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home : opinion : columns April 29, 2016


5/23/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: Patriots have no fear of opposing views

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


A letter writer earlier this month took my editors to task for having the temerity to publish opinions that weren't of the conservative variety ["Opinion Page Needs the Right Stuff," May 13].

"Most people I talk to in Kingman tend to be conservative," the writer wrote. "We vote conservative. Do you really think that they want to read those liberal opinions? I notice the paper seems to be turning in that direction ..."

A couple of points: The Kingman Daily Miner is not "turning liberal," as the writer fears. Indeed, most opinions and editorials of any successful newspaper reflect readers' values.

Clearly, the majority of our daily opinions represent conservative viewpoints, but not all of them, and that's a good thing. We'll get to that point in a minute.

Second: the writer seems to think conservatives only want to read conservative viewpoints. I assume he believes all liberals only want to read liberal viewpoints.

On this point he could be correct, and that should scare the heck out of anyone who truly puts the truth and good of the country ahead of their party.

It has become obvious that many Americans, liberals and conservatives alike, have decided the other side is beneath contempt. We wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire.

We used to be able to agree to disagree. Now, we just agree to hate each other. Loudly and with gusto, we belittle the other side.

We call each other names such as libtards and Rethuglicans. Everything is reduced down to a highly personal and offensive level.

Good manners and robust debate have been discarded on the cold ashes of what we once called civility.

Too many of us have taken politics and turned it into a slightly scary religious cult. Outside viewpoints shall not be tolerated and heretics will figuratively be burned at the stake.

Question: Why wouldn't you want to read a contrasting opinion once in a while? Isn't it still wise to keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

Running with the herd simply to have something to belong to is the ideology of a gang member. And herds, once they get running, often plunge en masse right off a cliff.

I value differing opinions. I value someone who can articulate an opposing viewpoint with reason and a conspicuous lack of emotion.

That's why I read them all. I read those I respect and I read those I despise. I only stop reading if they've been caught in a lie, which is often, or - snob alert - their writing is so poorly crafted I can't be bothered.

At the risk of sounding all hoity toity, a newspaper's opinion page is home to the marketplace of ideas. This concept, that there is a marketplace for ideas, holds to the principle that everyone should be given the right and the means to be heard.

It is in this way that better ideas overtake mediocre ideas and it is in this way that the truth sees the light of day.

The letter writer touched a nerve with me, obviously, because I don't think it's wise to ignore what people are saying, no matter who they are or what they have to say.

Unfortunately, it seems we've crossed a line we may never step back from again. The country, that is to say, all of us, will be the worse for it.

The great irony here is that while both conservatives and liberals claim to distrust the federal government, members of the Millionaire's Club in D.C. laugh out loud as we fight amongst ourselves while they get enriched and entrenched.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"If Bush led us into war, ( not sure who the criminal is, nor the wart he led us into), it was voted on by a democratic controlled Congress that was privy to the same reports on WMDs that he was. Are you implying that the Democrats in Congress at the time, (ie: Clinton) were just as criminal as you say Bush was?


Well, for one, it was a Republican controlled Congress then sorry. LOL

For two, the numbers have been posted MANY times, more Dems voted against Iraq than voted FOR it. I have posted the actual totals more than once.


Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew 187 Words

OKR

“If Bush led us into war, ( not sure who the criminal is, nor the wart he led us into)..”

Yeah, a typo on the “wart” thing, sorry about that. And of course The Criminal is the only convicted criminal to ever be appointed to the White House and you very well know who it is.

“..it was voted on by a democratic controlled Congress that was privy to the same reports on WMDs that he was.”

Actually that is incorrect in many ways. However, not all members of Congress were privy to the reports given to The Criminal and they were very naïve in believing that the president of the United States would not lie to them or the American people in order to send our troops into war.

“… Are you implying that the Democrats in Congress at the time, (ie: Clinton) were just as criminal as you say Bush was?”

No I am not. I am claiming they were duped by The Criminal – which is a sad, sad thing. They should have known that criminals always lie – all of the time – about everything.


Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: Original Kingman Resident

@ Anson

If Bush led us into war, ( not sure who the criminal is, nor the wart he led us into), it was voted on by a democratic controlled Congress that was privy to the same reports on WMDs that he was. Are you implying that the Democrats in Congress at the time, (ie: Clinton) were just as criminal as you say Bush was?


Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Pl....my mom was a democrat, dad a die hard republican in fact a dixiecrat republican like his two Ku Klux Klansmen brothers, one deceased one not, but one of my fondest memories was of my dad long ago when I was 15 with no political opinion what so ever, listened to my dad argue with a old country farmer, 85 years old and a democrat! The old man had no education, but he had wisdom, he laughed at my dad and said the choice between democrats and republicans was like a choice between the lesser of two evils! He gave a story as example of two fat men seated at a dining table with all us common folk sitting on the floor uninvited to the feast, the republican ate greedily letting not one crumb hit the floor, the democrat ate just as greedily but flicked a few crumbs to the floor, old man told my dad do you prefer a crumb or none, I laughed and my dad gave me a look that could kill but it was funny, and a bit of wisdom if one has the capacity to be wise!

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

What you quote was something found in 1946 by a Madison biographer.

None of what it said was known by any of Madison's friends. during his lifetime. Odd, isn't it?

The following was said by Madison who was publicly outspoken about personal Christian beliefs. He encouraged his friend, Wm Bradford (served as Atty General under GWashington) to make sure of his spiritual salvation.

"A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven"

He desired all public officials including Bradford declare publicly their Christian beliefs.

"I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, that for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ and I wish you may give your evidence in this way."

Madison member of a committee that authored the 1776 Virginia Bill of RIghts and approved of clause saying:

"It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other. "

Madison's proposed wording for the First Amendment showed he only opposed the establishment of a federal denomination, no public religious activities.
"
The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established."

In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.

Throughout his Presidency (1809-1816), Madison endorsed public and official religious expressions by issuing several proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving. AND MORE


Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

@anonymous.... Probably the way forward for America would draw elements from liberal and conservative viewpoints. But any Congress which can pass major legislation without reading it, and any President who has virtually seized all that we have and even our very persons in time of (his declared) emergency leaves one breathless. The only shoe left to drop is when being breathless is declared to be disorderly conduct, obstructing justice, or conspiracy of some kind. Then all of you had better become well-versed in that modern-day monstrosity - the plea bargain.

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“I'm going to call you on your James Madison quote. What is your source?”

The quote is from a letter written by Madison to William Bradford, Jr„ April I, 1774

What was equally fascinating was finding the following Madison quotes in doing the research on the above,

"That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal infamy, the clergy can furnish their quota of imps for such business.” "Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects." letter to William Bradford, Jr., January 24, 1774

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy ignorance and servility in the laity in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution." “A Memorial and Remonstrance” addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."—1803 letter objecting to the use of government land for churches

"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?" “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795

"The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE."


Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by: Lost In America on the right wing

@ LA
The "Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law and Appointing the Mode of Solemnizing Lawful Marriage"

was to try to keep the gene pool as pure as possible. You know, preventing mothers from marrying their sons, fathers their daughters, brothers their sisters, etc.

Nice David Barton research.


Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by: History Student

@ Linda Athens

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect.

[James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1,1774, as quoted by Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco:Harper & Row, 1987, p. 37]


Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

While I am at it, I want to debunk a lie that has been put on here a few dozen times concerning David Barton.

In Bartons 1989 book Myth of Separation, during the course of his argument over the Myth, he utilized a number of quotes he later found were in secondary sources. While scholars and historians routinely use them, in his 1996 book, Original Intent, David put the list out there and challenged writers to stop relying on secondary sources and only use original sources. He also had confirmed his secondaries were all accurate.

Many respected academics told David they admired his honesty and transparency.

Others attempted to twist this against him. Here is but one example from Professor Gregg Frazer of the Master's College:

"Having been confronted over the use of false quotes (they weren't), Barton was forced to acknowledge their illegitimacy in some way on his websites. There, he describes them as "unconfirmed" - as if there is some doubt about their legitimacy. In a computer age with search capability, we know that these quotes are false (no, they have been verified), the fact that they are listed as "unconfirmed" reflects a stubborn attempt to hold onto them and to suggest to followers that they might be true. That is made worse by the fact that under these "unconfirmed" quotes are paragraphs maintaining that the bogus quote (it isn't) is something that the person might have said...having been confronted over the use of false quotes Barton was forced to acknowledge their illegitimacy blah blah blah

It is a lie that David was confronted also, having provided the quotes himself. And it turned out they were all accurate.


Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Lost

I'm going to call you on your James Madison quote. What is your source? In what context was it said?

You are aware of his involvement in the wording of the First Amendment, his encouragement of prayer, his publicly acknowledging God.

He offered Presidential proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting and thanksgiving.

He helped promote with Jefferson bills including "A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers". WOW! Also a Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law and Appointing the Mode of Solemnizing Lawful Marriage".

WOW again! Separation of church and state. HARDLY!

He said this.
"I do therefore issue this my proclamation, recommending to all who shall be piously disposed to unite their hearts and voices in addressing at one and the same time their vow and adorations to the Great Parent and Sovereign of the Universe...to render Him thanks for the many blessings He has bestowed on the people of the United States".

Source: James D Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899) Vol. 1, Pg 532, July 23, 1813


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“…she stated their trust lay in the Lord. Something our wonderful Founders would have said. You go Governor Mary!”

You mean the lord that wiped out literally thousands of homes and killed 24 people? Seems as if that trust was greatly misplaced.


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Lost In America on the right wing

@ LA
You said:
The Oklahoma governor spoke at a memorial service on this Memorial Day weekend and she stated their trust lay in the Lord. Something our wonderful Founders would have said.

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." - James Madison.

Not all of them.


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“We have NEVER had issues like this before.”

You’re right – we have had much more serious issues like Tricky Dicky, Ronald the Dim, and of course The Criminal who lied us into a wart that has killed over 6,000 of our troops.


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Here's something by a conservative.

The Oklahoma governor spoke at a memorial service on this Memorial Day weekend and she stated their trust lay in the Lord. Something our wonderful Founders would have said. You go Governor Mary!

As the tornado was coming, people were singing Jesus Loves Me.

Love that Oklahoma!


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Original Kingman Resident

@ Anson

"And as you continue to whine about “liberals” always remember that Arizona and Mohave County and Kingman have all been under the control of Republicans for many, many years. Wanta whine – go to the source of the problem and believe me, it is not “liberals.” "

Of course you failed to mention that the Obama administration and 9th circuit court has stopped several of Arizona's conservative laws.

So if you want to whine about the state of affairs in Arizona, look to the liberal 9th circuit court and the Obama DOJ.


Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“Oh good. Eric Holder, who admits signing off on investigating Fox News' James Rosen …”

The fascinating aspect of the above comment is that you all demanded – just last year – that leaks within the White House be investigated in the interest of national security.

And now when that is being done it is suddenly a BIG DEAL and WRONG because a member of the FAUX News team was investigated.

Your obsessive hatred of this president is becoming sadder with each passing day as your actual agenda becomes even more transparent.


Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Article comment by: Only Time

Well Well,

Linda said she does not hate Obama. Wow!!!!. Don't worry, the tide is starting to turn. The Liberal haters here on this post are dying each day and will increase in each coming day. Kingman will become a better place in twenty years. The only problem is 60 percent of the money in Kingman comes from the government in Social security and disability. When all of these old people die, what will Kingman do then. It will be another Seligman.


Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Keith

I didn't read his letter, so I can only guess what's in it. However, you mention "conservatives" and "liberals" then say people should put their country ahead of party. I'm not sure what party you're talking about? Liberal and Conservative are not parties.

Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

There is a old saying about patriotism its the last refuge of a scoundrel! One has to wonder whom the scoundrels are now a days or who is really a patriot!

Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Jimi

“All you left out was the media’s responsibility for intensifying the rift.”

You mean like the right wing shoutikng heads like Beck, Limboaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Malkin, Ingraham, Coulter, Savage, Reagan, Miller, FAUX News, World Net Daily, etc?

Could not agree with you more.

And as you continue to whine about “liberals” always remember that Arizona and Mohave County and Kingman have all been under the control of Republicans for many, many years. Wanta whine – go to the source of the problem and believe me, it is not “liberals.”


Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Pl.....if one is not a hatemonger, racist or xenophobe why are you concerned? I guess one thing that is inevitable is we all die, for us Christians we believe in meeting Jesus he will either know us or not! If one is a hatemonger, racist or xenophobe and has no guilt for such thinking and behavior doubt without guilt why would one repent, ask for forgiveness, I do not condemn anyone to that lake of fire that is as Jesus teaches one of them self done things! Some will try to ride camels through the eye of a needle, some will reach that fork in the path and take the easy wide one some the narrow hard one, seems to me all three choices are choices!

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Oh good. Eric Holder, who admits signing off on investigating Fox News' James Rosen and even going so far as to accuse him of being a co-conspiritor which then allowed him to get into Rosen's personal e-mails, etc is NOW going to be the one investigating this.

When are we going to investigate Eric Holder who has been repeatedly caught in lies including concerning this one.

He didn't know anything about this he first said. Then told PBS he had signed of on some, couldn't remember who, what, when.


Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"The only real Americans are those who vote for the GOP."

WOW! You have won the prize for the most amazingly sarcastic post of the week.


Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

De Nude:

>Most of the issues today are not new<<< you said.

Could you get a little more detailed with that?

We have four dead Americans and a coverup of Benghazi. We have the IRS targeting Conservatives. We have the IRS getting into Fox New's James Rosens everything including his parents phone numbers. They have made the most outrageous claims against him. We have the AP's lines hacked by the government. And you are going to tell me this is business as usual? Nearly every head of every department under him has a head under investigation or suspicion. Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Hillary Clinton. His speechwriter's brother heads a liberal news network.

We have NEVER had issues like this before.




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