Katy's Conservative Corner Censors Soldier's Comments

When I disagree with someone, I want people to hear their views. I want people to see what they think, and then I want to calmly explain my point of view and why I may believe I'm right and they are wrong. If I censor that person's views, it makes it seem like I'm afraid that they're right and I'm not, or that I don't have any arguments to back up what I say, or that I'm simply obnoxious. As one example of this, there are many policies that I don't agree with many BlueNCers on, but I like to dialogue about that as do most of the commenters here, and that is mutually beneficial.

A local GOP blogger does not agree with me. She has threatened to do it before, but now Katy Benningfield of Katy's Conservative Corner has actually resorted to deleting the comments of those she doesn't agree with-- including a soldier who is about to be deployed to Afghanistan who spoke against the War on Terror, along with the comments of a bit of a local celebrity, District 4 Congressional Candidate BJ Lawson.

The soldier in question, a veteran who is about to be deployed for a third time to combat in the War on Terror, made a comment on Katy's post "Augustus Cho Supports the Troops" saying that he did not speak for the military, but he spoke for himself, and the troops need to come home as soon as possible. The comment was posted yesterday and appears to have been deleted by Benningfield today.

This is after Benningfield said that she would censor comments made by Ron Paul supporters (which actually comprise the majority of the comments made on her blog, to her apparent consternation) in a post in which she called Ron Paul a "bigot" without giving any evidence to speak to that fact.

I did not expect Benningfield to resort to censoring a soldier's views, so I did not save his comment. I did, however, save mine that I made yesterday which has been summarily censored by Benningfield. Here is the comment:

"I am a minority myself, and I know a bigot when I see one. The good doctor is no bigot.

He is, as far as I know, the only candidate who 1.) has said that he would have a black vice-presidential candidate, and 2.) bases his philosophies of economics on three Jewish economists, Hayek, Rothbard and Mises.

I have seen some of the other GOP candidates making racist comments lately (one of them was my second-favorite choice and now is not because of that).

I also find this amusing in light of your praise of Jesse Helms, Katy. I'm watching his documentary on PBS right now, and many people think he was a bigot, yet you have praised him repeatedly. Interesting."

My comment was censored, along with that of Congressional candidate BJ Lawson posted after mine.

Comments

Unfortunately, that's fairly common with

many conservative blogs I've visited. Red State also edits out comments and very quickly deletes the accounts of people who don't line up in agreement.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Big sister

Dissent is the fuel that drives progress. Conservatives are against progress. As Betsy says, the blog in question is like most conservative blogs. It's three tenets are cut taxes, cut taxes and cut taxes. Once you've said that a few times, what else is there to do? Ban dissent? Deport "illegals"? Defend marriage?

Theirs is a house of cards.

Some conservatives are for

Some conservatives are for progress. Some see lower taxes as progressive (allowing people to keep the fruits of their own labor, etc.)

These days the three tenets of the current conservatives in power (along with the Democratic Congress) are not cut taxes, but spend, spend some more and run up the deficit while doing it. If you cut taxes, you have to lower spending to accompany it.

Expose Retard Fascist Katy as a neo-con republican hypocrite

She is a loser and simply a watergirl for Art Pope and the neo-con republicans in this state...Expose her and keep pounding them as phonies and out of step with the 70% American people who are against the war.......On a IQ level, she is just above the 75 required retard level......

You might want to consider the possibility

As one example of this, there are many policies that I don't agree with many BlueNCers on, but I like to dialogue about that as do most of the commenters here, and that is mutually beneficial.

that most of the commenters here don't like to devote time and space to talking about a Libertarian wearing a Republican hat who wants to stifle a woman's right to choose and stop the government from helping the needy.

Isn't there a blog site where the followers of the Revolution hang out and exchange Liberty Dollars and stories of rude policemen?

I may want to stop the

I may want to stop the government "helping" the needy, but that doesn't mean I don't want to help the needy. In fact, I think that the government bureaucracy and waste involved in "helping" the needy hurts the needy in the end.

One huge example of this is occupational licensing. Poor people would really be helped if it was easier for them to hold these jobs.

Rather than stifling a woman's right to choose, I want women to be able to choose whatever they want to do and give them the freedom to do so. Men, too. That's what liberty and freedom involve.

If no one wants to respond to me, they certainly don't have to. But thanks for the warning, anyway.

I want to be sure I understand.

You are against occupational licensure?

One huge example of this is occupational licensing. Poor people would really be helped if it was easier for them to hold these jobs

I might be slow on the uptake - I need a real world example. (1)Do you mean you are against nurses meeting requirements in order to be licensed? Or (2)are you simply against the state being the one who issues the licenses?

If it's (1), how can you be sure that the individual caring for you or a loved one has the skill necessary to care for you or a loved one?

If it's (2) - that's something else entirely. But before I discuss them, I'd like to know what it is you mean.

Thanks.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

More for hairstylists or business licenses

I was thinking more along the lines of licensing to, for instance, style hair. I have a friend on Social Security (and nothing else) who was formerly a hairstylist in her home. If she could do that again, she could have her own business and get off welfare. But, the occupational licensing, fees, taxes, business licenses, and zoning necessary to do such a thing prevent it from ever becoming more than a dream.

Hairstyling license

There are health standards involved there, too, really, but I see your point. I am one of those who looks for the health dept. environmental service certificate at hair and nail salons as well as restaurants.

If I'm going to pay taxes, I would like to see those taxes go to keep consumers safe. I could see a "work around" for someone in your friend's situation so that her fee could be waived if she met licensing standards but didn't meet a certain income level. I wouldn't want just anyone setting up a "beauty shop" and transmitting staph infections via dirty scissors and combs just because they had a dream that they'd like to cut hair, if you know what I mean.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

mmmm.... staph

You're pretty trusting, lcloud.

Here's a great article:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/press_releases/2006/0627_bbc.shtml

Key quote:

In October 2000, there was an outbreak of skin boils in Santa Cruz County that affected more than 100 pedicure customers. According to the BBC, the outbreak occurred at a single Watsonville salon where footspa equipment was not properly cleaned and disinfected. The BBC adopted new regulations in the spring of 2001, which required a more thorough cleaning and disinfecting of footspas. However, another outbreak of serious pedicure-related skin infections in Santa Clara County was reported in November 2004. This outbreak involved 33 different salons and 143 customers. In March 2005, yet another outbreak occurred, this time in Contra Costa County.

OK, so in this regulated industry (pedicures) we had a single outbreak in 2000, there was a change in the regulations, yet in 2004 there was a more serious outbreak across 33 salons. Then again in 2005.

Have we fixed the problem yet?

"There probably is no silver bullet that will guarantee an end to the problem, but these recommendations, if followed with care, represent significant progress," said Zettel. "I applaud the Working Group on Footspa Safety for its efforts."

I wonder what would happen if people didn't assume that the "environmental service certificate" meant you were "home free", and didn't have to worry about safety or hygiene? What if people asked their friends and neighbors about their experience at a salon? What if salons sought to differentiate themselves based upon their hygiene, and demonstrated good practices?

I wonder if someone with a "dream to cut hair" (as opposed to lots of experience and a client base) who set up a "beauty shop" with staph-coated scissors and combs in an apartment would actually attract any paying customers? I'm not saying you could see the staph dripping off the tools, and perhaps lice is a more likely threat for hairstylists, but it seems that an infectious provider wouldn't grow their business very well based upon happy customers. They might also get sued out of business, as well.

Tough questions, but after that article I don't think I'll ever get a pedicure, regardless of whose certificate is on the wall.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I do get my hair cut in a salon, and as an occasional splurge,

I get a pedicure as well. Not only do I check the environmental rating from the health department, I watch the practices before I sit down in the chair. So I'm not as "trusting" as you think I am.

And I still think that certificates should be issued. I know someone who got a staph infection from an apparently clean home beauty shop - and wound up having to be hospitalized. She lost a lot of her hair (temporarily), and was in pain for weeks. It was a very sad thing. She would up losing her job because of all the time she missed.

The scenario you're setting out requires that at least some people become ill before the free-market kicks into effect and the person is driven out of business as well.

I'll give you another example. I work very closely with child care providers - and a lot of folks like you have complained about how horrible and strict the licensing laws are for people who care for other people's children in their home. But I've seen what happens when the "illegal" care goes on, and one person is attempting to care for 12 children under the age of 5 - because it's cheaper or it's all the parents can find. Children suffer. They are ignored. They get hurt.

I have no expectation of being able to convince you that state licensure is necessary for any skilled profession - and yet I believe that it is. I would not go get my hair or nails done in a place that was not certified by the state. I would not leave my child in a child care facility that was not licensed by the state - and licensed at the highest rating at that. I would not take my loved to be cared for by a nurse or doctor who did not have a license to practice in the state where we were living. I would not take them to a hospital that did not meet sanitation or other state certification requirements. My mother is currently in a long-term care facility. I would not have allowed her to go to the one she's in if they didn't meet even the minimal requirements NC has set out.

There have to be standards for professionals who provide service to citizens. I don't trust industry to regulate itself, otherwise you have the fox watching the hen house. The purpose of government, in my opinion, is to protect its citizens, especially the weakest ones.

Do the systems need to be better? Of course they do. But I would not do away with them. Nope.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

excellent... I think we may find some common ground here...

I'm not saying that certifications need to go away, but I'd also offer that the state isn't the only organization that could offer certifications. I'm fully aware that the average consumer (myself included) isn't able to assess the safety or efficacy of a sandwich shop, let alone a hospital or a nuclear power plant.

There are other regulatory options besides government. For some products, Underwriter's Laboratories certification is *required* to buy product liability insurance. If you want to buy liability insurance for your product, service, or technology, your insurer will be highly motivated to encourage you to become certified by a legitimate, credible body that will minimize your (and their) risk.

Then customers can look for providers who are both certified and insured against bad outcomes.

The liability insurer and the customer have interests that are closely aligned -- neither want a bad thing to happen to the customer. The government (especially at the federal level) can become corrupted by the very industry it's trying to regulate. That puts the government's interest against that of the customer.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Frankly, the idea that private efforts

I may want to stop the government "helping" the needy, but that doesn't mean I don't want to help the needy.

to render aid work better than public efforts might be easily proven on a micro-level (churches, community volunteers), but we're talking tens of millions below the poverty level. To assume that private charity would replace government programs is about as accurate as postulating that all the outsourced American manufacturing jobs will be magically relaced by higher-paying, high-tech or administrative jobs.

Especially considering the fact that many Americans believe helping the poor only spoils them, and keeps them from making an honest living.

Rather than stifling a woman's right to choose, I want women to be able to choose whatever they want to do and give them the freedom to do so. Men, too. That's what liberty and freedom involve.

As I've said here before: if Ron Paul's introduced legislation defining that "life begins at conception" ever passed (and was signed), the only choice a woman who had an abortion (in any state) would have is giving evidence against her doctor or local/state official who helped her commit murder, to maybe lessen her sentence. That ain't freedom, and no amount of dressing it up will change that. Now, if you want to argue that the foetus, zygote or freshly fertilized egg would have more freedom, I can buy that. But don't paint that as giving women more rights.

America doesn't have poverty like the world does

Americans for the most part (not counting homeless people and the small percentage of people who actually fit into this category) are not poor. Poor people in America usually have two cars, TVs, computers, own their own house, etc. Poor people in other countries may not eat that day because they're actually living in poverty.

Poor people in America are only poor in comparison to other Americans and would be considered rich in other countries.

Federal legislation can't make state authorities consider something to be a crime unless the state passes a law regarding that as well (think of the DEA vs. state medical marijuana laws, or immigration laws which are not enforced at the local level in many jurisdictions, including Chapel Hill and Carrboro.) Only federal authorities would have the authorization to enforce that, if it did become law and was interpreted as meaning that all abortion was murder. Murder is for the most part prosecuted at the state, not federal, level.

You need to come work with me for a day, sweetheart.

Poor people in America are only poor in comparison to other Americans and would be considered rich in other countries.

Seriously. Just come work with me for a day. You have no clue.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

She obviously does not move outside of her comfy circle

or work with elementary school children who are sleeping on the floor of their grandmother's one room efficiency in public housing. Children who go to sleep to the sound of gunfire and the floor is actually the safest place to be, even if they do share it with rodents and roaches. Children who are happy when their mother stops by at night even if the other kids at school tease them because she's a hooker - but they actually use the word whore. Children who don't eat once they leave school. Children who don't have soap to bathe or lotion to keep their skin from looking ashy. Children who never have clean clothes to wear. A child who when it was time to exchange handmade Christmas gifts found a matchbox car in the dirt in front of his apartment and colored the doors so it would be handmade. I haven't forgotten DeMarcus. I never will and Katie still has that matchbox car.

Libgirl....you just have no idea.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Way to make generalizations without knowing someone

As a matter of fact, you have misjudged because yes, I work on an almost daily basis during the week with underprivileged elementary school age children who are considered poor by American standards. I have also been to other (third-world) countries and seen the devastating poverty that they exist under on a daily basis, along with immigrants in the very poor neighborhood I lived in in Europe-- and it's, for the most part, much worse than anything we have in America. Sure, there are examples of devastating poverty in America, but studies have found that overall, the poor in America are less poor than in other places. This is simply a fact.

A Swedish study examining this phenomenon is talked about here:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005242

(If Sweden was judged on the same poverty level as those in America, it would have a 40% poverty rate.)

As a matter of fact

That study was by Timbro, the Swedish equivalent of the John Locke Foundation, and their source of US information was the Heritage Foundation.

You mis-stated the report. The US poverty rate in 1999 the time used by the study was about 12%. The US census poverty thresholds for 1999 were: 1 person $8,501, 2 people $10,869, family of 4 $16,895. The measure used for comparison with Sweden was not poverty but an arbitrary "low-income" household level of $25,000 by which measure Sweden had a 40% rate compared to the US rate of 25%.

This was not a poverty rate.

Thank you....

I didn't even bother to look at her study. I know what I've seen with my own eyes and I also know that just because there is a poverty "threshold" that doesn't mean everyone living in poverty lives anywhere close to that threshold.

Thanks for the info though. Glad you followed through.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Wall Street Journal

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005242

"Higher GDP per capita allows the average American to spend about $9,700 more on consumption every year than the average European. So Yanks have by far more cars, TVs, computers and other modern goods. 'Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near,' the Swedish study says."

"In 1999, 25% of American households were considered 'low income,' meaning they had an annual income of less than $25,000. If Sweden--the very model of a modern welfare state--were judged by the same standard, about 40% of its households would be considered low-income."

"In other words poverty is relative, and in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the 'poor' own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet."

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

You can pull averages all you want - but remember that the "averages" that you are talking about are people with faces, children who go to bed hungry, children who have inadequate medical care, parents who work two and three jobs to afford those "huge" 1200 sq. ft. homes you're referring to. As a point of reference, I'd like you to think about these statistics as well.

Food Security in the United States

The prevalence of very low food security was 4.0 percent of households, also essentially unchanged in 2006from 2005 (3.9 percent). In households with very low food security, eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and their food intake was reduced at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food.

According to the 2007 Data Snapshot (PDF) from Kids Count, produced by the Annie E Casey foundation, available through NC Action for Children, in 2005, 21% of the children under the age of 5 in NC lived in poverty. Just so you understand what they mean when they say "poverty", they mean an income of less than $21,000 for a family of 4.

Your lovely little averages from the Wall St. Journal mean nothing to me when I work with these children every day. I see the effects of poverty. I know the pain a mother feels when she's forced to quit her job because child care is too expensive, or unavailable for the hours she's assigned.

I fail to see what changing the monetary system in the country, or anything else like that will do to help these children right now. And trust, me, they need help. Right now.

Comparing Sweden to the United States is, pardon my language, bullshit. Would you like to know why? I'll tell you. Because in Sweden, though the income might be lower, there is guaranteed child care from the time the child is 3 until he finishes school. There is guaranteed health care. It isn't a "free-market" system where the people who have the money determine what the price of everything is. The services are available to everyone. Regardless of ability to pay - because they pay taxes much higher than we do. And I will tell you right now, I would rather pay higher taxes, and see you pay higher taxes, and everyone else pay higher taxes if I knew I could drive to the Wal-Mart parking lot right now and not find kids sleeping in their mother's car while Mom was working. But guess what - people like you, people like BJ Lawson, people like Ron Paul, they don't see the folks who struggle, who work for a living and still can't get by. They don't get it.

You just don't frickin' get it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I never said that no one was

I never said that no one was poor in America. I simply said that the definition of poverty in America would not be considered to be under the poverty level in other places. The study I linked to showed that to be the case with Sweden (generally considered to be a very rich country). I don't know why you want to imply I'm saying things that I'm not and put me down rather than have an honest discussion. I'm not doing that with you. I didn't say that no one needs help. I didn't say I like our health care system.

Neither did BJ Lawson. Neither has Ron Paul. You're pointing fingers at people who don't like our current system and want it changed.

You also don't understand my thoughts on our current health care system and are making assumptions. In fact, I think single payer health care would be better than our current system, which was created by federal regulations mandating HMOs in the first place. The only candidate running on a single payer platform is Dennis Kucinich, who 1.) is not doing as well as some might hope, and 2.) has said that he would like Ron Paul as his running mate. What are your thoughts on that?

I think the managed care systems advocated by the top 3 Dems would our current system worse and would be a massive corporate handout to insurance companies which would have every reason to jack their rates sky-high. I prefer a free market approach (we currently do not have a free market).

You can see more of my thoughts on this in these posts:
http://www.libertariangirl.com/2007/11/25/michael-moore-right-or-wrong-sane-or-crazy/
http://www.libertariangirl.com/2007/11/25/michael-moore-right-or-wrong-sane-or-crazy-part-2/

One big problem about us moving to a single payer system is that we subsidize Europeans' prescription drug costs with our "free market," just as we subsidize their petrol (of 4 pounds in gas, 3.50 will be taxes, so gas companies don't make profits there and make it here instead). If drug companies aren't going to make money, they'll stop bringing new drugs to market at all. I discuss this in one of the posts above.

I would also advocate an end to all corporate welfare for drug companies, which would save us a lot of money. By passing the Medicare prescription drug benefit without giving the government the authority to negotiate with the drug companies, Congress has given the drug companies a huge government-subsidized windfall.

You could have saved a lot of time

in the first place.

Your original posts on the subject gave the impression of the sort of ivory tower cluelessness that does more harm than good in our world. Your quotes from the Wall Street Journal did not help your argument, and I was left feeling that you honestly did not understand the plight of the very poor in the US or indeed right here in NC.

It is not my habit to go search out blog posts that authors on this site have written else where, unless I am extremely interested in their ideas. You have not quoted extensively from your blogs (to my knowledge), so I had no way of knowing what you had written previously. I was taking your posts here at face value - as I do for everyone.

If I've misjudged you, I apologize. But keep those statistics I pointed out in mind, and remember that there are still families choosing between food, medicine, work, and child care, right here in NC. No matter how big their average housing space is.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Invoking Plato in Protest

I know that this is not going to be a popular point with a lot of people, but sometimes an English major can't help herself. "DIALOGUE" is a NOUN. It is not a VERB.

I know the English language is always changing. I realize there are certain causes that are already lost (the almost constant use of the word "impact," for affect as well as effect, for example).

But for god's sake, please, please let's not give up a perfectly good traditional form that has for so long been associated with the nobler pursuits of linguistic experience. Can you imagine Plato saying he wanted to "dialogue" with his students? No, you cannot, nor should you. It's just crass and unthinkable.

Brunette

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

:)

I love strict grammarians.

Shakespeare also used

Shakespeare also used "dialogue" as a verb, so luckily there weren't too many strict grammarians around in Stratford back in the day... or they may have stopped the world's greatest writer dead in his tracks.

We had a visiting minister

who used the word "church" as a verb. I thought my mother would storm the pulpit and strangle him before his sermon was over.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

That's very weird

Very.

Yes.....it's now a big joke in my family

Let's church together. :)



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

That is really weird - but I think there is "folk" precedent.

I heard that all the time when I was in school in West Virginia. In fact, the first time you took a baby to church after they were born was their "churching".

Language is fascinating. Ever read/watch The Story of English?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

hear it all the time at church nowadays

as an adjective - how many people are "churched" -attending, or affiliated with a church. Reaching out to the "unchurched" - but I can't think of a time I heard it used as a verb, specifically. YET.

I have lived abroad in my young adult years, off and on, and I could always notice when I came back that several new words had been made into verbs. It is a particularly American habit to turn nouns into verbs. We "network" we "interface" - take classes in "keyboarding" and when we are tired we "cocoon." These are just a few off the top of my head that I recall hearing fresh from time abroad.

I'm an English major, too.

Oddly enough, I was an English major as well.

My name is libgirl, and I happened to use "dialogue" as a verb. I keep such company with my decision as Shakespeare, who didn't keep incredibly strict grammar rules, either, and guess what, also used "dialogue" as a verb.

Call me a rebel, if you will. A rebel with a cause, who likes to dialogue. :)

Shakespeare ain't gonna cut it

Spelling was not standardized in Shakespeare's day, either. I promise you that if you rely upon Shakespear as a grammar guide, you'll lose the argument with your English professor.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Here is the shirt for you!

Glarkware

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Thenk yew~

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Most English professors that

Most English professors that I've had were (kind of surprisingly) less concerned with how things were spelled and more concerned with the content of essays and thoughts. I guess the same would apply to Shekspere.

Not a good sign

It is indeed surprising, and sad.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Or good, depending on

Or good, depending on whether you prefer good grammar or good ideas. Do we want Shakespeare, or do we want a perfectly edited and spelled autobiography by George W. Bush?

Why settle for either/or?

I don't think one should settle for one over the other. In fact, adherence to grammar is an excellent way of ensuring that the ideas you seek to articulate are actually being conveyed. What do you suppose the purpose of grammar is?

The suggestion that appreciation for grammar implies disregard for the contributions of Shakespeare is just plain silly.

You might also consider that Shakespeare's best known and appreciated works were written to be spoken. Cues of action and inflection often substitute for what would otherwise be made clear by phrasing.

A blog, however, is a medium that depends upon the written word for communication. The significance of spelling and grammar is greater in such a forum than it would be if we were actually speaking in a cafe -- or from a stage.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

not to get too picky...

but is the "ue" really necessary?

Can't we just have a dialog?

All about efficiency,
BJ

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

English has weirder

English has weirder spellings than most other languages.

Perhaps when you're in Congress you can work on simplifying it :) Apparently children with other languages as their first language can learn to read faster because the spellings are unified across the spectrum.

Que?

Lo siento, no entiendo.

:-)

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

It already is, de facto

I read an article a few months ago about how the European Parliament and its officials usually conduct official business in English, because it's the one language everyone shares.

Mais non

The European Parliament conducts its business in 23 official languages. It is doggedly comitted to Multilingualism

All parliamentary documents are published in all the official languages of the European Union (EU) and every MEP has the right to speak in the official language of his/her choice.

The European Parliament differs from the other EU institutions through its obligation to ensure the highest possible degree of multilingualism. All EU citizens must be able to refer to legislation directly concerning them in the language of their country. Furthermore, since every European citizen has the right to stand for election to the European Parliament, it is unreasonable to require Members to have a perfect command of one of the common languages. The right of each Member to read parliamentary documents, to follow debates and to speak in his/her own language is expressly recognised in Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

The European Commission, the executive component of the EU, conducts business in three working languages: French, English and German. French has been the dominant language within EU institutions though is being surpassed by English especially in communication between states and third parties. English is not a language shared by everyone in Europe (approx 51%) though it is shared by more people than French (approx 26%) or German (approx 32%). If there had to be a single language for Europe it would be English but the use of a single language is highly unlikely.

Oui, here's the article backing me up

Much of the business is conducted in English among ministers themselves-- I didn't mean official as in what official documents are published in.

The Economist
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1606383

'"When I left Brussels in 1995,” he remarks (in perfect English), “70% of the documents crossing my desk were written in French. Nowadays 70% are in English."'

'The rise of English as the EU's dominant working language was given a decisive push by the Union's last expansion, in 1995, when Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the club. Officials from all three countries, especially the two Nordic ones, are much more likely to be fluent in English than French.'

... and one more thing

I've met Katy, and have spent some time talking with her. She's a wife, mother, and concerned parent who wants the best for her family and country. She has a husband and family who are Vietnamese, and who suffered at the hands of the Communists in the bad-old-days. Hence, she has a certain view of the world and foreign policy that reflects those wounds.

In defense of her position, she's in a really tough spot. She's been running a "conservative" blog for a shall-we-say "neoconservative" crowd for some time now.

Suddenly there is a new breed of folks interested in the Republican party, for reasons the neoconservatives can't really understand. Her core readership is indignant. Is she pandering to these newcomers? And the newcomers aren't always on their best behavior when they engage in discussion. Suddenly she's taking heat from both sides.

Perhaps the neoconservatives don't like the nagging feeling that they do have a conscience, and that the conscience is starting to ask tough questions. But for whatever reason, her blog had become a lightning rod as the conscience of rationality begins to ask tough questions about foreign policy, economic sustainability, and the path that our nation is taking towards an economic abyss and disappearing civil liberties.

At any rate, being caught in the crossfire as a political party is torn in two isn't a fun place to be. Different people react in different ways, and when I spoke with her tonight she just expressed sadness and frustration that so much negativity and controversy had overtaken the blog. She had begun deleting comments and articles to try and ease the pain, and erase the conflict... but we all recognize that the world is not that simple.

The conflict doesn't go away because you erase it, or ignore it.

I'd just ask for mercy for her, and all of us, as we struggle through this challenging time in our nation's history. She didn't intend to insult me, the soldier, or anyone else whose comments she deleted.

As tough as it is, we just need to continue the conversation. And bring our soldiers home so we can prosper with an economic offense and military defense, instead of an economic defense and military offense!

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

No tears

She's not stuck in the middle of anything but stuck on the far right. Before you get all gushy consider how she used her blog to insult and harass a neighbor calling him "a neighborhood nut" and a "Commie-lib" who

would do well to remember not to argue with a blogger who is read statewide. He might even find himself besieged by angry conservatives who wish to fill his e-mail box

publishing his private email address for that purpose. On a neighborhood listserv he had the temerity to post with non-partisan information in response to one of her emails about a politicized event.

Well, then, she pulled a Malkin

I have no sympathy for Katy at all. I have children and a family and there are at least ten people who read my statewide.....and I would never, ever, ever print the personal email address of anyone - even a public official - without permission. Katy showed no compassion and no discretion whatsoever in publishing her neighbor's personal contact information. She deserves to be caught in the crossfire. What a vile thing to do.

Thanks Greg. Now I know just where to draw the line when she happens to visit.



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