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Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!

katlaughing 19 Sep 99 - 11:48 AM
wildlone 19 Sep 99 - 12:07 PM
John Hindsill 19 Sep 99 - 12:39 PM
j0_77 19 Sep 99 - 12:51 PM
katlaughing 19 Sep 99 - 12:58 PM
j0_77 19 Sep 99 - 01:03 PM
katlaughing 19 Sep 99 - 02:06 PM
Frank Hamilton 19 Sep 99 - 02:27 PM
katlaughing 19 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 20 Sep 99 - 07:38 AM
Jon W. 20 Sep 99 - 10:54 AM
Jon W. 20 Sep 99 - 10:59 AM
Jerry Friedman 20 Sep 99 - 12:37 PM
paddymac 20 Sep 99 - 01:05 PM
Bert 20 Sep 99 - 01:18 PM
GeorgeH 20 Sep 99 - 01:27 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 20 Sep 99 - 04:54 PM
Frank Hamilton 21 Sep 99 - 11:37 AM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 21 Sep 99 - 12:23 PM
Jerry Friedman 21 Sep 99 - 01:50 PM
Chet W. 21 Sep 99 - 07:49 PM
kendall morse (don't use) 21 Sep 99 - 08:05 PM
j0_77 21 Sep 99 - 10:51 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 22 Sep 99 - 02:52 AM
GeorgeH 22 Sep 99 - 06:48 AM
22 Sep 99 - 09:47 AM
katlaughing 22 Sep 99 - 10:38 AM
KathWestra 22 Sep 99 - 11:03 AM
Frank Hamilton 22 Sep 99 - 11:14 AM
Jerry Friedman 22 Sep 99 - 11:27 AM
j0_77 22 Sep 99 - 12:47 PM
Charlie Baum 22 Sep 99 - 01:54 PM
GeorgeH 22 Sep 99 - 02:02 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 99 - 02:09 PM
annamill 22 Sep 99 - 02:37 PM
KathWestra 22 Sep 99 - 02:42 PM
annamill 22 Sep 99 - 03:07 PM
annamill 22 Sep 99 - 03:10 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 99 - 03:39 PM
KathWestra 22 Sep 99 - 05:17 PM
KathWestra 22 Sep 99 - 05:25 PM
annamill 22 Sep 99 - 05:32 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 22 Sep 99 - 06:10 PM
Frank Hamilton 22 Sep 99 - 06:33 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 99 - 07:10 PM
dwo 22 Sep 99 - 07:21 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 99 - 09:04 PM
Dperson626@aol 22 Sep 99 - 09:13 PM
Bert 22 Sep 99 - 09:15 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 22 Sep 99 - 11:39 PM
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Subject: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 11:48 AM

My mentor at the newspaper, here, wrote an excellent editorial today, in which he told about somehting I'd not heard of. It could effect any one of us. So, I'd like to start a discussion and also raise awareness of what I consider a dangerous and frightening action.

According to Chas., in Aug. a US Sentaor from where else but Kansas, introduced a resolution which would create a seven member Special Committee on American Culture to invstigate "the cultural crisis facing America."

The purpose of said committee would be 1) "to study the causes ad reasons for social and cultural regression; 2) to make such findings of fact as are warranted and appropriate, including the impact that such negative cultural trends and developments have on the braoder society, particulaly in regards to child well-bing; and 3) to explore means of cultural renewal."

Chas. goes on to bring up the different eras of such panic when blues were prominent, when elvis first started gyrating, etc. He also points out that the Americna famiy Association calls the American Library Assoc. a "radical org." because librarians refuse to restrict what children may see on the Internet, saying it is the parent's job to guide their children. He also points out that the the irony that the ultraconservative AFA wants a government agent, i.e. county or state librarian, to tell our kids what is proper to read or see.

I know we've had discussions on censureship before, but this seems to be a closer reality, no longer in the abstract. It is disturbing and I believe a real and tangible threat to our freedom of expression, belief, and way of life.

The floor is yours.......

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: wildlone
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 12:07 PM

The goverment in the UK seem to be wanting a return to Victorian values.
History records this as,
Children working at 6 years old.Little medical aid unless you can pay for it.
But the rich can do what they want.
We will get there soon.WL.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: John Hindsill
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 12:39 PM

Kat--
Not all censorship comes from the radical conservatives. In Pasadena, California a person of liberal persuasion who is running for that school board wants to eliminate books she doesn't approve of, not just from the school libraries, but also from the teachers' resource center at the Curriculum Center.
Let us not blame just our foes, but let us also condemn censorship from those we would normally agree with.---John


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: j0_77
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 12:51 PM

Wildone you may be suprised to learn there is a connection twixt the 'old' grey conservatives of Washington and England. Lady Thatcher comes over every year and is entertained by the conservatives - when she was in power her biggest ally was Ronnie Reagan. I suspect the UK has become yet another puppet state under Coprorate direction, how bout East Timor?

The reasoning these maniacs use is like this - We are really old - we have done it all - we know what is good for you - so doing this or that is not allowed we have been there and we know. No laughing, dancing, singing no happiness - you will obey or perish.

They are the dog in the manger politicians who are your enemy - they are the enemy of freedom. entrerprise, progress and happiness.

There are examples of em in every country in the world - remember Romania. Chile and Indonesia. Old criminals running countries. Think about it this way what kind of person would actively stifle native industry to satisfy a copropaymaster? To deny YOUR OWN kinfolk a chance to earn the money to buy food.

Mall Wart - This is the new Coporate model, imports form impoverished countries, uses child labor, stamps product with made in the customer's country, while at the same time giving the appearance of being against these horrid practices. We have been lied to for so long that we will believe anything the press/corpoworld tell us.

Mall Wart sells you a pot, for example, 10 pennies less than the local hardware store, that pot will fall apart within a year or so BUT YOU DONT KNOW THAT WHEN YOU BUY IT. Presently your local hardware store goes under - gone splat squish dead - no more. Now Mall Wart have you by the ears, not only can the sell you cheap low quality imported junk - they KNOW you cannot get anything else.

This evil organisiation is in every country in North and South America - and is making inroads into Europe as well.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 12:58 PM

I agree, John, but this particular committee was proposed by a conservative Republican(US).

I was in a hurry when I posted this earlier. What I really menat I'd like to focus on is 1. the fact that they claim we are having a "cultural crisis" in our country right now. And, the three aims of the committee, that is:

to study the causes and reasons for social and cultural regression;

to make such findings of fact as are warranted and appropriate, including the impact that such negative cultural trends and developments have on the broader society, particulaly in regards to child well-being; and

to explore means of cultural renewal

This is all relative, that is why it is so important that we maintain our freedom. what they may see as "cultural regression", I may consider someone else's right to expression.

The "negative cultural trends & developments, esp. in regards to child well-being" reminds me of the outraged rhetoric about Elvis' hips and the decline of Western civilisation. As well, the conservatives loudly and vociferously proclaim to want government out of our lives, yet advocate policing consenting adults' private bedroom behavoir and they keep pushing for more and more government rights to decide what is appropriate or not for reading and viewing.

As to their "cultural renewal", I have a feeling they mean a "regression" to "repression", which is not what I consider cultural or a renewal!

I know this has happened before. I am really concerned about it now, because I feel the world climate, as well as our country's climate, is full of fear and lack of direction, i.e. ripe for the kind of hysteria and panic this kind of committee may engender. I believe it would behoove all of us to beware, be vocal, and be "out there".

Kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: j0_77
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 01:03 PM

Thankyou Kat - I think what they call regression is what someody else would call progression. BTW are these people old fuddy duddy conservatives?


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 02:06 PM

Hi, Jo, I guess I was awriting, when you were posting, because I just now saw both your messages. I don't know if these are old conservatives or not. My sense is it is generally Republicans (US) and conservatves in general, although as John pointed out, there are liberals who would have censorship, too.

The one who proposed the committee is Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan. His resolution is Resolution 172.

Chas. included another disturbing quote in his article: david Lowentahl, professor emeritus of political science at Boston College, claiming that Hollywood is spewing out too much sex and violence, said, in The Weekly Standard, "Government, and government alone, has a chance of blocking this descent into decadence. The choice is clear, either rigorous censorship of the mass media -- or an accelerating descent into barbarism and the destruction, sooner or later, of free society itself."

rigorous censorship of the mass media.....is this America or China or the old USSR????

I don't care what stripes they may hide behind, this is what we have to unite and fight against!

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 02:27 PM

There was a senate resolution to make the "square dance" the national dance of America about five years ago. It went down to defeat, fortunately.

When senators try to legislate such stuff, they really run into problems. If (god forbid) W. Bush makes it into office, he might not veto some of this "moralistic" garbage but if Gore or Bradley make it, I doubt very much where any of it would become law. Even if it were, there would be many court cases challenging it by the ACLU. This is territory that has already been gone over in the past such as the court case involving obscenity and the book "Lady Chatterley's Lover" by DH Lawrence. I think it's a blow-hard prounouncement by certain Repbulcian senators to gain votes and political prominence. It comes up every now and again but the wisdom of the people usually prevails on this issue.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM

You are right in some respects, Frank. I guess what I am in doubt about, this time, is the "wisdom of the people".

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 07:38 AM

j0_77, It is not quite so clear who is the puppet state. The US under Regan and Clinton seemed to do a lot at English instigation that was in the interest of GB.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jon W.
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 10:54 AM

Wow. Wasn't it just a year ago we were wringing our collective hands over school shootings in Littleton CO? Now we're saying that the American culture isn't degraded? Some folks want to put filters on the Internet access a public libraries (not remove violent and obscene sites from the Internet altogether, mind you, just make it more difficult for kids to get to them when possibly outside direct parental supervision) and the cry goes up "Censorship, Censorship!" as if that were the ultimate evil. Pornography, besides being extremely degrading to women, is IMHO, a very potent destroyer of marriage (or equivalent relationships) so yes, I think it ought to be fought with any energy we can use, and on all fronts. I'm not saying the government ought to do it - society as a whole ought to. I do not confuse government with society. That is an attitude I find more in keeping with the liberal philosophy than the conservative. So don't go maligning conservatives by including among them Prof. Lowenthal, if his statement quoted above is any indication of his views in general. No, the state should not be our nanny but inasmuch as it is monopolizing the educational system (though forced taxation) as well as the libraries of the land, it ought to at least be sensitive to community standards. Or does the voice of the people no longer count in America?

Jon W.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jon W.
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 10:59 AM

PS. Where's the outcry on the Baptist church shooting in Ft. Worth? or aren't eight dead people enough to worry about?


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 12:37 PM

I didn't join any outcry after the killings in Littleton, but I'll state for the record that shooting people who are minding their own business is bad, including in Baptist churches.

I think we're unanimous that the large increase in the rate of violent crime during this century is a true problem with our culture (and that the more-or-less leveling off or even small decrease in the past decade is a good sign).

Of course, this subject is under intensive study. Which is not to say I know the answer. But it is to say that a Senate committee might not do anything useful. I can hardly see how even... well... how anyone could describe censorship as a "means of cultural renewal".


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: paddymac
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 01:05 PM

jO 77: love the subtlety in "Mall Wart". It's one of the best!


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Bert
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 01:18 PM

It is kind of scary. But I'm asking myself - Just HOW does this differ from what WE are doing in the "Bad Music" thread???


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 01:27 PM

murray: some examples, please?

Bert: the essential difference is one of power!

Yes, it's scary. And I don't know enough about the workings of your Gvmt to comment sensibly. Although to me the obvious answer/question is "what cultural crisis?". Has the learned senator actually defined that?

G.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 04:54 PM

Ah, anecdotal arguements and panic. The tradtional raw material used by political ambition to create reactionary draconian threats to personal freedom.

Did you know that for the most part, crime in America has been dropping steadily for several decades. It doesn't matter what you look at, violent or non-violent crime is dropping. What has increased by a long shot is the amount of crime reporting.

The incedence of teenage pregnancy is dropping, among both blacks and whites.

N'sync is selling more albums than Marylin Manson.

More people go to Disney Movies than to Pulp Fiction.

Here's a beauty. Ask anyone how often criminal defendents 'get off on legal technicalities'. Its amazing. Most of the answers are in the 1-in-20 range, when in truth its less than 1-in-1000.

And yet the culture is collapsing, requiring desparate measures and restrictions of trade and freedom to save it.

Haven't we heard this all before? And isn't there always an anecdote to justify the unwarranted reactions?

How about a stroll down memory lane....

We have to infiltrate the campuses, there are communists there (Oh boy, 3 students with berets the bought from goodwill meeting in a dorm with a half torn Mao poster, trying to figure out a way to distribute 20 copies of the Daily Worker without getting beat up --THAT certainly warrants an undercover FBI presence).

Extremism in defense of liberity is no vice (what a classic).


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 11:37 AM

Jack, no disrespect intended but a caveat. Bismarck said "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." We need to question those. Who and where did they come from?

The outcry of "public immorality" has been part of the historical landscape since the Great Awakening. There are political pundits who will use this to furthur their ambitions. It's a red herring IMHO.

Do you want people to stop mass shootings? In my opinon, reign in the guns. It's too easy to get them here. Homocides are intentional. Some may use motor vehicles as a weapon but that's not what their built for. AKG's and "saturday night specials" are. This "self-defense" argument is a crock because it encourages lawlessness.

Did I tell you that I'm getting practice on my soapbox to run for president in the year 50002? I've got my acceptance speech all memorized. :)

to


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 12:23 PM

I'll dig up the sources when I get a chance. Most of them come from the U.S. Department of Justice, but I'll get the particulars if I get a chance.

One personal note about that quote, its too often used to dismiss statistical arguements out of hand, and to imply that statistics are somehow less trustworthy than other forms of reasoning and arguement. This is an overgeneralization, and overgeneralizing using rhetorical cliche is just a bad as overgeneralizing using flawed statistics. As always, the Truth should be the ultimate aim, and statistics are one of the most powerful tools to assaying the truth we have.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 01:50 PM

Jack, I didn't see anyone suggest "desperate measures and restrictions of trade and freedom".

Were the facts about N'Sync vs. Marilyn Manson and Disney movies vs. Pulp Fiction supposed to be good signs or bad signs?

Does the "legal technicalities" statistic include cases in which no arrests are made or no prosecution takes place because the evidence would be inadmissible? Any analysis of the effect of "technicalities" on the justice system would have to take those into account. I'm not sure whether I'd like to see big numbers or small numbers of people getting off because of "technicalities".

And finally, and further and further off topic, how does the DoJ know the difference between the number of crimes and the number of reported crimes? Where can I find information on that?


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Chet W.
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 07:49 PM

The culture is in decline; What else is new? Can politicians fix it; Obviously not, they can't fix anything. The only escape is escape, taking your family and loved ones with you, either to a physical place where you can be unmolested longer, or at least to a small culture where you don't have to deal with the big guys very much. Remember that everybody who tried to make a real, and really big change, from Jesus Christ to M.L. King, ended up dead, murdered by the established power. We have the qualities we value, such as compassion, respect for others, raising loved children, etc. They've got their ideas and they also have the money and the guns. So don't let their twisted minds start yours atwisting. Ignore them as much as possible.

Is this pessimism?, Chet


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: kendall morse (don't use)
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 08:05 PM

Ref; the Wal-Mart and cheap junk... who's fault is this? I patronize my local hardware store as much as possible, and, I often pay a bit more. But, I get to talk to the owner, not some moron who only wants to go home. Lately, however, I've noticed more and more cheap, junk just like the Wal-Mart.. they have to to stay in business. We are to blame because we are so myopic and greedy that we cant see what we are doing to our own economy. As Pogo said "We have met the enemy, and, he is us."


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: j0_77
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 10:51 PM

Murray thamks for your comment, but I was pointing to Corporate funding and all that it means!! Paddymac - I picked up 'that' label as a generic allcorprate silly name.

The 'crime' statistics. I hear on the Radio that there are 3 million people in jails in the USA. Can't help but notice the concerted effort of guess 'who' to create crimes for the people they most want out of the way. Nuff said. Or put it this way if you get an invite to 'party' from a person you don't know well - tell em 'no thanks'

See Kat's first posting, I don't know if she realized the size of this topic. I do believe it is the same thing as when the 'Railway Corps' controlled government way back in the 1800's. I also think the public are vaguely aware that somthing is wrong but because we've no real press anymore.

Think 'Crime' not 'Corporate Corruption' that seems to be the message. Do you beleive it? I certainly do not.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 02:52 AM

Kat, when I read your first post my reaction was "Who in the hell thinks culture is subject to congressional definition?" Culture happens, like weather happens--but then I remembered a discussion Chet W. and I had a year ago, soon after I found Mudcat: {I'll try not to misrepresent you here, Chet} We were arguing over whether rap music was political speech--I was arguing that it was, and thus worthy of first amendment protection. He argued that the creators of gangsta rap were not only apolitical, their product was destructive of their community--and that it was fostered cynically by corporations who were using the destructive message to line their pockets. This may seem like a digression, but it is true that culture doesn't develop freely, that corporate interest determines what cultural artifacts get public exposure--and corporate interest often has little in common with public interest.

But somehow I doubt if Senator Brownback has in mind questioning corporate effects on our culture--or on our economy. What we can expect from the good senator and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle of our corporate whorehouse is more attacks on minority rights, especially women's and gay rights, calls for more draconian drug laws and expansion of the death penalty, cutting the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts and public media, legislating prayer in school, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 06:48 AM

A small aside. Frank, please don't quote "There are lies, damned lies and statistics" (and was that really Bismark?? That seems far too early.) Fact is, the quote is actually plain wrong. It's misuse of statistics which is the problem, not statistics itself!! And that's generally down to deliberate human distortion.

Which doesn't distract from your actual point!

G. (former Maths and - on a bad day - Statistics teacher)


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From:
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:47 AM

Thanks, Seed, and I still stand by what I said about the rap business. But what I didn't say before is that since we had that discussion I resigned my job teaching in the juvenile prison, the major reason being that it was taking such a toll on my physical and mental health that I knew I had to get out, even though a big part of me wanted to stay and oppose the system on behalf of my students, there is no doubt in my mind (or in those of several doctors I saw) that the job was going to kill me. So now I'm teaching in a public high school and I feel better, but far from healed. All of this is to say, if you choose to fight the system on its own terms, you may make some progress, but you may very well lose your life, or at least your health, and you have to think about how much that is worth to you and those that care about you. What attracts me the most lately is subsistence Thoreau-style living somewhere without an address. I hope to have a better outlook after awhile.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 10:38 AM

I can relate to some of what you've shared with us, Chet. I esp. like your phrasre about Thoreau-style living without an address. That's something Rog and I have been trying to figure out how to do.

GeorgeH: from some of the surveys etc, I've received, in order for someone to gather statistics, I would say, it is not always just the misuse of statistics, but also the method in which they are gathered. I am sure everyone is familiar with the type of loaded questions which garner the sort of stats the questioner is looking for.

Jo...I did realise the scope, that's why I said the floor was everyone's. I really enjoy these type of discussions, esp. at the Mudcat because everyone has so much to say and in such well-versed ways. Thank you.

..seed, well put.

Thanks, everyone, keep it up.

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: KathWestra
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:03 AM

Kathy, leaping into the fray...How did we stray so far afield from Kat's original post, which I thought posed some pretty interesting questions? I'd like to get back to it! Frank's comment about declaring the square dance the "national folk dance" gets at the meat of what members of Congress periodically try to do.

That said, as a person who actually lives and works in Washington, it's hard for me to become alarmed when a new Senate study committee is formed. The biblical phrase about "sound and fury, signifying nothing" applies in nearly all cases. Study committees are what the Senate and House do to avoid doing their real work: budget appropriations, patients' bill of rights, protecting Medicare and Social Security, etc.

Sam Brownback of Kansas is generally regarded as a fairly inconsequential player in the D.C. power game by folks in this town who care about these things. He's full of conservative rhetoric, generally takes stands that are pro-business and anti-environmental, goes along with the conservative pack (and PAC), and hasn't been credited, that I'm aware of, with getting anything useful done. I ran into him when I was working on national park issues and he was the only member of the Kansas congressional delegation (including other Republicans) to oppose the creation of a Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills -- one of the few remaining bits of unplowed tallgrass ecosystem left in the U.S. His opposition (because "we don't need more parks")to something that everyone else supported made him look ridiculous. And the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was created anyway.

Enough "inside the Beltway" stuff. But I'd love to see more discussion of Kat's original questions. Kathy


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:14 AM

Jack, statistics are often used as a device to bolster a preconceived idea. First you get the idea, and then use stats. Where's the objectivity in that? Stats have their use but are seldom employed by politicians or idealogues in an objective manner. Random sampling is error prone and a lot of stats have to do with what is being asked as political polls can tell you. For example, somebody wants to paint a rosy picture about crime in the U.S. Where do they go to promote their view? Stats. I call this "skew-tistics".

For example, 12 percent of the record sales of recordings are "folk music". What's being talked about here?

Sorry to digress from the main issue. Thank goodness for the NEA folklife division. So far they've been able to weather the congressional storms.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:27 AM

Kathy, "sound and fury" is from Shakespeare, not the Bible. Specifically, Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5:

SEYTON

The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: j0_77
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 12:47 PM

reread Kat's original report. Issues giving support are free internet access - some song lyrics are supposed to be cause of teenage crime etc., Public libraries - now that is a biggie - What kind of person uses a public library? Apart from folk who are too hot or cold and needing shelter, most I see are bookish people -they read books! Hardly a regressive trend LOL.

The interent provides 'easier' access to err undesirable stuff but it is not the only source. I remember dares, who does'nt and it was very easy to say 'no thankyou'.

What is cultural regression? Kids reading stuff off the net? Seeing naughty pictures?

Perhaps it's just old fuddy duddy conservatives getting grumpy and having no fun, needing to make everyone else miserable - is that cultural regression?

There is a real problem though and it will not be solved by laws or political fuddy duddy. There is a tendency toward a free family unit and it is claimed that single parents do not provide enough support bla bla bla - so the spheellll goes on - these kids are more likely to break the law than kids from two parent homes.

Great - actualy these kids are more likely to live in a low income home than kids is a two parent one, soooo the society they inhabit is prone to crime like any similar group.

Is the problem about INCOME ???/ Wondering again.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 01:54 PM

While we're fixing quotation attributions:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881):

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 02:02 PM

Kat and others: Loaded questions etc. are a prime example of the misuse of statistics . . This was part of my point. People misuse language to their own ends - isn't that just what this Senator is doing in trying to whip up a storm about "cultural decline" or whatever (I'm sure he's a highly cultured man and so well qualified to judge that decline). We don't blame "English" for people's ability to misuse it to misrepresent; why is "Statistics" any different?

G.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 02:09 PM

Thank you for the clarification, G.; I don't thinkthe distinction was clear in your original note about stats.

Thank you, too, Kath, while i love all the discussion and I love when they creep into broader areas, I, too, wuld like to see more discussion about the original points.

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: annamill
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 02:37 PM

Wait a minute! I'm all for a cultural committee to decide what the American public can listen to or watch. I think it's a wonderful idea!!

But...only if we (here at Mudcat can pick who gets to be on that committee)..

I definitely want my son on it...and Catspaw.. we should have Tom B. there, and Big Mick, and Katlaughing,...Oh, oh, Art has to be on it. Wouldn't it be great? Only folk music and Blues.

Who else would be good on the committee?? Not me, I'm too open minded. I'd let it all go through. Even Korn.

(That is scary as hell, Kat)

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: KathWestra
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 02:42 PM

Omigod. How insulting to Shakespeare to misattribute! Thanks, Jerry, for reminding me of something I ought to know. Yikes. Guess it's been way too long since I read Macbeth.

Now that the mea culpas are out of the way (hey, maybe I ought to apply for the Village Idiot job in the Village of Mudcat thread...), I love annap's idea of a Mudcat-derived cultural committee. Think of the fun. Kath


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: annamill
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 03:07 PM

BTW, do we have any recourse? Who do I write to? Call? E-mail? Scream at? Jump up and down at? Rant at? We must be able to do something.

L.,A.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: annamill
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 03:10 PM

Wait, I have it. Let's start a MUDCAT American Culture Anti-committee lobby. I bet we'd get lots of funding.

Again, L.A.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 03:39 PM

LOL! I would suggest contacting your senators.

Also, go looking for the If Mudcatters Ruled The World thread (sometime last Spring). It's a good'n.

luvyaKat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: KathWestra
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 05:17 PM

Annap and Kat -- As an activist who highly recommends yelling and screaming at Congress about things you care about, here are two REALLY easy e-mail ways to do it:

and

It always helps if you write as a constituent. (Brownback would probably circular-file a letter from me, but take more seriously something from a 'Catter in his Kansas district.)


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: KathWestra
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 05:25 PM

I flunked blue clicky/clickie things today. Try again!

contact your senator

contact your representative

I may be an activist but I make a lousy HTML coder! Kath


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: annamill
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 05:32 PM

Thank ou Kath. I'll get to it as soon as I get home tonight. I'm at work right now.

Annap


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 06:10 PM

Katlaughing, in order to write my congrssional reps it would be helpful if you would provide a source of hard information regarding the partuculars of the proposal. Sponsors name, bill number, text of proposal etc.

Frank, As an electrical engineer working in a biomedical research environment I have spent the better part of my professional life deeply involved with statistics. No one knows better than I the ways in which statistics are misused both through ignorance or outright deception.

However, that knowlege is just one part of an understanding that humans use all kinds of arguement to lie and mislead, (including but not limited to statistics, logic, bible scholarship, rhetoric, fabrication, fraud, fallacy etc). Yet that knowlege does not detract from the need to use statistics and data properly, it enhances it. After all, if the blade be dull or the cuts misplaced, one does not blame the knife, but the wielder. I know that in part of what you wrote you rightly note that statistics must be used properly. Yet in the end your temptation to use Disreali's famous cliche over-generalization or to coin cute dismissals like skew-tistics overshadowed that. Such comments while entertaining don't encourage a search for truth, but cynicism.

As you noted,


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 06:33 PM

Jack, there is a difference between cynicism and skepticism. I agree that there is a use for stats. But loaded political issues are not a useful one.

Disraeli lives!

Frank


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 07:10 PM

Jackwicj: you are right, sorry I didn't include it earlier.

Senate Resolution 172, was introduced by Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan., in August.

To quote my mentor: the Resolution would "create a seven member Special Committee on American Culture to investigate 'the cultural crisis facing America.'"

The purpose of said Resolution I've already posted in my first two postings.

Thanks

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: dwo
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 07:21 PM

Seems to me the Good Senator is continuing the "Culture War" rhetoric Pat Buchanan used at the 1996 Republican Convention. That little phrase neatly expresses the great anxiety felt by a lot of folks about the way they see their world changing. The anxiety itself goes way back, o'course ... back to the Beats, at least. We Boomers probably thought when we got to middle age that our viewpoints would prevail -- but they haven't. Still a whole lotta folks thinking that the America they want to live in is found right there in Anaheim, on Disney's Main Street USA ("And every day at 3 pm you can take part in a traditional lynching!") This thread turned to railing against the corporate state, and that's quite appropriate, but the fear and anxiety -- caused by the fact that the bulk of our citizens are getting royally SCREWED -- are what drive the Culture War against anyone and everyone who doesn't share Walt Disney's vision.

Seems to me.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:04 PM

Ya know those are good points. I just wish there was some way to remember who the real man, Walt Disney, was and how much his desires and good will have been perverted. He was a member of a metaphysical organisation which I belong to and had nothing but the best and most positive of intentions when he started out; which can be born out in the songs, esp. When You Wish Upon A Star, and early movies and their messages of hope, self-love, self-reliance, belief in a higher power, etc.

Sorry, I am not railing against your posting, just the fact that the man has been lost in the blur of the empire of commerce. If I didn't know that he probably believed in reincarnation, I'd say he's probably turning ove rin his grave right now.

Also, I think I am losing my mind. I was sure I had posted the following, too, but I cannot find it in any of my postings. This was a quote by David Lowenthal, professor emeritus at Boston College. he claims Hollywood is turning out too much sex and violence and was quoted in my mentor's article, as having written, "Government, and government alone, has a chance of blocking this descent into decadence. The choice is clear, either a rigorous censorship of the mass media(my emphasis)-- or an accelerating descent into barbarism and the destruction, sooner or later, of free society itself."

(I KNOW i typed that in somewhere...perhaps another thread, oh, gawd, is the mind the first thing to go???!!Arrgghhhh!)

(putting the soapbox back in the kitchen)

kat


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Dperson626@aol
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:13 PM

If our culture is indeed in decline it is probably due to our unwillingness to stick to any standards.If we keep extending the limits of what is acceptable so as to not exclude anyone then we will not have any standards. They are exclusie by defination. Don Personette


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:15 PM

Hi Don, Welcome to Mudcat.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:39 PM

Decide for yourself whether this is an appropriate use for half a million dollars of your tax dollars.

SRES 172 IS

106th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. RES. 172

To establish a special committee of the Senate to address the cultural crisis facing America.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 4, 1999

Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. MOYNIHAN, Mr. LOTT, Mr. DORGAN, Mr. ALLARD, Mr. CONRAD, Mr. ABRAHAM, Mr. COVERDELL, Mr. SESSIONS, and Mr. CRAIG) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

RESOLUTION

To establish a special committee of the Senate to address the cultural crisis facing America.

Resolved,

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a special committee of the Senate to be known as the Special Committee on American Culture (hereafter in this resolution referred to as the `special committee').

(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of the special committee is--

(1) to study the causes and reasons for social and cultural regression; (2) to make such findings of fact as are warranted and appropriate, including the impact that such negative cultural trends and developments have on the broader society, particularly in regards to child well-being; and (3) to explore means of cultural renewal.

No proposed legislation shall be referred to the special committee, and the committee shall not have power to report by bill, or otherwise have legislative jurisdiction.

(c) TREATMENT AS STANDING COMMITTEE- For purposes of paragraphs 1, 2, 7(a) (1) and (2), and 10(a) of rule XXVI and rule XXVII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and section 202 (i) and (j) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, the special committee shall be treated as a standing committee of the Senate.

SEC. 2. MEMBERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.

(a) MEMBERSHIP-

(1) IN GENERAL- The special committee shall consist of 7 members of the Senate--

(A) 4 of whom shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate from the majority party of the Senate upon the recommendation of the Majority Leader of the Senate; and

(B) 3 of whom shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate from the minority party of the Senate upon the recommendation of the Minority Leader of the Senate.

(2) VACANCIES- Vacancies in the membership of the special committee shall not affect the authority of the remaining members to execute the functions of the special committee and shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments to it are made.

(3) SERVICE- For the purpose of paragraph 4 of rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, service of a Senator as a member, chairman, or vice chairman of the special committee shall not be taken into account.

(b) CHAIRMAN- The chairman of the special committee shall be selected by the Majority Leader of the Senate and the vice chairman of the special committee shall be selected by the Minority Leader of the Senate. The vice chairman shall discharge such responsibilities as the special committee or the chairman may assign.

SEC. 3. AUTHORITY OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.

(a) IN GENERAL- For the purposes of this resolution, the special committee is authorized, in its discretion--

(1) to make expenditures from the contingent fund of the Senate; (2) to employ personnel; (3) to hold hearings; (4) to sit and act at any time or place during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the Senate; (5) to require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance of witnesses and the production of correspondence, books, papers, and documents;

(6) to take depositions and other testimony;

(7) to procure the services of individual consultations or organizations thereof, in accordance with the provisions of section 202(i) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946; and

(8) with the prior consent of the Government department or agency concerned and the Committee on Rules and Administration, to use on a nonreimbursable basis the services of personnel of any such department or agency.

(b) OATHS FOR WITNESSES- The chairman of the special committee or any member thereof may administer oaths to witnesses.

(c) SUBPOENAS- Subpoenas authorized by the special committee may be--

(1) issued over the signature of the chairman after consultation with the vice chairman, or any member of the special committee designated by the chairman after consultation with the vice chairman; and

(2) served by any person designated by the chairman or the member signing the subpoena.

(d) OTHER COMMITTEE STAFF- The special committee may use, with the prior consent of the chairman of any other Senate committee or the chairman of any subcommittee of any committee of the Senate and on a nonreimburseable basis, the facilities or services of any members of the staff of such other Senate committee whenever the special committee or its chairman, following consultation with the vice chairman, considers that such action is necessary or appropriate to enable the special committee to make the investigation and study provided for in this resolution.

(e) USE OF OFFICE SPACE- The staff of the special committee may be located in the personal office of a Member of the special committee.

SEC. 4. REPORT AND TERMINATION.

The special committee shall report its findings, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable, to the Senate prior to December 31, 2000.

SEC. 5. FUNDING.

(a) IN GENERAL- From the date this resolution is agreed to through December 31, 2000, the expenses of the special committee incurred under this resolution.

(1) shall be paid out of the miscellaneous items account of the contingent fund of the Senate;

(2) shall not exceed $500,000, of which amount not to exceed $150,000 shall be available for the procurement of the services of individual consultants, or organizations thereof, as authorized by section 202(i) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 72a(i)); and

(3) shall include sums in addition to expenses described under paragraph (2), as may be necessary for agency contributions related to compensation of employees of the special committee.

(b) PAYMENT OF EXPENSES- Payment of expenses of the special committee shall be disbursed upon vouchers approved by the chairman, except that vouchers shall not be required for disbursements of salaries (and related agency contributions) paid at an annual rate.


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