February 01, 2012 - So, I have received some chilly e-mails in regards to informing the general populace of a free thinkers group forming up here in Northeast Oakland County.
For those who missed last week's gem of a column, there is a group of people starting to meet monthly in Oxford to debate, argue, discuss (openly) issues of their choosing; to question the status quo and in general seek truth.
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In a nutshell, some folks are upset that I would give credence to other folks who they think, think America sucks, Christians blow and, well you get the point. They called me out.
If I were to put their words into other words (besides being my words and not theirs), they would read like this: Don what in the name of the almighty Ronald Reagan were you thinking giving those socialist, God-hating, commie-pinkos a voice?
Let me be clear, I am American. I am conservative. I am liberal. I am Republican. I am Democrat. I have faith, that I don't know all, and that's all I know.
In the spirit of today's buzzword, transparency, I will share my responses. . . they were basically the same to everybody.
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Dear Blah Blah, thanks for reading and writing!
I am a Reagan-type who votes across party lines for the person with the most integrity and best ideas; I grew up in Northeast Oakland County, love Mom, the United States and all the opportunities that come with it. For the record, I pray every night and every morning and sometimes in between waking and sleeping.
You may have fallen into the trap, it seems, that many in the area fall into . . . either you are with us lock and step or you are against us. And, if you are not with us, you must be stopped, called names, belittled, et al.
That type of thinking has led to all the bleepity-bleep going on locally and across the nation . . . I've only been in the area since 1971 and have only worked for the community newspaper since 1985 and have watched only since then. But, watch I have.
The problem, as I see it, is every body takes the moral authority of their opinions, versus the moral high ground.
I think the free thinkers group would welcome your discussion and I think more folks who hold differing opinions need to be involved. I think the whole idea of thinking freely, is not to be freely led like a sheep to the slaughter.
I admit, I could be naive.
The arsenal of democracy? No, squirt guns left out a summer long ago, that remain where the Rush boys left 'em. (click for larger version)
Thing is, I don't have to agree with you to respect you. I can respectfully disagree. I have read of the Enlightenment; of the forming of this nation (more than what they teach at school or university, for nobody but myself). Since I was a wee shaver I've known that Benjamin Rush was an original signer of the Declaration of Independence and that he and I share the same last name, though I doubt we are related; and that there was one signer who was Catholic, like me (I was an alter boy at St. Dan's) and that President Kennedy was an American of IRISH Catholicness, like me!
I do not vote for those I believe will take away our freedoms, socialists-types, as I am cynical of those who say, "Vote for me cuz I am Christian."
This county is wonderful, but we can never be afraid to talk and discuss the differing ideas, new discoveries and base our beliefs not only what we "feel" but, what we continue to learn.
Sincerely, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah
Water, or whatever has ferminted in here thru summers and winters. (click for larger version)
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So, I know some people claim we're right on course to have a regular winter, but, to them I say, "balderdash!" I have only shoveled snow a few times this year. I am guessing we have had less than a foot of snow, totally, combined this entire season. But that is not the point of what I am writing.
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As a dad, I do fun stuff like leave a penny in the driveway for one of my sons to pick up and pocket. My reasoning, as the cheapest dad in town, is if they need money they can bend over and pickup the penny. Until that penny is gone, I have the right to bust their chops whenever they ask for money.
I have also left a few things in the yard to see how long it will take for my sons to pick up what they have left out. The accompanying pictures were taken this past Sunday. The squirt guns and the waterbottle make me smile when I see them now because this is their third winter in the same spot!
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org