Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Magic Valley and Magic Thinking

Note from Founding Daughter: No more writing letters to the Editor! A 400 word limit does nothing but cramp my creativity. My new avocation is to respond on the Times-News Magic Valley Community Speaks page. No word limits; you just take ‘em on one at a time. As for the following letter, Mr Vanderpol neglected to mentioned the King of Creationism: George!

Only creationism can teach children morality

Addressing the concern for our youth:

Why is teenage suicide up? Why is teenage meth use up? Why are teenage pregnancies up?

I think we are teaching this stuff in our schools:

(1) By teaching the religion of evolution, we are telling our children that you are an accident and have little or no value.

(2) There is no purpose to life except to have fun and pass on your genes.

(3) There is no absolute right or wrong; in fact, there are no absolutes.

(4) Your presence here is a burden on the planet since you are one of the polluters and it would be better for the world if you died.

When we teach the religion of evolution in our schools, this is what we are telling our children because there is no real future. Since there is no way to tell right from wrong, survival of the fittest becomes a way of life. It is unthinkable that we would dare teach intelligent design and give eternal value to our children.

Maybe they (educators) will come up with a new program for morality like they did for fatherless children in the '50s, drugs in the '60s, HIV in the '80s, all of which was a miserable failure. Only creationism teaches morality.

Good luck, Mr. and Mrs. America.


Community Speaks Story Commenting Forum

Kristen Keck (id:ckkeck) wrote on April 16, 2007 6:19 AM:
"Bill, You hit the nail on head with your letter. People who believe evolution is the truth are like ostriches burying their heads in the sand. They don't want to believe in creationism, or a creator; otherwise they would have to answer to someone other than themselves. I pity them come judgement day. "

Jared Asay (id:axisofjared) wrote on April 16, 2007 11:48 AM:
"I've always had a sort of built in irony meter, but I think Bill dealt it a powerful blow with this letter. He blames teen suicide, drug use, and pregnancy on the teaching of a particular field of science! I suppose Physics is to blame for violent crimes, and let's not forget the detrimental effect Chemistry 101 has on our divorce rate. Here's what caused my irony meter to sail dangerously off the charts. If you take a look at the statistics of social ills, they all occur most frequently in Red states – the very states that usually try to avoid teaching evolution and attempt to teach creationism instead. 7 of the 10 states with the highest teen pregnancy rates are red. 6 out of the 10 with the lowest rates are blue. The top 5 highest murder rates in America? Why that would be Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina, all Red. What about divorce rates? Well, get your irony meters ready, the state with the lowest divorce rate is that beacon of gay marriage called Massachusetts. Actually 9 out of the 10 lowest divorce rates are blue states. 8 of the 10 highest divorce rates are all Red states, with averages nearly 3 times higher than the 10 lowest! Now, I'll bet you're wondering which states have attempted to teach creationism in one form or another over the century: Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio…hmmm, what color were those states?"

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on April 16, 2007 1:37 PM:
Mr. VanderPol: I am interested–to what do you attribute the countless depredations committed by man prior to the advent of the Theory of Evolution? In the same manner that man once thought all planets rotated around the earth, many men still think the universe rotates around man. Evolution does not claim to have all of the answers; most organized religions do. As Galileo Galilei once said, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." We are still killing each other, destroying the earth, and depending on outside sources for our beliefs or lack thereof. Until we can learn to take back the inherent responsibility for our own behavior and recognize what is wrong with "group think," our problems will continue. In the meantime, rather than subject the theory of evolution to bizarre accusations, may I suggest you simply use the term "devilution."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Are you sure Idaho is in the United States?

Story published at magicvalley.com on Sunday, April 08, 2007
Last modified on Sunday, April 8, 2007 12:15 AM MDT

We know neither ourselves, nor our enemies

In the 2,500-year-old book, "The Art of War," Sun Tzu says that "excellence in warfare" is to keep the sword in its scabbard, to not use one's military might. If the opposite was true, then surely the United States, with its superior military might, would not be entering the fifth year of war in Iraq. Certainly, excellence in warfare does not mean more than 3,200 of our own warriors and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead. Our current leaders seem to put the use of military might first and reason in a distant second place.

Sun Tzu also says that "If one knows themselves and knows their enemy, they will always prevail." If they know themselves and not their enemy, or if they know their enemy and not themselves, they will win some and lose some. But if they know not themselves nor their enemy, they will always suffer defeat.

At this time we, through our commander and chief, certainly fall into this last category. We are too arrogant to know those we call our enemy, and we are too caught up in the hubbub of our wasteful consumptive lifestyles to have the time to contemplate and to know ourselves. Perhaps if we were to take the time to look more at ourselves, we would find the wisdom that would lead us away from war, not toward it.


Community Speaks - Story Commenting Forum

Tom Young (id:bluedarter) wrote on April 08, 2007 10:53 AM:
"Bill - try to remember....17 UN Resolutions and 12 years went by before we took action against Saddam Hussein. We allowed plenty of time for the "peace process" to take place. I agree with your points that we didn't know our enemy very well; we fought the war in much too politically correct a fashion. And we didn't know ourselves very well; we should have anhillated much more of the enemy in the first stages of the battle, when 90% of Americans were in agreement."

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on April 09, 2007 1:40 PM:
"Tom: Peace process? Sanctions and bombing? After the innumerable atrocities committed by this administration, this is the first time some yahoo has stated that this battle has been fought in too politically correct a fashion. Congratulate yourself for reaching a new low. As for annihilating more of the enemy in the first stages, to whom do you refer? Osama, or isn't a total of 650,000+ innocent dead Iraqi civilians to date (per the Johns Hopkins survey) enough for you? And you can forget using the Saddam-was-a-tyrant excuse unless you can explain simultaneous US support of Islam Karimov, evil leader of Uzbekistan. Could it have been the oil, Enron influence, use of their airbase or the fact that they torture and murder Muslims? Oh heck, any of them will do. You really should take the time to visit Washington and apply for a job in this administration. I hear there are new openings weekly."

Story published at magicvalley.com on Sunday, April 08, 2007
Last modified on Sunday, April 8, 2007 12:15 AM MDT

High morale for troops costs too much for protesters

Boise had an anti-war rally recently. The parents of a medic in Iraq spoke at the rally and were quoted as saying, "It's hard to maintain morale with a lack of a mission." Perhaps the bigger threat to troop morale is having the parents of your unit's medic speaking at anti-war rallies. Or maybe it's having members of Congress essentially buying, and even more perverse, selling, votes in order to pass legislation hastening withdrawal.

Maybe morale is hard to muster when news outlets pander to war protesters in Washington while ignoring or downplaying thousands of respectful, U.S. flag-waving, veteran supporters of a worthy mission. I'm sure happy thoughts abounded when Jane Fonda, that great lover of America's military, was a noted speaker at last January's war protest.

How are we to expect our soldiers' morale to be high when we bombard them with political rhetoric that they have failed, that they're "stuck in Iraq" because they're stupid, and that their lives and the lives of their fallen have been "wasted" on a country and its citizens - citizens who, until recently, were ruled by a genocidal dictator allowed to maintain power by a world community more interested in his bribes than in stopping his atrocities; a world community apparently convinced that since he "contained" his murders to his own people, it didn't warrant intervention.

If troop morale is low, it would be because instead of giving hope and resolve to our soldiers and the people of Iraq, America tells them sorry, it's much too hard, the price is too high, it's time to quit and come home.


Community Speaks - Story Commenting Forum

Tom Young (id:bluedarter) wrote on April 08, 2007 10:46 AM:
"Cameron-I remember a time when, as Americans, hard work in the pursuit of noble goals was the normal way we did things. The current members of the liberal left are weak sponges who want freedom to pursue their lives without any interference of morality or decencey or a sense of duty. The real men who do the heavy lifting are seen by them as the problem, rather than the solution. There is nothing more grotesque than to see members of our society try to appease our enemies. Just because the left wishes we could all get along does not make it so. The Islamic extremists will kill an appeaser infidel just as fast as any other infidel. How come Nancy Pelosi or Cindy Sheehan will not go into Afghanistan or Sadr-City and try to spread their message? All you have to do is sit down and talk to these guys, right?"

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on April 09, 2007 1:37 PM:
"What? You mean to tell me that after filtering news into and e-mails out of, creating their own media reports in the US as well as Iraq, somehow this mighty Bushco machine has allowed news of protest to reach those serving in Iraq? Troop morale couldn't possibly be low because of the situation, could it? And you really must e-mail Washington and let Bush know the rest of the "hard work" phrase; he keeps forgetting it. The "real men who do the heavy lifting" aren't seen as the problem by those fed up with this protracted occupation. On the contrary, their protests center on "chicken hawks" who denigrate real heroes and ignore the troops' well being as a means to an end. As for myself, add the 30% or so of Americans who are so inflamed with hubris and/or the possibility of making more money off the "heavy lifters" that they are willing to abandon any moral or ethical standards they may or may not have ever had, in support of Bushco. (Which reminds me, BRAVO to the Cheney protesters at BYU.)"

Story published at magicvalley.com on Sunday, April 08, 2007
Last modified on Sunday, April 8, 2007 12:15 AM MDT

Honor and duty led 1016th Army Reserve to accept task

It is interesting to note in this day and age, where a person will say one thing and do another. They will tell you they will be some place and never show, sign a promise to pay and never follow through, take a marriage vow and later break it and never be concerned about the consequences or what lives they affect. They live as if there is no tomorrow or repercussions. To give one's word and follow through is a very special gift.

This gift was evident for a select group of citizen soldiers of the Magic Valley. They enlisted in our military system, obeyed their officers' orders and promised to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They said they would put their lives in harm's way for a principle. They are the 1016th Army Reserve in Pocatello, with a detachment in Twin Falls.

Last February, they deployed to Iraq as they said they would do. They did not have to fly to Kuwait and drive loaded trucks into hostile areas of Iraq. They said they would do this and have performed with valor.

These Magic Valley warriors are now getting ready to return to their homes, loved ones and jobs left behind. They may have wished they had not given their word, but they did what they said they would do.

We need to take a lesson from these brave soldiers and welcome them home. We need to thank them for doing what they said they would do and keep the Islamofanatics over there rather than over here.

If we were all to do what we said we would do, then someday we can expect the Lord to do what he said he would do.

(Editor's note: Joseph Eyre is a retired Army colonel and an Army Reserve ambassador for Idaho.)

Community Speaks - Story Commenting Forum

Sharon Metcalf (id:sleight47) wrote on April 08, 2007 3:14 PM:
"No, what's really interesting, Colonel Eyre, is your failure to note that what put the 1016th Army Reserve in this impossible and deadly situation is the total failure of this president to tell the truth to the American people. Is there anything at all about which he and his cohorts have not lied?

And please, for the benefit of those who actually care enough to look further than their noses, give up the old "fight them there so we won't have to fight them here" line.

William Douglas of the McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau in "Is there any truth to ‘the enemy would follow us here'?" wrote regarding that question: "U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic experts in Bush's own government say the violence in Iraq is primarily a struggle for power between Shiite and Sunni Muslim Iraqis seeking to dominate their society, not a crusade by radical Sunni jihadists bent on carrying the battle to the United States. Foreign-born jihadists are present in Iraq, but they're believed to number only between 4 percent and 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgent fighters - 1,200 to 3,000 terrorists - according to the Defense Intelligence Agency and a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right research center. ‘Attacks by terrorist groups account for only a fraction of insurgent violence,' said a February DIA report.

While acknowledging that terrorists could commit a catastrophic act on U.S. soil at any time - whether U.S. forces are in Iraq or not - the likelihood that enemy combatants from Iraq might follow departing U.S. forces back to the United States is remote at best, experts say. ‘The war in Iraq isn't preventing terrorist attacks on America,' said one U.S. intelligence official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he's contradicting the president and other top officials. ‘If anything, that - along with the way we've been treating terrorist suspects - may be inspiring more Muslims to think of us as the enemy.' "

It never fails to amaze me how people who continue to support this occupation appeal to idealism to justify the deceit that propelled reserve participation. This administration has a trail of failures to prepare and/or equip those on the ground, let alone provide what they need upon return. Wrong is wrong even when dressed in pretty words...or have you forgotten that?"