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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Email: scoot@wwl.com
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Posts from June 2014

Scoot: French Quarter citizens ask for more cops
After Sunday morning's horiffic Bourbon Street shooting, I canvassed the area to talk to residents and business owners about what they thought could have prevented this tragedy, and they say more cops!
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Scoot: Soda ban ruling is a victory for personal accountability
A ruling by New York’s Court of Appeals should be celebrated as a major victory in the battle to keep the government from invading our personal lives. The court ruled that New York City’s proposed ban on all sugary drinks over 16 ounces is illegal!
The proposed ban on all sugary drinks over 16 ounces was the idea of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who promoted ways for the government to control the decisions made by individuals.  But the proposed ban on large sugary drinks was flawed from the beginning.
Mayor Bloomberg decided that one way to fight the growing obesity problem in New York City would be to ban the sale of large sugary drinks, which contribute to obesity, but the proposed ban essentially continues to make the government our guardians.
A ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces would not have stopped those who wanted a larger sugary drink because there would not have been a ban on buying two, three or four 16 ounce drinks.
Attempts to pass laws that replace the personal responsibility of individuals will not achieve their goals and such laws are dangerous. Through the acts of banning what we consume – food, drinks, entertainment, etc. – the government is sending a message to citizens that it knows what is best for us and we should support and abide by its various bans. But over time Americans will develop a sense of believing that the government knows what is best for them - and if something isn’t banned – then it will be perceived to be ok.
The government can educate citizens about the things that are good and bad for them – but citizens should be encouraged to maintain the responsibility of making good decisions. It seems as if our government – with the support of politicians and many citizens – continues to erode the importance of personal accountability. Decisions should never be based on whether something is available for consumption – decisions should be based on what is in the best interest of each individual.
The attempt to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces, the idea of holding bartenders and wait staff responsible if a customer gets drunk and causes an accident on the way home and efforts to control the content of entertainment - all diminish the concept of personal accountability – which is an integral factor in a civilized society.
The one thing that is grossly overlooked - but yet has been a destructive force throughout American society – is the loss of personal accountability.
If America has taken a wrong turn – this is the wrong turn we have taken. There was a time when individuals from teens to adults – were taught that they would be held accountable for their actions and decisions – regardless of what was available or what they were exposed, too.
A new demand to hold individuals responsible for their actions and decision is the best and most practical way to turn this country back in the right direction!
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Tags :  
Locations: New YorkNew York City
People: Michael Bloomberg

Scoot: Dad leaves child in hot car - murder or an accident?
It happens every summer and most of ask ourselves, “How can you leave your child in a hot car?”
A 22-month-old boy named Cooper is dead because his father forgot to drop him off at day care and the young boy spent 7 hours in a steaming hot car. There are aspects of this particular case that make it even more unbelievable.
Justin Harris, 33, had stopped to have a fast-food breakfast with his son, Cooper, in a rear-facing child restraint in the backseat. Harris then drove to work at the Home Depot corporate office in an Atlanta suburb. He returned to his car during his lunch break to put something in the car and still did not realize he had forgotten his son in the backseat!
The average temperature rose to 92 degrees that day and the deadly heat inside the car was much hotter.
As a parent, it is difficult for me to comprehend how any parent can forget their child in the car. Didn’t you always talk to your children when they ere in the car with you?  How do you forget your child is with you? 
What makes this tragedy even more senseless is the fact that the child day care was actually at the Home Depot corporate office where Harris worked. He was supposed to bring his child to day care at the corporate office – arrived at the office/day care destination and forgot his son in the car!
When Justin Harris finally realized that he had forgotten to drop his young son off at day care, he pulled the body from the car, laid the child on the ground and immediately began to administer CPR. A crowd had gathered and that attracted the attention of the police. Witnesses said that when the father’s young son did not respond to the CPR and he realized he was dead – he became distraught and had to be physically restrained as he shouted, “What have I done? What have I done?”
Justin Harris was charged with felony murder and child cruelty and the charges raise the question – was it an accident or murder?
Immediately, a petition was started at change.org asking the district attorney to drop the charges and it has attracted hundreds of signatures. The petition makes the argument that Justin Harris is a grieving father who made a terrible mistake and his pain and grief are punishment enough. Someone commented on the website, “This could happen to anyone.  Anyone. Charging a grieving father is abusive.”
Tragedies that result from mistakes with no premeditated malicious intent cause many people to believe that the loss of a child is sufficient punishment. I understand that argument and cannot even imagine what this father, and other parents in similar situations, must be dealing with, but doesn’t someone have to speak for the helpless 22-month-old child whose life was lost alone in the backseat of a car that became a deadly oven?
If grief and regret were recognized as acceptable punishment – then there would be less people in prison. This is hard for me and I have challenged myself to approach this tragedy from an understanding perspective.
If parents were held accountable and charged with murder for their gross negligence when it comes to their children – then perhaps parents would be less likely to “forget” their child in a car.
While no parent would ever want to experience the grief and guilt of knowing they were responsible for their child’s death and how easy it would have been to prevent it – holding a parent accountable might do more to send a message to all parents that they are responsible for their children – period.
Children come into this world as helpless beings that need the care and protection of their parents. When parents fail to provide basic protection for their children – society should be willing to hold them accountable.
The message is simple – don’t forget you have children!
Do you think parents who leave their children to die in a hot car should be charged with murder – or is their grief and regret punishment enough?

 (3) Comments
Tags :  
Topics: Law_Crime
Locations: Atlanta
People: CooperJustin Harris

Scoot: Is the Tea Party over?
During this mid-term election year of 2014, a few republican primaries have highlighted republican establishment candidates against neophyte Tea Party-backed candidates. Is the attention some Tea Party candidates are attracting an indication that Republicans are ready for the Tea Party to take control of the party’s direction?
While many Republicans believe their party should move to the right – which is represented by the Tea Party – there are still many Republicans that believe the party will be best served in a general election with a more moderate candidate and platform. The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party continues to accentuate the great divide within the party.
A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that 47% of Republicans believe Tea Party candidates running against established republican candidates is good for the party, but 35% say the Tea Party candidates are bad for the party.
The shocking loss of House Republican Leader Eric Cantor in the recent Virginia primary was viewed as a warning shot across the bow of the Republican political ship. On June 10, 2014, a New York Times column about the Cantor defeat began, “In one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history, the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, was soundly defeated on Tuesday by a Tea Party-backed economics professor who had hammered him for being insufficiently conservative.”
Even Tea Party candidates that do not win - but bring a significant challenge to well-established Republican candidates - will be used by those who want the party to move in a more conservative direction as proof that discontent with the more moderate conservatives is strong.
But the renewed attention to Tea Party-backed candidates might not be the political weathervane Republicans are looking for. Voter turnout is traditionally very low during these early primaries and that results in the possibility of more votes for fringe candidates because the more fanatical voters will vote. Many mainstream voters stay home and their influence is not felt at the polls, thus rendering a skewed result.
Tea Party-backed candidates may appear to be representing the new direction of the Republican Party, but if the party does not step back and view the big picture of a general election, the Tea Party-backed candidates will attract a segment of Republicans that will not be big enough to win in the general election.
Following the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, there were reports that the Democratic Party urged their voters to vote for Cantor’s Tea Party-backed candidate because they believed he would be easier to beat in the general election. Tea Party-backed candidates may be attracting voters who are trying to put their candidate against the weakest foe.
The Tea Party began as a political movement that advocated reducing the national debt and the federal budget deficit by reducing government spending and taxes. The name of the movement referred to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when patriots protested high taxation. But the Tea Party was hijacked by ultra -social conservatives, like Glenn Beck, whose ideology fit the Tea Party movement. Beck and others added their socially conservative agenda to the Tea Party and the party became the party of many on the far right.
Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party-backed candidate who challenged 6-term Republican Senator Thad Cochran in Mississippi, was endorsed by the NRA and early in the campaign used hot-button conservative issues to define his campaign. However, later in the campaign, McDaniel shifted away from the hot-button conservative issues and focused more on the original Tea Party agenda.
The Tea Party and a move to the right may be the devil in disguise for the Republican Party that is now fighting to establish a new direction and a new identity.  The question is – will the Republican Party pander to the far right and if so – would that prove to be in the best interest of Republicans?
The CBS News/New York Times poll shows that more Democrats are confident in their party than Republicans are in their party. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats feel positive about their party – while fifty-four percent of Republicans feel positive about their party. Independent voters represent the strong swing voters that can sway the results of an election and according to the poll – they don’t feel good about either of the two parties. Sixty-four percent of Independents were discouraged by the future of the Republican Party and fifty-six percent were discouraged by the future of the Democrat Party.
The evidence that even Republican voters under 40 are not in agreement with some of the views of establishment Republicans on social issues, like the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage, is becoming more obvious.
Would you set aside your core beliefs on the hot-button social issues and support a more moderate candidate - if that’s what it would take to win the general election?

Photo credit Fibonacci Blue, Flickr
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Scoot: After Jefferson stabbings, where's the talk of knife control?
Over the weekend, there were seven incidents of violence in Jefferson Parish. Five of the seven incidents were stabbings, and three of the five stabbings were related to domestic violence.
If the five violent stabbings had been committed with guns rather than knives, there would probably have been an attempt to link the violent acts to the weapon – the gun.  If guns are to blame for gun violence, then why aren’t knives blamed for stabbings?
The relationship between the media and the audience is a regular discussion on my radio shows and in my blogs.  The news media tends to use established public perception to create a sense of panic and ever-present danger in its effort to attract an audience. With the gun debate already at a fever pitch in America, linking a series of violent gun-related incidents to the fear of guns and also the defense of guns, automatically strikes a sensitive nerve among citizens. But when knives are the weapon used in a violent act – there is never a reciprocal attack on the knife as a weapon.
The stabbings over the weekend in Jefferson Parish left one person dead and six injured. On Grand Isle, police say a 34-year-old woman was stabbed to death near her 1-year-old daughter. The woman’s boyfriend was arrested and admitted to stabbing his girlfriend.
Two other stabbings were related to domestic disputes. It is impossible for police to prevent these acts of violence and there is no legislation that would do anything keep knives out of the hands of violent people. It is also fair to argue that individuals who stab a person are more violent that those who use guns to commit an act of violence.
Using a gun to kill or injure a person is less personal than a stabbing. Guns allow an act of violence to be committed without contact with another human. To stab someone, an enraged individual would have to touch a warm human body in the process of using a knife and in many cases – a stabbing would be a bloodier act of violence than a shooting. 
If there is logic in blaming or defending guns following a series of shootings – then let’s apply the same debate to knives and stabbings.
This is what the debate would sound like:  Following five stabbings in Jefferson Parish over the weekend, including the stabbing of a mother near her 1-year-old daughter, some politicians are demanding stricter knife-control laws. There is outrage over the availability of knives and we need to do more to prevent the wrong people from getting a knife.
On the other side of the debate – pro-knife rights citizens are advancing the idea that if more people had knives – there would be less knife violence. One pro-knife rights group said that they plan to go to family restaurants and bring knives to demonstrate the importance of carrying a knife. Wait – every restaurant has a knife….
If stabbings do not ignite a debate over the availability of a weapon in an act of violence – then the news media, many citizens and many pro- and anti-gun rights groups are hypocritical for using the existing panic about guns to fuel their gun rights or gun control agenda.
I can even hear that debate on the air with callers arguing that there are too many knives in America and parents are not teaching their children to respect knives.
The fact that more acts of violence are committed with guns than with knives still does not diffuse the false assumption that it is the availability of a weapon that is to blame for the crime.
The many cooking shows on TV and the informercials for knives would come under attack for promoting knife violence. 
If the gun is to blame – then the knife is to blame.  Otherwise – the debate over gun control or the promotion of more people carrying guns is hypocritical.
Maybe it all started when the criminal was first introduced to a butter knife at an early age!

Photo via rmkoske
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Tags :  
Locations: Jefferson Parish

Scoot Blog: Why it's wrong to judge gays by Gay Pride Weekend
Gay Pride Weekend attracts couples, groups and individuals that shed their inhibitions and party in the French Quarter – but that actually describes any weekend in the French Quarter!

However, the visuals from Gay Pride Weekend that we see on the news inspire condemnation of flaunting homosexual behavior and flamboyant debauchery and general judgment of the LGBT community.  But judging the entire LGBT community by the behavior that is captured by those selecting newsworthy video is unfair and a symptom of the problem that exists between mass media and its audience.

The nature of news is to focus extremes or anything out-of-the-ordinary. Even though this is an unsettling reality, the news is designed to attract the attention of the largest possible audience for ratings and for generating revenue.  It is the audience's appetite for extremes that is actually to blame for the extremes TV news cameras focus on.

The issue of same-sex marriage is one of the most frequent topics in the news today and when talking about it on the air – it is without fail I hear from listeners who say, "I don't care about whether someone is gay – but why do they have to throw it in our face all the time?"

Displaying IMG951426.jpgDuring Gay Pride Weekend, the French Quarter is populated by a concentration of gays and lesbians, but the countless gays and lesbians enjoying a moment of open acceptance and partying and are not attempting to force any LGBT agenda on America are not attracting attention.

The LGBT community is often defined by the images of the extreme, flamboyant members of the community that attract the attention of the news cameras, but an entire community should not be defined by the most extreme members of that community.

If you were producing the TV news that was covering the events of the weekend and Gay Pride Weekend was an event you were including in the news – would you focus the cameras on the gay or lesbian couples that are indistinguishable from the straight community and mainstream America – or would you focus on those who dress and act outrageously?

Since many Americans do not associate with gays and lesbians on a regular basis, they are quick to judge the entire group by those they see on the news. It is no more fair to judge the homosexual community by some of those who are featured in news reports than it is fair to judge all Christians by the media attention the Westboro Baptist Church consistently attracts.

In the name of promoting God's word, the Westboro Baptist Church continues to generate mass media attention because of its policy of condemning homosexuality.  These alleged Christians have built an image on protesting funerals – including the funerals of fallen soldiers out of condemnation of the military's acceptance of homosexual soldiers. 

Christians, Muslims, homosexuals, blacks, Hispanics or any group should never be defined by the extreme members of the groups that naturally attract the attention of TV news cameras.

Throughout the French Quarter this past weekend, there were gays and lesbians who are lawyers, doctors, nurses, CPAs, teachers, executives and individuals representing every member of the professional community, as well as blue collar workers.  But these are not the gays and lesbians you see on the news – any more than the mainstream Christians will attract more media attention than the Christians with extreme beliefs.

I do not want to be judged by many of the radio talk show hosts that get attention from their extremist views and behavior - and I doubt that you want to be judged by the extreme members of a group that others may place you in.

And for those who instinctively blame the news media for focusing on extremes, it is the audience that determines what is featured on the news.  We don't necessarily get the news we need – we get the news that is most likely to attract our attention.

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Scoot: Does Fox News have liberal hosts?
Fox News host Megyn Kelly blasted former Vice President Dick Cheney when he criticized President Obama over the growing crisis in Iraq.
In the interview, Cheney said, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”  Kelly fired back at Cheney, “Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to ‘rethink their strategy of Jihad.’ Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with almost 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”
Fox News viewers must have been stunned at that sharp criticism of former Vice President Cheney. Cheney simply replied, “No, I just fundamentally disagree, Reagan – I mean, Megyn.” Did the former vice president really forget her name – or was that his way of discrediting her for putting him in his place?
President Obama announced that he is sending about 300 military advisors to Iraq to help the Iraqi military stop the militant organization, ISIS, from taking control of Baghdad. But as the President considered his options, the political war was well underway. Is the Bush Administration to blame for the crisis in Iraq for invading Iraq in 2003 – or is the Obama Administration to blame for pulling troops out too soon?
Former VP Cheney has been on a campaign to condemn President Obama’s handling of Iraq. While the Obama Administration has made mistakes, Megyn Kelly was absolutely right when she basically told Cheney that he and the Bush Administration were wrong about the reasons for going to war.
There is evidence that Bush Administration architect Karl Rove wanted the United States to be at war leading to the 2004 presidential election. It appears that Rove’s goal was to make Bush a “wartime” president because that would make him more electable.
The debate over whether the United States should have gotten involved in Iraq in the first place will continue, but unfortunately, many Americans will ignore the truth if that’s what it takes to protect the image of the Bush Administrations.
As the changes in America that I have talked about and written about become more obvious – it is interesting to observe that the Fox News Channel seems to be spreading its ideological wings – even if only a little.
The hard-core right-wing media darlings are fading and accentuating a possible migration away from promoting an all-right-wing agenda was Bill O’Reilly labeling Shepard Smith and Greta Van Susteren “liberals” and saying that Megyn Kelly is a host with no agenda.
Politicians and talk hosts play politics rather than seek the truth and reality and this is a statement about how divisive America has become in recent years. There has always been strong political divide in America, but the vicious efforts to protect a party’s ideology at the expense of the truth and reality demonstrates that what is in the best interest of the American people is secondary to party dominance.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and others who have been condemning President Obama for pulling our troops out of Iraq before the job was finished fail to accept accountability for their political con job that deceived the American people about the job that needed to be done in the first place.
I applaud Fox New host Megyn Kelly for daring to challenge Cheney’s myopic defense of the Bush Administration on the issue of Iraq. It is also interesting to watch Fox News appearing to deviate from all-right-wing propaganda all the time.
Even if Comedy Central hosts, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert lean left – they do attack the left as well as the right and present hard news with a sarcastic and comic flare.
Why wouldn’t they be the most trusted news source for Americans under 40? And that’s the group that will be deciding the outcome of future elections.
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Scoot: Is Jindal playing politics with your kids' education?
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal makes national news as he continues to position himself for what seems to be a probably run for president in 2016. Wednesday, Gov. Jindal used the power of executive order to withdraw Common Core from the state. Louisiana became the fourth state to reject Common Core.
However, Louisiana’s superintendent of schools, John White, supports Common Core and says, “The state will continue to implement Common Core Standards…this is a long term plan we have been working on for four years and committed to another 10 years of implementation. We are not willing to subject our children to last minute changes to throw our system into educational chaos.”
What is Common Core? This is the explanation from the website: “State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college-and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.”
Gov. Jindal described himself as a “strong supporter” of Common Core and he was one of the governors that helped develop the standards. And now, he has used an executive order to withdraw Common Core from the state!
Bobby Jindal is one of the most obvious examples of a politician that is blown around by the political winds. In denouncing Common Core, Jindal used blatant political rhetoric when he said, “We won’t let the federal government take over Louisiana’s education standards.” During a press conference in Baton Rouge, Jindal went on to say, “We’re very alarmed about the choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators.” He also said that Louisiana would not be “bullied by the federal government.” This was obvious campaign-speak designed to attract the conservative right of the Republican Party.
Gov. Jindal is concerned about the federal government’s impact on education in Louisiana, yet according to the American Legislative Exchange Council our state ranks 49th out of 51 in education rankings. The list includes the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A recent national report gave Louisiana an “F” for student achievement. It appears this state could use all the help it can get!
Why did Gov. Jindal not speak out when he was part of the group of governors establishing the standards for Common Core?
Common Core has become a hot political issue and there has been a successful attempt to equate the standards with the federal government taking control of the education of your children. While I don’t think the federal government has much to brag about when it comes to the public education system – Louisiana has consistently competed to be at the bottom of lists that rate the success of education in each state.
I often talk and write about the hysteria that infects so many political issues and Common Core controversy is part of that hysteria.
The world has changed at a faster pace than our education system. The skills needed to succeed in college or the business world right out of high school have changed and Common Core is designed to better prepare every student for college or the new workplace.
There is no way of knowing effect Common Core will have on education in America – but something needs to change. Much of the condemnation of the Common Core is divided along partisan lines.  There has been a tendency throughout the Obama Administration’s first, and now second term – the oppose anything supported by the Administration.
Congressman Eric Cantor was among an elite group of Republicans that met in a private room at an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant to commit to opposing and preventing any and all initiatives presented by President Obama as long as he is in office. The goal was never to do what is in the best interest of the American people – the goal was always to prevent President Obama from succeeding on any level in the interest of protecting and promoting the Republican brand.
Much of the strong opposition to Common Core is fueled by those who know nothing about the initiative and are just spewing out the hysterical reaction to the Obama Administration.
While this blog may be misconstrued as my defense of President Obama – it is actually defense of myself as a radio talk show host that refuses to by into the blind crusades of the far right on every issue involving this Administration.
The state of Louisiana is woefully behind the nation in education and America is woefully behind much of the world. We need to stop playing politics with education and every issue start doing what is best for America.
As Governor Jindal uses the state and your children to attract national attention for a possible presidential run – we should condemn his efforts to put his personal political ambition ahead of what’s best for Louisiana.
Governor Jindal is so easily swayed by political opportunity – he better fits among the invertebrate of the animal kingdom – he has no backbone!
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Scoot: Should the US flag be exempt from neighborhood rules?
There is a new controversy over an American flag and the rules of a homeowner’s association – this time in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado.
Townhouse resident, David Renner, says the Southbridge Townhomes Association sent him a $200 fine for flying a Betsy Ross flag outside of his townhome. Renner put the flag out before Flag Day – which was Saturday, June 17. The homeowners’ association rules only allow the current American flag to be flown. The Betsy Ross flag has 13 stripes and a circle of 13 stars in the blue background where the 50 stars are currently placed.
Renner claims he has the right to fly the Betsy Ross flag under the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which he says loosely defines what constitutes an America flag. Renner told a local television station, “I don’t want to p** off my neighbors or make them angry. I just want to honor our history.”
The townhome association has had other problems with David Renner. In April, he caused a controversy over flying the Gadsden, the yellow pre-revolutionary flag carrying the words, “Don’t Tread On Me.” In May, Renner was fined $100 for flying the Colorado state flag. Now, it’s the Betsy Ross flag that is causing controversy.
Recently, a Harley-Davidson owner criticized Harley-Davidson for not honoring the corporate-issued warranty on the drive train of his Harley. The company argued that the Harley owner flew numerous flags on his bike – including the American flag - which put additional drag on the drive train of his Harley – therefore, the warranty was void.
Occasionally, there are controversies surrounding the American flag that are presented in such a way that make it seem as if the American flag is under attack. The Harley owner accused Harley-Davidson of being unpatriotic, but the company was not singling out the American flag – it simply decided that flying numerous flags on a bike are not covered under the warranty.
Other American flag controversies have focused on neighborhood’s homeowner association rules.
This is America, so should the American flag be exempt from any and all neighborhood rules? Should the American flag be respected and allowed to be flown outside of any residence in America?
Realizing that some will consider this an attack on the American flag – which it is not – rules are rules and if a neighborhood homeowners’ association has rules about flags – then the American flag should not be exempt. Although, I do not understand why there would be an objection to flying the American flag.
Having said that – I do think it is absurd for the Stonebridge Townhomes Association in Littleton, Colorado to fine a resident for flying the Betsy Ross flag when the current America flag is acceptable.
The controversies that quickly erupt over rules about when and where the America flag can be flown are the result of increasing insecurity and a general fear that we are losing America.
We are not losing America. America is again experiencing changes, but that has been part of this country since its inception. Patriotism lives within the hearts and minds of Americans more than it lives in the display of a tangible cloth flag.
I respect the American flag and all those who fought for the freedoms that are represented by the flag, but rules should be respected.  Those who seem quick to challenge rules about the flag are using the flag for the purpose of stirring controversy and forcing a definition of patriotism.
Using the America flag to incite others and to start a controversy do not seem to be the proper way to respect our flag and all those who died defending it.
David Renner of Littleton, Colorado has 13 different flags and says he flies all of them with great pride. Renner said, “I love flags. I love flag history.”
If David Renner – or anyone – disagrees with the rules of their neighborhood’s homeowners’ association over flying the American flag – they should look at the flag and respect that the flag represents their freedom to move!
 Photo via euthman, Flickr
 (1) Comments
Tags :  
Locations: ColoradoDenverLittleton
People: David Renner

Scoot: Full moon on Friday the 13th! Should you panic?
Today is Friday the 13th, a day considered unlucky in Western culture. Some people are so superstitious, they don’t go to work or make any appointments on Friday the 13th.  Fear of Friday the 13th is not reserved for uninformed, less intelligent people... some doctors have been known to avoid scheduling procedures on Friday the 13th!

Superstition is part of human nature, and the rituals we follow give us a feeling of control over the possibility of something bad happening. While most of us know that any ritualistic behavior we practice will not actually keep us safe from harm, there are those who feel compelled to do - or not do - certain things on Friday the 13th.

If someone has the perception that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day then they are likely to look for things that support their belief that it is a day of misfortune.  The slightest thing might not work out early in the day, and that person now has proof that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.  The rest of the day, that person will only focus on the negative things that happen, however small they might be, as further evidence that Friday the 13th is unlucky.  This process of focusing on negativity only invites a negative attitude for the entire day.

As we all go through life, we have the option of seeing the positive or the negative.  Negative things do happen and we are challenged to deal with those things, but there are also positive blessings every day that are not always appreciated.  We all know people how have an intrinsic negative nature.  They consider and actually expect only the worst outcomes.

Without suggesting that there is any magical power in having a positive attitude in life, I do think our attitudes do have an impact on our everyday lives.  People are attracted to positive attitudes and I am convinced that having a positive attitude opens doors for opportunities.

When something happens that causes me to run late for a meeting or anything, I am frustrated and find myself making more mistakes to try to make up the time.  That only leads to more delays.  Recently, I have tried to put a positive spin on those little things that happened in our lives – most of them are not significant. If I find myself running late I think, “Well, maybe I’m running late for a reason.”  The difference between getting into an accident or avoiding one is a matter of seconds.  What delayed me at that moment might have caused me to be in a better place the rest of the day. 

I first started to realize that the things we don’t want to happen may not be bad after watching a Gwenyth Paltrow movie, “Sliding Doors.”  In the movie, her character was close to missing the subway.  At that point, the movie showed what would happen if she made the subway and also what her life would have been like if she missed that subway.  The lesson was simple – sometimes the things that we think are the worst things that can happen – end up being the best things that can happen!

Not only is today Friday the 13th, but there is also a full moon!  Even if you can’t see it because of clouds, it is still there! 

The moon has always been a mystical object in the sky to humans and even though man has walked on moon, the mystery of the power of the moon is still present in modern-day life.

The word “lunacy” comes from Luna, the Roman Goddess of the Moon.  One definition of “lunacy” is those moments of insanity believed to be related to the phases of the moon.  A person who is acting in a crazy or abnormal manner is often described as a ‘lunatic.’  In 19th century England, lawyers actually used the defense of “guilty by reason of the full moon” to prove that their clients should not be held responsible for their crime!

The relationship between the moon and human behavior is well documented.  A Roman scientist and military commander believed that the full moon created a heavy dew, which made the brain extremely moist and affected behavior.  The power of a full moon to turn a human into a werewolf has been part of a literary myth since 1941.

It’s easy to understand how the full moon got this image.  Before modern lighting, the light of a full moon kept people awake at night and the lack of sleep led to behavior that was out of the ordinary.  The full moon also provided light for people to carry on drinking and participate in general debauchery well into the night.

The phases of the moon affect the tides of the oceans, and the body is 65% to 75% water.  So, does the moon affect the human body?  Full moons have been blamed for increases in violent crime, suicides, epileptic seizures, sleep deprivation, births and even deaths.  But is a full moon to blame for lunacy and abnormal behavior in humans?  The answer is – no!  

Despite the belief by some police offices, ER nurses and doctors, mental health professionals and the general public that strange behavior increases during a full moon, there are no studies to support the myth that a full moon has the power to make people do crazy things.  There have been a scarce few studies over a 50 year period that established some correlation between a full moon and abnormal behavior, but follow-up studies have proven the original conclusions to be false.

So romanticize about a full moon, but if you actually believe there is a direct relationship between a full moon and human behavior – you’re a lunatic!

I hope this Friday the 13th with a full moon has been a good day and if everything hasn’t been perfect, focus on what went right, not what went wrong today.

Photos via striatic, Rachel Kramer, Flickr
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