Discussion:
US Petition On White House Website
(too old to reply)
Chris
2011-10-01 05:19:09 UTC
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For those who are Americans, please have a look at this online White
House petition:

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/bar-courts-and-lawmakers-creating-second-class-religion-status-minority-religions-wicca-neopaganism/SKGx6wJV

We petition the obama administration to:

Bar courts and lawmakers from creating a "second-class" religion
status for minority religions like Wicca & NeoPaganism

Currently in the Federal Court system of California, inmates who
practice Pagan religions like Wicca and Druidry are suing for
discrimination because they have been barred from practicing their
religion which they had been legally allowed to practice.

The State of California, with help of the Conservative Christian
Dominionist group the Wallbuilders, is arguing that religions like
Wicca are not worthy of being protected by the First Amendment. If a
federal court rules that Wicca and other Pagan religions are not
worthy of equal status it means that every Pagan in the US could be
fired from their job, lose their churches and covens, and be otherwise
discriminated against. Please do not let a federal court take our
rights away, this country is for everyone of every religion.


-'Thenie
B***@nym.mixmin.net
2011-10-03 02:31:51 UTC
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Chris wrote in alt.religion.wicca.moderated on Saturday 01 October 2011 01:19
Post by Chris
For those who are Americans, please have a look at this online White
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/bar-courts-and-lawmakers-creating-second-class-religion-status-minority-religions-wicca-neopaganism/SKGx6wJV
Bar courts and lawmakers from creating a "second-class" religion
status for minority religions like Wicca & NeoPaganism
Currently in the Federal Court system of California, inmates who
practice Pagan religions like Wicca and Druidry are suing for
discrimination because they have been barred from practicing their
religion which they had been legally allowed to practice.
Do you have a reference to this, by any chance?
Post by Chris
The State of California, with help of the Conservative Christian
Dominionist group the Wallbuilders, is arguing that religions like
Wicca are not worthy of being protected by the First Amendment. If a
federal court rules that Wicca and other Pagan religions are not
worthy of equal status it means that every Pagan in the US could be
fired from their job, lose their churches and covens, and be otherwise
discriminated against. Please do not let a federal court take our
rights away, this country is for everyone of every religion.
I'm rather surprised that the State would take such a position. One has to
wonder what their grounds for opposing this are?

Now, as to the matter of petitions... Personally, I think petitions are a
total waste of time and energy, as they are likely to be ignored. Go ahead
and participate in / organize one if you want, just don't expect it to
produce any concrete results.

If you want concrete results, a lawsuit is going to have to be filed. Since
you intimate that a federal court case is already underway, the ACLU should,
at the very least, be contacted so they can participate as an amicus curiae.

Lawsuits are the only thing that the powers that be tend to pay attention to.

You need to get the ACLU involved -- they have argued hundreds of similar
cases all over the United States on behalf of a large number of plaintiffs
involving every religion you can think of.

Case in point:

The ACLU of New Jersey (2005) settled a lawsuit with the New Jersey
Department of Corrections on behalf of Patrick Pantusco, an inmate
who was denied religious books and other items while in prison.
Although it permitted persons of other religions to obtain materials
for their religious practices, it denied Mr. Pantusco's requests
because it did not recognize Wicca as a legitimate religion. In the
settlement, the state agreed to permit Mr. Pantusco access to all
requested items and pay damages.

See: http://www.aclu-nj.org/legal/closedcasearchive/pantuscovmoore.htm

The ACLU (2005) filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court
supporting a group of Ohio prisoners who were denied religious
items and literature, as well as time to worship, in violation of
federal law. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the prisoners,
upholding the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
of 2000 (RLUIPA).

See: http://www.aclu.org/content/aclu-applauds-supreme-court-ruling-protectin...

The ACLU and its affiliates (2000-2011) have been instrumental
supporters of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act (RLUIPA), which gives religious organizations added protection
in erecting religious buildings and enhances the religious freedom
rights of prisoners and other institutionalized persons. The ACLU
worked with a broad coalition of organizations to secure the law's
passage in 2000. After the law was enacted, the ACLU (2005) defended
its constitutionality in a friend-of-the-court brief before the United
States Supreme Court and the ACLU of Virginia (2006) opposed a
challenge to the law before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

See: http://www.aclu.org/scotus/2004/20956res20041230039877/20956res20041230....

http://www.aclu.org/religion/frb/26018prs20060612.html

See also:

http://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-practice-and-expression
Post by Chris
-'Thenie
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m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-03 20:03:58 UTC
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Not really up on my US Constitutional law.
From memory it was a rather important one that principle stated that Government would not choose what is valid religion and what is not.
What is safe and appropriate public behaviours, yes. (eg Athame's in prisons, peyote outside recognised members, execution of certain animals in ritual manner (Halal, Kosher, African & Southern american religions ceremonials, etc) )

Likewise the discrimination against members of those religion, solely on the principle of membership/beliefs (outside job/family effecting criteria, dependant on the subordination of relevant laws) under the same Constitutional Right.

As per first statement, IIRC, it's a rather low number (high priority) Constitutional Right and I can't see it getting past the stick in the muds at teh top of the system. Or alternatively if it does, no amount of petition/lobby short of another civil war, will defeat it.
Chris
2011-10-03 20:48:08 UTC
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This was reported as a point of current news and drawn from the White
House's own website; did you miss that?

If you had investigated before throwing your opinion out there,
Obama's White House has created a website to provide a direct line to
the President and his staff as to what is the most important issues
for US citizens. Those issues who receive a minimum 5,000 electronic
signatures within 30 days of creating the petition acquire weight in
presidential action.

It's as close to a direct line to the President as you can get without
stopping by for dinner or lobbying directly. Actually, it is lobbying
directly; how seriously it's taken depends on how many citizens are
behind any individual petition.

So if you're a citizen of the US and you agree with the petition, sign
it. If you aren't or don't, then don't. But whether the petition is
taken seriously or not, I tend to believe that a website created by
the White House to gauge the American pulse is fairly likely to be
taken seriously, especially by a president currently down in the polls
and likely to believe those signing the petitions will be watching for
results. To create this tool for communication and not act on the
most popular issues strikes me as politically stupid.

-'Thenie/Chris
M. JL Esq.
2011-10-04 00:19:24 UTC
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Post by Chris
This was reported as a point of current news and drawn from the White
House's own website; did you miss that?
If you had investigated before throwing your opinion out there,
Obama's White House has created a website to provide a direct line to
the President and his staff as to what is the most important issues
for US citizens. Those issues who receive a minimum 5,000 electronic
signatures within 30 days of creating the petition acquire weight in
presidential action.
It's as close to a direct line to the President as you can get without
stopping by for dinner or lobbying directly. Actually, it is lobbying
directly; how seriously it's taken depends on how many citizens are
behind any individual petition.
So if you're a citizen of the US and you agree with the petition, sign
it. If you aren't or don't, then don't. But whether the petition is
taken seriously or not, I tend to believe that a website created by
the White House to gauge the American pulse is fairly likely to be
taken seriously, especially by a president currently down in the polls
and likely to believe those signing the petitions will be watching for
results. To create this tool for communication and not act on the
most popular issues strikes me as politically stupid.
-'Thenie/Chris
Nobody has mentioned the Veterans department yet, that now, IIRC, they
allow the "Wiccan" pentagram symbol on grave stones or markers ....just
to toss my 2 cents ... here's something that came across my FB page the
other day.

I agree with the document in so far as i understand it ...but im getting
less and less sure about my ability to understand much of anything these
days:)

By: Derek Batchelor:

"No one has been able to explain to me why young men...... and women
serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting
freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their
political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by
these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving
one term. It just does not make any sense.

On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members
are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national
attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to
the below, just where will all of it stop?

35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government
for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50)
States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please
pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.
Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the
same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves
from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any
fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must
live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the
Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem
logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't
care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The
self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will post it on their wall, in three
days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress
shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that
does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and,
Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or
Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the
United States .."

Now, what are you going to do about it? Read and delete, or work for
reform? Share on the wall of EVERY congressman, representative,
governor, the white house!!!!! Pass it around!!! Make calls, send fax's
and email's..............."
--
JL
Chris
2011-10-04 02:11:56 UTC
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Post by M. JL Esq.
Nobody has mentioned the Veterans department yet, that now, IIRC, they
allow the "Wiccan"  pentagram symbol on grave stones or markers ....just
to toss my 2 cents ... here's something that came across my FB  page the
other day.
I agree with the document in so far as i understand it ...but im getting
less and less sure about my ability to understand much of anything these
days:)
Yeah, except that it's totally untrue...
<snip>

A friend of mine sent me this a month or so ago. It took less than a
minute's googling to discover how far this misinformation is from the
truth.

<snip>
Post by M. JL Esq.
On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members
are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national
attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to
the below, just where will all of it stop?
<snip>

Concerning 'learned on Fox News', see
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-02-06/story/fact-check-congress-families-get-no-student-loan-breaks:

"Started on 'Hannity'

FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan fact-finding project of the Annenberg
Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, traced the
confusion about loan repayments to remarks Fox News political
contributor Dick Morris made on Aug. 23, 2010, on "The Sean Hannity
Show."

Morris said: "Do you know - my wife, Eileen, just told me yesterday
that staff in the House of Representatives and in the Senate do not
pay student loans back? The government pays it for them?"

Morris went on to say that the House "last year spent $25 million
paying the salary [and] student loans of their staffers."

It's not accurate to say that staff members "do not pay student loans
back.""
<snip>

The following is easily disproved:

<snip>
Post by M. JL Esq.
35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government
Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government
for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50)
States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
<snip>

Actually, of 50 states, only 34 are needed to convene, 38 to ratify.


Please see the following links:

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/congress-not-exempt-from-student-loans/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jan/11/chain-email/do-members-congress-have-pay-back-student-loans-ye/

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1382938/pg1

http://www.dems.gov/matteroffact/do-the-children-of-congressmen-get-free-college-education


Oh, and thanks for burying the lead...


-'Thenie/Chris
M. JL Esq.
2011-10-04 02:38:59 UTC
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Post by Chris
Post by M. JL Esq.
Nobody has mentioned the Veterans department yet, that now, IIRC, they
allow the "Wiccan" �pentagram symbol on grave stones or markers ....just
to toss my 2 cents ... here's something that came across my FB �page the
other day.
I agree with the document in so far as i understand it ...but im getting
less and less sure about my ability to understand much of anything these
days:)
Yeah, except that it's totally untrue...
Well...as i wrote about my ability to understand much of anything....
thank you. I had my doubts, one term pensions? and if congress can
have a "Health Plan" so can America. I seem to recall the one term
pension is in place for the POTUS.

What i wasn't willing to do was the research to fact check the article.

However, should congress be able to set its own pay, benefits and
privileges?

Perhaps a constitutional amendment that puts any pay, benefits or
privilege to a vote of the people?

I remember when Great Britain, not that long ago had to amend its laws
to prohibit a Lord from Challenging The Queen to a dual over his parking
tickets:)

I forget precisely the language in which L'Roy le Vult! but the right of
a British Lord to make a formal challenge of combat to settle any
dispute between he and the Crown was disestablished by the Sovereign
will.

One polite fiction doing away with another:)
--
JL
Post by Chris
<snip>
Actually, of 50 states, only 34 are needed to convene, 38 to ratify.
http://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/congress-not-exempt-from-student-loans/
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jan/11/chain-email/do-members-congress-have-pay-back-student-loans-ye/
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1382938/pg1
http://www.dems.gov/matteroffact/do-the-children-of-congressmen-get-free-college-education
Oh, and thanks for burying the lead...
-'Thenie/Chris
Chris
2011-10-05 00:22:09 UTC
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<snip>
Post by M. JL Esq.
Post by Chris
Post by M. JL Esq.
....just
to toss my 2 cents ... here's something that came across my FB page the
other day.
<snip>
Post by M. JL Esq.
Post by Chris
Post by M. JL Esq.
I agree with the document in so far as i understand it ...but im getting
less and less sure about my ability to understand much of anything these
days:)
Yeah, except that it's totally untrue...
Well...as i wrote about my ability to understand much of anything....
<snip>

Sorry; I didn't realize 2 minutes spent on this was beyond you...
Post by M. JL Esq.
What i wasn't willing to do was the research to fact check the article.
<snip>

Oh. Learning disability?

It's the only dignified thing I could think of that would excuse
printing spam (you do know that anti-Congress thing you "shared" was
spam, right?)
Post by M. JL Esq.
Post by Chris
<snip>
Actually, of 50 states, only 34 are needed to convene, 38 to ratify.
http://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/congress-not-exempt-from-student-loans/
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jan/11/chain-...
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1382938/pg1
http://www.dems.gov/matteroffact/do-the-children-of-congressmen-get-f...
-'Thenie/Chris
M. JL Esq.
2011-10-05 01:40:45 UTC
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Post by Chris
Post by M. JL Esq.
Post by Chris
Post by M. JL Esq.
I agree with the document in so far as i understand it ...but im getting
less and less sure about my ability to understand much of anything these
days:)
Yeah, except that it's totally untrue...
Well...as i wrote about my ability to understand much of anything....
<snip>
Sorry; I didn't realize 2 minutes spent on this was beyond you...
Oh. Learning disability?
It's the only dignified thing I could think of that would excuse
printing spam (you do know that anti-Congress thing you "shared" was
spam, right?)
Get up on the wrong side of your Procrustean bed today?
--
JL
m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-07 01:04:57 UTC
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Hmmm I see my earlier reply never made it to print.

(1) The Wicca on Headstones thing. It's not about the government, it's about whether certain military/support groups have to honour religions they don't believe in. Thus a Christian funded/headed group doing headstones for Veterans might have issues having to pay and provide for minority religions that they don't understand.

(2) government petition. Has nothing to do with the way government decisions are made at state or federal levels. However it does give the government departments excellent feedback on how to control the population.

(3) Dunno about wrong side of bed. It's been that way as long as I can remember her. How dare you think or comment out of turn plebian. We should all bow to those keyboard warriors and witches who have nothing better to day than "research" minor irrelevant items on the 'net.

(4) Nice to see you JL, keeping well I hope. PS if you really want to see how stuff is run, join the Freemasons, get on some committees with people who are movers, shakers and directors of big business, law firms, and government. Or better still, don't 'cause it's truly depressing!
M. JL Esq.
2011-10-07 02:45:56 UTC
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Post by m***@hotmail.com
Hmmm I see my earlier reply never made it to print.
(1) The Wicca on Headstones thing. It's not about the government, it's about whether certain
military/support groups have to honour religions they don't believe in. Thus a Christian funded/headed
group doing headstones for Veterans might have issues having to pay and provide for minority religions that they don't understand.
Check your sources, the "Veterans Administration" that administers
MIlitary graveyards and pensions now allows pentagrams on Wiccan
military vets grave markers.
Post by m***@hotmail.com
(2) government petition. Has nothing to do with the way government decisions are made at state or
federal levels. However it does give the government departments excellent feedback on how to control the population.
(3) Dunno about wrong side of bed. It's been that way as long as I can remember her. How dare
you think or comment out of turn plebian. We should all bow to those keyboard warriors and witches
who have nothing better to day than "research" minor irrelevant items on the 'net.
Look up "Procrusties" and the Procrustian bed of convention especially
in response to your # 2 and your opinions in #3.
Post by m***@hotmail.com
(4) Nice to see you JL, keeping well I hope.
Status quo but... who are you? i have to admit your name does not
immediately seem familiar.

PS if you really want to see how stuff is run, join
Post by m***@hotmail.com
the Freemasons, get on some committees with people who are movers, shakers and directors of
big business, law firms, and government. Or better still, don't 'cause it's truly depressing!
Nature instructs us, "how things work" isn't exactly rocket science,
"nature, red in tooth and claw."
--
JL
mist
2011-10-08 21:12:59 UTC
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who first brought up "nature red in tooth and claw" on ARWM.

And no nature doesn't instruct us. Nature exists, its up to us to instruct ourselves (via adaption). That however would require subscription to a nature based philosophical solution. Revealed religions consider "nature" to be a perfectly flawed work of Divine origin, with their convenient "manual" - thus to them the manual is perfect and teaches, and the responsibility would then lie with us to learning that teaching, not the natural one.
Amusingly enough some modern redefining of "science"/"scientific examination" say things are scientific if tested-observed (per normal natural system) or are from testimony (eg "papers") which conform to current opinions and rules (ie fit the "manual"). Even more amusing is many modern science-types who like the latter approach (ie work in theory and paper) reject any form of observation/testing which doesn't fit their philosophies and definitions as set out in their "perfect manual". (and given they work from testimonial briefs....)

As for who I am? You could Google-fu the NG and look for "mist"

As for the Vets Assoc. Yes indeed they do. Now. It was an issue. Nice to hear it got sorted. Probably another 7 yrs before they do it again. But that's teh InterNtz nothing dies. They've been arguing about it for decades. Probably just waiting for the hardcore resistance to die off. They get it fixed for one guy, then years later it goes again. Same argument too: "He died for his country, so why not recognise his FIRST amendment rights" - "But it's my money and I want MY First amendment rights (not to pay for religions not my own - usually followed by "it's a Christian Country" and it all goes downhill from there. And government and courts can't intervene or even suggest due to the First Amendment. Support groups end up on side lines, either not wanting to offend their Christian members/donors - yet not wanting to be anti-American/violators of the First. So pretty much anyone weighing-in on either side with an opinion is already rolling in the mud of foolishness.
But as I said. That's the actual issue. Its not government related. Now its just the small idiots wanting power over others, and people with a idea that their written manuals are perfect.

As for Procrusties... in this case a matter of pots and kettles, possibly tempered in the same flames. But I did take a few moments to research your reference (are my failing memory).

And back to "how things work". I have training that includes marketing and engineering (and many other areas, as befits a bitch boy of Pallas Athene) and watching a bunch of Directors, CEO, MD's and major shareholders try to come up with plans is like watching a bunch of drunk whales plan a new mall. The only real skill they have is organising time wasting meetings. None of them seem to have any actual research or analysis skills, they all seem to love their leadership style (although they do try to work together! actually that's their saving grace) ... but they all seem to think the answers in their book - so all they need to do is come up with an idea that sounds great, and so therefore that will be "the best option". Actually learning about the problem or resources available takes too much time away from other meetings. (like the paper theory scientists; testing is "too inconvenient"). On another aside: its interesting how one could consider this to be "magical thinking" (in the formal definition of the term)! QED :)
m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-09 00:33:53 UTC
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And I'm pretty much on continuous moderation :( after having contributed to helping Tales getting himself removed.
m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-09 00:35:08 UTC
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Post by M. JL Esq.
However, should congress be able to set its own pay, benefits and
privileges?
Perhaps a constitutional amendment that puts any pay, benefits or
privilege to a vote of the people?
Well they themselves dont do the leg work (on pay/benefits/etc).
It gets kicked to committees and commissions to examine, the powers that sit, merely rubberstamp it. But the terms of guidance are influenced by the corridors of power, so it could be considered to be 'not unlike' the way the subconscious can shape the decisions of the conscious.
A normal situation is that "in sympathy" for a loss of power and mandate and seat will continue to have it's pay at the rate decided for the bigger/more important responsibilities. Then latter when the responsibilities increase, or environmental affects are considered (longer term, better experience, achievement of KPI) then the pay recommendation is ratcheted up. To recommend a downgrade (or grandstanding to the people by refusing the pay) is considered a act against the entire area/profession, and thus reflects poorly on the member who would take such inappropriate action. This results in a loss of face, and normally a united current against the offender.
M. JL Esq.
2011-10-09 07:35:33 UTC
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Post by m***@hotmail.com
Post by M. JL Esq.
However, should congress be able to set its own pay, benefits and
privileges?
Perhaps a constitutional amendment that puts any pay, benefits or
privilege to a vote of the people?
Well they themselves dont do the leg work (on pay/benefits/etc).
It gets kicked to committees and commissions to examine, the
powers that sit, merely rubberstamp it. But the terms of guidance


are influenced by the corridors of power, so it could be considered

to be 'not unlike' the way the subconscious can shape the decisions

of the conscious.


A normal situation is that "in sympathy" for a loss of power and

mandate and seat will continue to have it's pay at the rate decided

for the bigger/more important responsibilities. Then latter when the

responsibilities increase, or environmental affects are considered

(longer term, better experience, achievement of KPI) then the pay

recommendation is ratcheted up. To recommend a downgrade

(or grandstanding to the people by refusing the pay) is considered

a act against the entire area/profession, and thus reflects poorly

on the member who would take such inappropriate action.

This results in a loss of face, and normally a united current against
the offender.


Hunh!..or...what? labour precedes capital.
--
JL

m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-05 00:56:40 UTC
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Ahh I remember why I left these near-vacant shores now.

You speak as if you think this stuff has any importance to the real stakeholders.
It's just fluff and noise to distract people and to allow the real powers to gauge the wind.

Anyway back to real courts and business stuff. But always remember the US is a country run as "rule _by_ law" (not "of" re:Dicey)
m***@hotmail.com
2011-10-07 01:03:33 UTC
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Ahh there's the one that was missing.

The other points I didn't see addressed was which "religions" were they aiming at, and what criteria is required for a religion.

Particularly Wicca (the real one, not the US stuff by the same name, aka neo-wicca) is often called 'a spirituality' by practitioners of the Craft. And with good merit.
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