politics!
The Monica Lewinski scandal didn’t really break (or “Go Viral” as we say today) until President Bill Clinton’s famous angry denial, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman …Miss Lewinsky.”