Friday, January 05, 2007

Lassen County Times in Review: January 2 Edition

I've decided to start what will hopefully be a weekly post on our local newspaper, the Lassen County Times. As readers of this blog know, I (and others, by the way) have taken frequent issue with the LCT for its general lack of research, error-plagued reporting and editorials, and general fundamentalist Christian proselytizing. Hopefully, this will serve as an "alternative" to the LCT, at least in regards to commenting on specific topics and issues (more to the point, identifying where the LCT gets it wrong). However, I'll generally be limiting my comments to articles and editorials that come out about those topics that interest me most: namely science and religion. I'm really not interested in the city council (Kurt can spend his time on that) or the County Board of Supervisors, or other local politics, except as they relate to national issues in science and religion.

First, what to name the series? My mind is drawing a creative blank this morning, so I'll temporarily call it Lassen County Times in Review (followed by the date of the issue). If any of my local readers want to suggest something more profound or witty, by all means please let me know. Also, if any of the readers would like me to specifically comment on something or wish to provide me with further information on a topic the LCT missed or falsely reported, please let me know.

For this week:

- The "Community Perspective" column features an editorial by ProtectMarriage.Com discussing the recent decision by the California Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to uphold Proposition 22 and "California's other traditional marriage laws". The article is pretty descriptive of the process until it gets to the last paragraph:

The is a broad-based coalition of organizations, churches, and individuals who believe that marriage's foremost purpose is the raising of healthy children in a family with a mom and a dad.

Once again, a bunch of misguided people, on the basis of belief and not facts, make idiotic statements and seek to force the rest of us to abide by their belief system. Read Dispatches From the Culture Wars for some great comments and articles on the this issue, including the fact that the Christian right has hijacked the meaning of "family"; that the Christian Right is actually making it more difficult for gay families to be successful; that the Christian Right largely uses talk of "family values" as political cover; that Christian Right abnormal obsession with this issue is actually hurting efforts to stem teen suicide; as well as some of the best reasons why many of us in heterosexual marriages support gay marriage.

-In the Letters to the Editor section, Northstate Science regular Chuck Garner absolutely devastates local Bushy Brad Jenks. Jenks has been responsible for the usual tripe about "if you're not with Bush on the war in Iraq you either don't support our troops or you're a traitor" and last week focused his attention on another local (and frequent LCT letter writer) James Ausmus. Garner jumps all over Jenks for questioning Ausmus' patriotism:

As it happens, Mr. Jenks, James' second son (of three) John, is serving with the US Army in Iraq. I think it's safe to say he supports the troops.
What he doesn't support is what this brainless Bush Administration does to the troops, but that's only common sense, something that the American people seem to be recovering after five years of shear lunacy.
A dwindling minority of Bush loyalists are still trying to conflate support for the troops with support for the administration's disatrous policies but sorry, Mr. Jenks, you can't ride on the coattails of real patriots any longer.

Way to go, Chuck! Patricia Ausmus (James' wife, I believe) also chimes in with her own letter in response to Jenks. She has a couple of particularly on target points:

Perhaps Brad should expand his horizons and turn off the Fox propoganda channel to get his facts...

and later...

It must be extremely hard to remain one of those 13 percent of Americans who still support the man in the White House. It hurts to be on the losing team, doesn't it?

Ouch! An ad hominem backed up with data! The best I can be accused of is a "self righteous, anti-God, humanistic dribbler". Jenks should actually be proud of the higher level of criticism he's getting...

Not much else of interest...LCT seems to be pretty quiet. Until next week....

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