Home > San Luis Obispo High School > Dissection at SLO High

Dissection at SLO High

I sent this email to Stephanie Finucane, editorial page editor at the Tribune, in response to Tuesday’s editorial about what is happening at San Luis Obispo High with the dissection of dead cats in the classroom.

Dear Stephanie,

First, let me congratulate you on your recent promotion to Opinion Page editor and to thank you for the obvious time and effort you’ve devoted recently to putting local perspective back in the paper.

But I must confess that my jaw literally dropped this morning when I read your PETA/dissection editorial online and it left me wondering whether this was 2007 or 1957. With all due respect, I can’t believe that any legitimate newspaper took the editorial position you did this morning.

Stephanie, fifteen minutes of basic Internet research would reveal studies that show students who use computer simulations score higher than those who dissect. Schools also end up saving money. Organizations like the Humane Society of the United States have long called for a ban on any classroom dissection prior to university level.

I suspect you chose to make a knee-jerk reaction to PETA and I’m the first to admit that they often cross the line. However, I think they’re right this time in merely asking SLO High to explore other options. After all, if our schools aren’t open-minded to new ideas, what’s the point of education? So I guess I was hoping for a more receptive response from the Tribune, perhaps similar to Will Jones who has already said that perhaps the time has come to reconsider dissection.

Oh, and you suggest that we don’t know that it was students behind the prank with the cats? Really?

If you’re near a radio tonight at 5:05, please tune it to KVEC 920 AM and you’ll hear my conversation with a rep from the national office of PETA. Perhaps if you had had a similar conversation, today’s editorial would have struck a more hopeful note

Best,

Dave Congalton

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  1. Dr. Science
    June 12, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    A quote from Warren Baker from today’s Trib:

    ““The single most important thing we can do is to create a citizenry that can understand science and technology,” Baker said. “We’re at a crisis situation because we see stagnation and declining interest and enrollment in science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields. … If we don’t change, we will see a per capita decline in income.””

    If you simulate everything in life on a computer, kids will lose interest. We’re already watering down science in the name of safety (try to find a chemistry set in a toy store today…you can’t), and now we’re going to do it in the name of political correctness.

    As a SLO High grad who participated in cat dissection, and who went on to several degrees in science, I have many thoughts on this issue. I’m also an animal lover, and have two cats myself.

    Just consider the angle that if we take all of the excitement out of science, kids will lose interest. And that’s a shame.

    I’ll leave you with this article from Wired magazine.

    Think about it.

    http://tinyurl.com/rmzvs

  2. Anonymous
    June 12, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Perhaps the SLOHS could just get a human cadaver instead. I’m sure PETA & Dave would be fine with that.

  3. Marilyn
    June 12, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    There are two ways to look at this. In my view dissecting live animals is wrong. Killing animals for the purpose of dissecting them is also wrong.

    After animals are already dead of natural or other causes, though, I see nothing wrong with using their bodies for science the same way we use stem cells, human organ donations, and human cadavers.

    Human autopsies can also be part of the discussion here. After all, that is dissection for a useful purpose (finding the cause of death for scientific as well as legal and law enforcement reasons). I have seen a number of autopsies and they are very gruesome. Add to that the fact that the dead person’s life unfolds in front of you as the autopsy progresses and you get an idea of how that person lived.

    I guess my argument would be that animal dissection depends on the circumstances it was carried under.

  4. confused
    June 12, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    If the cats are “infidels” would be better to dissect first, then vest bomb,or vest bomb first and dissect later?

  5. Slo anatomy student
    June 13, 2007 at 12:57 am

    As a student at slo high i would be incredibly dissapointed to see cat disections leave the school. I was enrolled in anatomy at the time of the incident and the disections were one of the things that fueled my interest in this field. No computer simulation would have the same affect as actually being able to look into a cat and see structures quite similar to our own. I would be amazed to see someone (with no prior anatomy experience) look at a pancreas on a computer diagram and be able to locate it in a cat or human disection. From what our teachers have claimed, these cats died of natural causes and were not bread to be killed but i obviously can’t back that up with proof.

  6. Anonymous
    June 13, 2007 at 1:20 am

    1 – It has not been proven that it was a Senior Prank. That line of thinking came from the fact that each year the seniors DO usually come up with something, however we must keep in mind that Memorial Day Weekend the SLOHS property was used for the 24-hour marathon. There was an extra 500+ people on campus that weekend, why aren’t they put in the pool of suspects?
    2- When I spent my time at SLOHS I took Chemistry and Electronics so that I did not have to do the dissection. I did not want to put myself in that situation and there was other alternatives then as there are today.
    3- I am a pro at flight simulators and my son at age 14 was great at ‘car-based video games’ on the computer. Does that mean that he can have the keys to YOUR car while I fly you to Vegas for the weekend? BTW – I am legally color blind and lost my pilots license in 1979, but I can pass any flight test there is.

    I surely hope that the vet you take your pack of cats and dogs to has had some hands-on experience. Why do those “No, I’m not the pro at this, but I slept at a Holiday Inn” commercials keep playing in my mind?

  7. proud american
    June 13, 2007 at 2:44 am

    hezbullah mary writes likes she actually thinks someone cares what she says!

    A Christian will die for what they believe
    A muslim will kill for what they believe

    Think it through!

  8. billyd
    June 13, 2007 at 3:44 am

    when I was in junior high at luguna
    i had dention in MR hammelys science class. he made me dissect a cat I was told to take the brain out it took three cats to get it right. at the time it was cool but 20 plus years later when i hold one of my seven cats I think about it but I think for slo high its not bad the kids have a choice leave slohigh alone and for PETA you do good work but you cant hurt
    dead cat

  9. Anonymous
    June 13, 2007 at 3:56 am

    Would it be okay for SLOHS to just go down Santa Rosa to the animal shelter and dig the dead ones out of the trash can back there? I’m sure there are dozens out there eery week.

  10. Marilyn
    June 13, 2007 at 4:28 am

    The issue of breeding animals for dissection can best be addressed through the legislature. At this point in time it is still legal, just like breeding animals for slaughter is, many of them under horrible conditions.

    The law still has not recognized the rights of animals in the area of breeding for food or experimentation because they are not considered “pets,” a concept which implies ownership. Pets are property in our society.

    Maybe there will come a time when humans will stop thinking of animals as their “property.”

    Dissection is needed for the study of anatomy and diseases and surgeries. Simulations are not the same and all surgeons have to practice on the real thing whether animal or human.

    The issue is twofold: 1- the treatment of animals and 2- the fact that we kill them. We kill countless animals every year because we no longer want them and because we cannot take care of them. That is one real injustice that society has not tackled yet.

    Ultimately, all people who are concerned about animal rights and welfare should consider the following:

    1- Should animals be owned?

    2- Are there certain animals whose dissection is more acceptable than others?

    3- Where do animals bred for lab research fit in this?

    4- Where do animals bred for food and leather fit in all this?

    5- Is it acceptable do dissect an animal if that animal died of natural causes?

    6- Is it humane and acceptable to kill animals we can no longer take care of versus breeding and hunting them to kill them for the purpose of study? Is there really a moral difference?

    7- Do we need to be consistent in our treatment of different species of animals?

    I honestly think that no animals should be deliberately bred or killed for any reason (except food) and all animals who are no longer wanted should be placed in an “animal nursing home” to live out the rest of their lives while being taken care of. That is the only way to really advocate for animals consistently and honestly, but are we willing to pay of it?

  11. the ghost of christmas past
    June 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Whatever, Marilyn, whatever. I’ll make a compromise with you: how about we only eat dogs and pigs, since both are considered unclean in your Muslim faith? Is that okay? No, it’s not because I like steak…a lot. I work too damn hard at my job to have some weepy liberal whackjob try to tell me that we should anthropomorphize everything under the sun just so you feel morally good about yourself. If in any way, dissection better prepares our children to enter the real world with an accurate understanding of physiology and how their bodies work, maybe they will be smarter about taking better care of themselves.

  12. billyd
    June 14, 2007 at 4:34 am

    OUCH

  13. New Tone
    June 14, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    How about we use the PEOPLE executed by Hamas since they are going to be dead anyways. Marilyn, are you ready to condemn Hamas yet, or are they not terrorists still? Dave, how about a show about the brutality and war crimes by Hamas? Crickets.

    As Hamas drags them out one by one and killes them in the sand

  14. Thomas W
    June 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    It is always amazing to me the amount of hatred and malice these anonymous cowards can express towards one little woman. She must be surely more dangerous than anything else in their lives. I do not always agree with Marilyn’s views, especially her views concerning the middle east, specifically Israel and their surrounds, but I do not hate her nor do I take the time to personally attack and condemn her in such a venomous fashion.
    Are these anonymous cowards so threatened by one rather nice and relatively harmless woman that their only resort is to viciously attack her with every intellectual tool in their limited and ignorant fashion? Or perhaps their masculinity is threatened by a member of the “weaker sex” actually having an independent thought that disagrees with theirs.
    And besides, I thought we were talking about the use of animals in high school biology. I guess I was mistaken.

  15. Rich from Paso
    June 14, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Why is “hate” always the first term used to describe anyone that expresses disagreement with Marilyn? I don’t hate her; I do think that she is 180 degrees out of phase with reality when it comes to her religion, her country of origin and most of her views on everything else. In other words, I think she is deranged, but I don’t hate her for it. Furthermore, I take umbridge at the attacks at peoples’ perceived lack of masculinity solely because some folks choose not to put their names on thier posts and because she is a woman. I think that it is a weakness on the part of Marilyn’s defenders to use the same ad hominem attacks against supposed Marilyn “haters”. Could it be that people who disagree with her just have zero tolerance for her position? They could without actually hating her. You know, the same “lack of masculinity” coould be made against all her defenders in that you all lack the testicles to stand up and say what you really think about Marilyn instead of cowtowing to her and indugling her whacked out view of things… unless you really do think that America is the great evil pussbucket festering in the world, bringing death and destruction to everything we touch, as Marilyn does.

    I support her right to say what she says, but I do not support what she says at all. If responding to all the man-hating, America-hating, Isreali/Jew hating, terrorist supportive things Marilyn says is “hating” her, then I just you’re going to say I hate her no matter what I, or any other respondant, says to the contrary. So be it.

  16. New Tone
    June 14, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Tom, I fail to understand how I “hate” one little old woman as you put it? She has defended Hamas numerous times, condemned out troops, and said that the difference between terrorists and charity group depends on the point of view. I am just wondering in light of the article I referenced told how when Hamas took over a building, they dragged the defenders from the Fetah party out one by one and shot them in the heads. Can you say War Crimes? Where in the headlines? Where is the outrage from Pelosi, Clinton, and for that matter W Bush? Why doesn’t the UN call for Hamas’ trial and arrest? I can only wonder.

    I think you owe me an apology there Mr. Thomas W. I was just asking Marilyn where she stood on the issue she has commented whole segments of her appearances on. I need you to explain how this question is hateful?

    I wonder how come Dave will not cover this atrocity at all? If a US Troop does not follow some obscure religious custom or shoots a dead attacker, it is front page top of Dave’s show. If the enemy does it, well (the liberal says in their hearts) “that is just how they are…too much hate” (Reality–they theink they are animals that cannot be held to higher standards). Racists I believe.

  17. code jihad
    June 14, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Marilyn likes when she gets sympathy from Pelosi loving loons.
    Play em like a banjo Marilyn, its pretty funny to observe.

  18. Marilyn
    June 15, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Must be such a lonely and frightening place for some people out there, they can’t even stick to the topic and have to focus on the poster.

    Mr. New Tone, I do not have time to respond to every single question asked for rhetorical reasons. Also, you misquoted me on every account.

    Rich, I don’t want to discuss anything with you and that is my right just like you think it is ok to verbally abuse women. Admit it, you and your cheerleading cowardly anonymous entourage revel in the fact that you pick on women from the Middle East who dare disagree with you on some things.

    How did a topic addressing animal dissection end up focusing on verbal abuse against me. If any of you tough guys think that is an acceptable way of behavior, you wonder why your ilk are resented in the Middle East?

    What a bunch of losers!

    Thanks for the effort Tom, but don’t waste your time. Leopards do not change their spots. Some people cannot handle disagreement and they despise women so much, especially women with an opinion, their whole reason for existence is thrown on its head.

    I hope many of the bloggers here do get a sense of what women have to put up with, and I am not talking only about the Middle East.

    Have you noticed that there are rarely any women posters here? I don’t blame them for not coming back. The difference with me is that I have been through so much in real life, the comments of losers really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. I have more important things to worry about and do.

    Dave, I would really consider trying to find ways to encourage more women to blog here. I have a feeling that this blog is being hijacked by a minority of stalking trolls to the point that even those who have something worthwhile and informative to offer are staying away.

    Some bloggers use it as a tactic to detract from real conversation and tie up everyone with personal attacks. They do it for two main reasons: 1- to negate the importance of the issue being discussed or 2- because they have nothing intelligent or mindful to say; they do not know how to behave like decent human beings. It is a fact seen in many other blogs. Some admins are pretty strict about what they allow to get through.

    I have deleted most comments on my blog, the ones that called me towel head and sand nigger and cunt. I am suspecting they came from posters on this blog, and from one person in particular.

    But that is cowardly unmanly behavior that is exhibited by people who have neither compassion nor shame.

    Let’s abuse the people of the Middle East some more, shall we!

  19. peta
    June 15, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Hamas is kicking some serious ass!

  20. Paul
    June 15, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Marilyn might be the sweetest person in the world, but she talks like a loon. If she was a male blogger spouting the same drivel she’d get the same treatment if not worse. How much respect does Dagna get? Talk about some one being attacked. He deserves it and so does Marilyn. What, you’re not supposed to say she’s talking crazy because she a woman? Screw that!
    This post diverted from the topic when she posted the seven stupid questions adding to an already legendary reputation for being completely unhinged.
    Should animals be owned?! Are you out of your friggin skull? It’s hard to even know where to begin answering a question like that, especially if you know you’re talking to a wall.
    I’m really sorry that idiots go at her with racial and sexist terms but you can’t expect idiots to be anything but idiots. But she says and posts things that are completely beyond the pale herself so she can’t go hiding behind her gender when things get heated.
    BTW stalking means something specific and it’s illegal, please don’t cheapen the suffering of others by making the word mean less than it does.
    Animal nursing home?!!! O man, I need to stop now and kick a puppy or something.

  21. Marilyn
    June 15, 2007 at 1:33 am

    So Paul because I posted something YOU disagreed with, that makes it ok to attack?

    What is wrong with raising the 7 questions? Look at the other stupid comments on this thread. Of all the stupid and asinine comments made on this topic, how many posters were attacked for their comments besides me? Look at every response and see how many sexist and racially laden and abusive comments there are. If you think that is acceptable, I feel sorry for you.

    Let’s face it Paul, you ARE part of the problem that contributes to the verbal abuse on this blog that is leveled at some posters.

    You don’t have to like what people say but if you are not adult enough to distinguish between discussion and personal attack, you have no business discussing anything.

    What is wrong with asking the question if animals should be owned or not? Did I commit a crime or hurt anyone by asking the question?

    You sound just as “unhinged” to me as I sound to you.

  22. Marilyn
    June 15, 2007 at 1:48 am

    Jerry Dagna got a taste of his own medicine and now he is back for revenge. Please let’s not even go there right now.

    It is amazing how abusive people become incensed when they are called in on their abuse and they cry victim.

    This is the last thing I am going to say on this.

  23. tim in morro bay
    June 15, 2007 at 2:19 am

    DAGNA HAS BEEN TOSSED FROM THIS BLOG MARILYN. DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND!!!!!!

  24. Anonymous
    June 15, 2007 at 3:06 am

    hezbollah mary…tsk tsk tsk…you say this blog is a bunch of losers…yet where so you spend your time? hahaha
    You just can’t stand that men hate and ignore angry repressed drama queens! You wonder why men marry younger women…It;s because life hasn;t tainted their spirit with the poison of resentment and lonliness.
    You bring repesct to no gender or sect or religeon, nor nation.
    You are lost in a great country you hate, surrounded by men seeking younger gentler women. Your anger at all around you, including the tax hand that feeds you is proof that this life has past you by, and you are bitter.
    Middle eastern women will never be respected in this country…nor will your men folk as you both sit blindly on the sidelines while innocent children and many millions of lives are wasted as you all try to figure which sect of your twisted perverted religeon is the most holy.
    As goes your race so goes your life. Lonley, lost, with no hope.

    Don’t be bitter or angry if the rest of us get at the business of protecting the helpless, and bringing democracy to to the barren lands your used to call home.

  25. Anonymous
    June 15, 2007 at 3:07 am

    This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

    lol! so what else is new? Any comment that calls marilyn and her cohorts to the carpet get deleted!

    best blog in slo? hardly

  26. Paul
    June 15, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Tom, she stopped being a harmless little woman when you gave her a forum on your radio program to spout her racist, bigoted views of the world.
    Mouse- grow up or own up. But quit squeaking out the daglish, you sound like a twelve year old.

  27. Bob from San Luis
    June 15, 2007 at 6:42 am

    Paul said…
    Tom, she stopped being a harmless little woman when you gave her a forum on your radio program to spout her racist, bigoted views of the world.

    …. and she is different from Rush, Sean, Bill, et all, exactly how? Oh yeah, she is not white, not male, and not born in America. She is different(gasp!), so she must be what, evil? Jeez.

    Rich from Paso said…
    Why is “hate” always the first term used to describe anyone that expresses disagreement with Marilyn?

    Kind of sounds like how anyone who dares to express their difference of opinion on President Bush is immediately labeled a Bush hater by those who support the president. I have defended Marilyn before, but I don’t feel she needs defending. I am willing to let her express herself here with a little more latitude based on her life experiences; she was born in the middle east, lived there a good part of her life, and has experienced and witnessed things we will never understand. One thing I do believe that she says is when she talks about our government has caused many problems in the world by supporting brutal dictators, apparently nonstop since WWII.
    It is almost funny how the “fur” starts to fly around here, going off topic when the occasion to attack someone you don’t agree with presents itself.
    All three of my kids went to SLO High, and all three took another class rather than participate in the cat dissection. If someone really wants to get into medicine and can stomach doing a dissection, and the cats provided weren’t killed specifically for the purpose of the dissection, I don’t see any real harm. I do just wonder how you can certify that all the cats had not been killed for the purpose of dissection.

  28. Anonymous
    June 15, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    seems like the libs and muslim terrorists here share one thing in common with the democraticly held congress and senate…

    The lowest approval ratings in a decade!

    Let’s disect that!

  29. New Tone
    June 15, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Marilyn, How could you say that I misrepresented you when to have specifically defended Hezbolla and Hamas? Here is the direct quotes from your ramblings back in March where you say that really, there is no difference between the US and Al Queda. Oh, and where you state you are not Muslim but believe in no God like Karl Marx. Someday, I bet you will believe in God.

    Marilyn:

    By the way, I do not subscribe to any religion. I agree with Karl Marx in that area.

    The problem with “good” and “evil,” including our president’s own labeling of three countries specifically as such (the Axis of Evil) is that the whole nation is vilified, including defenseless people. Such religious and cultural paradigms encourage the killing of civilians and make it “palatable” to do so.

    I really see no difference between what Bush and his administration are doing and what the religious extremists in the Middle East are doing. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other religious extremists have always been behind land grabbing and killing. Look at the history of the United States, the land theft in the Middle East and the 9-11 massacre.

    I think all organized religion should be eradicated as an acknowledged way of being anyway. It is easily corruptible by those in power and their stupid followers with the herd mentality. Faith is what is important. Action is worth more than a thousand words.

    And, I do not consider myself a “peace activist.”

    How does the saying go? DOCTOR, HEAL THYSELF.

    End Marilyn.

    Now, what do you think about the executions of the Fatah defenders of the building? Was it a war crime to execute them? This is not an attack, but a question that you, having so much experience that I can’t ever hope to understand, should be able to enlighten us about. Thank you so much there blogger person Marilyn.

  30. New Tone
    June 15, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, I just re-read the comments and was struck by how Marilyn has such hatred to those who subscribe to any belief in God. I believe she used the word “Stupid” and “herd” mentality and said that it was easily corrupted. Sounds like the UN to me.

  31. Thomas W
    June 15, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Dear Rich and New Tone;
    Perhaps you do not understand to whom I had addressed my epistle. It was specifically aimed at anonymous writers. My theory is that if you cannot identify yourself then perhaps you should not be blogging. If what you say is so venomous then you need to rethink what you’re writing. And since I was not writing to you Mr. New Tone, I do not understand why I need to apologize to you. At no time was I talking to you. I am sorry that you misunderstood my remarks and since you were not the target of my diatribe I fail to perceive wherein an apology is in order.
    T

  32. New Tone
    June 15, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    OK Tom, I thought you were addressing me specifically since I was right before your post and I was commenting on the blog person known as Marilyn. No apology needed. As you can see, I had a legitimate question for the person Marilyn.

  33. billyd
    June 16, 2007 at 3:48 am

    to tom and all bloggers the word anonymous is a joke in were who is new tone who is dr.sciense who is bob who is rob who is marilyn.
    I know a lot of bobs richs I think
    if you cant put a name on it that makes peps mad so all in all if this blogg was just for peps who signed in there would be tom marilyn dave and bob and rich and it would still be the same

  34. Osos Phill
    June 16, 2007 at 6:06 am

    I believe that doing anything with these cats it sick. I think that we need to have simulated computer programs that kids can learn as much from. This so much cheapens life. I am very disturbed by the archaic use of real live animals probably strangled by a white male before placed in a freezer bag and sent to the rich white kids of SLO High.

    I am so tired of these attacks on those of us that actually have the ability to write well and back out positions with facts. I am almost to say that I am a gay man, and really find it pleasurable to browse the intelligent remarks. I find is so so sad and disturbing to see such dumb ass comments by those brainwashed fools who blindly follow the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Such a bigot!

    Rush Limbaugh. Didn’t he get caught with a Viagra Pill when coming back from the Dominican Republic? I think Dave said that it is known as a center for underage sex! Scandal! Oh my! I wonder if that is why Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are building a huge house there on the beach? Bill will surely enjoy that! Hey, who wouldn’t!

    All take care and you haters on the right can see I can go both ways, left and right. Go ahead, be hateful, I dare you!

  35. Anonymous
    June 16, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Is it “osos phill”? or…
    “Osos Phull”? Phull of bull!
    Just another repressed homosexual in slo county, which is known throughout the states has a gay & lesbian community. What do you expect when the vast majority of the jobs are tax supported jobs?

    Relax all you gay libs. Rich or not, the main stream folks in slo county (white, straight, moral, conservative) expect an education for their children. This dissection of cats is far better than killing them by the thousands at shelters and throwing them into large pits!
    Let’s use the by-products of our narcisistic ignorance to educate rather than fertilize weeds!

    We have far too many dogs & cats and we spend way too much attention, money and energy on them. If you have a pet fine..but I would rather save babies vaccumed from their mother’s wombs at 8 months old than to worry about some cat!
    tsk! tsk! tsk! How far we come from a compasionate society! We want to save animals by the truck loads while we kill 4400 babies a day. I guess all life, other than human life, is prescious to a lib.

    If you have so much spare time why not do something about that group that lectured in the Boulder schools, at a manatory assembly, talking about using illegal drugs while having unprotected sex! Yes! It’s true! and they were invited back next year as well.

    get your heads out of you buddies ass and take a long look at what’s really destroying our America! When you do…a few cats dissected will fade into the very very distant past!

    over react if you must…Just think it through first before you make a fool of yourself here.

    Cats or human babies? The choice is yours. Which will you work to save?

  36. Paul
    June 16, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Hey Bob,
    That was quite the jump in logic, did you hurt yourself? Would you like an aspirin?
    People’s life experience may give them a unique perspective, but it doesn’t necessarily make them wise or correct. I feel a lot more compelled to address Marylin than Rush or Sean because I feel like she is a part of my neighborhood and I have a greater responsibility toward that.
    Besides, I listen to Rome.
    You know, you guys broke the white guilt button a long time ago, it doesn’t work anymore. Make something else up.

  37. Dave Congalton
    June 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Jerry Dagna has not been tossed from this blog. I just saw him a few weeks ago in Phoenix and he was on my show earlier this month.

    He’s doing fine, but decided to back away from the blog and take a breath, good advice for all of us.

  38. Brett
    June 17, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    “Jerry Dagna has not been tossed from this blog. I just saw him a few weeks ago in Phoenix and he was on my show earlier this month.

    He’s doing fine, but decided to back away from the blog and take a breath, good advice for all of us.”

    Or he is too chickensh__t to post using name. Put a few of the recent posts I’ve read in CAPS and I don’t think I’d recognize the difference between Jerry and Anonymous.

  39. Fred from AG's daughter in San Diego
    June 18, 2007 at 1:48 am

    I went to SLO High and took anatomy, which included dissecting cats. Sure it was stomach turning when you started, but once you got into the animal and started doing labs, the experience was invaluable in a way that I don’t think mere simulation would have given me. It is the CORE project in the course. It influenced many of my classmates who thought they wanted to be doctors, but found this path wasn’t for them and vice versa. I was much more disturbed by our field trip to Poly to see a cadaver. Let’s not politically correct ourselves out of providing the best possible education for students.

  40. Anonymous
    June 18, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Marilyn,

    I admit that America is not perfect. Tyrants and populists such as Castro and Chavez in the neighborhood and Iran’s Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-II on the other side of the world call America the Big Bad Bully. In a way, to be name-called by “world leaders” like these fellows is a Compliment. But, when those who owe their very life to the American “Bully” vilify America and Americans, a response is definitely in order, since remaining silent is often taken as conceding to the accusations.

    Quote:
    ——————————————————————————–

    “Were I a Kerry voter, though, I’d feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, sister-marryin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-lothin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport ownin’ red-necks, who believe God gave America the biggest [male sex organ] in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land ‘free and strong.’”
    ——————————————————————————–

    And this “tribute” comes to us courtesy of our trans-Atlantic “friends.” If this is what our “friends” say about us, then it is understandable that a whole slew of our ill-wishers trip over one another to vilify us. Many French, for one, never seem to miss an opportunity to berate and betray us. The Russians are just too happy to do all they can to pain us, in a perverse way of trying to cover their own misery. And of course the Islamists and the mullahs portray America as a brain-dead Great Satan tool of Zionism.

    To make matters worse, a vociferous clique of local leftists with a suicide wish are doing all they can to take the country with them to the grave they so earnestly seek. These self-appointed squatters of the higher-ground, on both sides of the Atlantic , are riding so high on their high horse that they are blind to the realities down on earth.

    It is a fact that the spiteful Europeans are mired up to their eyeballs in problems that hold every promise of spelling their doom before very long. Instead of focusing on solving their own problems, many Europeans place them at America ’s doorstep. These “wise” Europeans find it their high calling to lecture and deride us at every opportunity.

    To understand what is going on, we need to take a quick look at some of the quirks of the human mind. Venting, blaming, and loathing provide mental relief, at a price. Venting can be a relatively harmless way of expressing frustration, a get-it-off-your-chest exercise, the kind of thing people do with friends, at a bar or on a psychotherapist’s couch, for instance.

    Yet, when it comes to blaming and loathing, the picture changes considerably. It is common for people to blame themselves, deservedly or not, for their problems. It is also not uncommon for people to actually loath themselves. In extreme cases, the self-loather may destroy his own life. Therefore, loathing is a dangerous energy that must find expression. It is by far safer for the person to discharge his loathing venom on others, particularly at others who are not likely to retaliate.

    America has become a safe and convenient target for both the calculating as well as the mindless loather.

    Why America ? Because America is big enough, powerful enough, successful enough to be envied by every large and small, also-ran and failed individual and nation.

    If you are a mercenary journalist who is paid by the word to boost circulation, you had better pick on somebody big enough for your story to fly. You can’t pick on Bangladesh or Haiti . People would laugh you out of town if you do, long before the publisher gets around to firing you.

    Another reason is that saying and writing nice things is not provocative, gets no one’s attention and is unlikely to get published. If you want to be heard, you need to say nasty things, as nasty as you can and preferably against the biggest target that you can attack and get away with it.

    Furthermore, by being venomous you become the voice for the frustrated, resentful and envious. A few words to our European friends are in order.

    Your leftist gadflies deride America ’s way of life while extolling the virtues of your present political and social model. They claim that your model is the wave of the glorious future and it will be adopted by the rest of the world. Strangely enough, ordinary Europeans don’t seem to think so. Demographic trends show that most Europeans don’t even believe in the European ideal in sufficient numbers to want to pass it on to the next generation. According to the European Commission, the average birth rate for the European Union as a whole is now 1.4 children per woman, which is well below the 2.1 replacement rate. According to Germany ‘s Federal Statistics Office, more people died in that country in 2005 than were born.

    Not only is Europe declining in number, it is aging as well. According to the US Census Bureau, Europe in 2000 had the highest percentage of people aged 65 and older in the world, and this figure is set to double by 2050. Who is going to work and pay for all the entitlement programs you have become accustomed to?

    Economists forecast that European budget deficits will skyrocket as governments strain to reconcile declining tax bases with millions of elderly people who force up spending on pensions, health care, and other services.

    Politically, Europe is not much better off. Der Spiegel, a leftist German magazine, recently made the following observation:

    ” Europe has become a continent of political crises with governments in Italy , France , Britain and Poland all suffering from paralysis or a lack of voter approval. Is the continent about to abandon its integration project and return to the old era of national rivalry?”

    Question: Weren’t these “sister-marryin’”, “gun-totin,’” “red-necks” Americans who, not too long ago, left their “sisters-wives” behind, picked up their guns and came over and saved you from the Nazis? Weren’t there tens of thousands of these same fellows who never made it back home? Did these “foreigner-despisin’” Americans, by tens of thousands, leave their limbs in the trenches of Europe out of contempt for foreigners?

    The people you call “moronic muppets” must have earned this designation not only for not demanding war reparations, but for generously giving Europe billions of dollars to help it get back on its feet. In your ethos, generosity of heart is considered moronic?

    No sooner were the Nazis defeated, than the Soviets Communists annexed some of the continent and prepared to swallow the rest. Again, it was this “military-lovin’” American nation that paid the lion’s share of the bill to defend you against the Soviets’ menace while you greedily made money and provided a comfortable life for yourselves under the shield of the American forces.

    Sadly enough, dear Europeans, you are victims of your own delusions. America is not the Big Bad Bully. The really Terrible Bully is Islamism, and it’s right in your midst eroding your social and political fabric bit-by-bit. You don’t need to fantasize about your future. Your future is already playing out in the Islamic lands.

    Dear gadfly European, to check out your future, you only need to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, for instance, which is one of the most civilized countries that fell to the sword of the Islamists. While you are there, see for yourself how Iran is quivering under the stone-age rules of Sharia. Attend a public hanging, not an uncommon event.

    The man’s crime, you may ask?

    Homosexuality, you are told.

    Try hoisting a poster demanding gay rights or play a Elton John CD and see what happens. If you do, you run the risk of being hanged right there and then as another homosexual. The seriously “gay-lothin’” are the Islamists. They are the very same people who are busily laying the groundwork to perform similar barbaric spectacles in your cities and towns before very long. That’s your future as more and more Islamists invade your countries and supplant human rights with Islamic Sharia.

    Although I wish you the best of luck, I fear that this time around America can’t help you. You are on your own. Say whatever you like about America , while your voice is not yet stilled. Regrettably, your slurs about America seem like the last words of an ungrateful doomed people.

  41. Marilyn
    June 19, 2007 at 2:26 am

    To the last Anonymous,

    Firstly, I never ever called any American or non-American any names. All those quotes you included have nothing to do with me or the way I feel. So to put them here when I question our approach to foreign policy in the last 30 years is really irrelevant. It only show your opinion not mine. There are a number of “gay” themes in your examples and that seems to be important to you. That theme is irrelevant when it comes to discussing our foreign and domestic policies, except when the rights of people are violated because of their gender or sexual orientation or preference. That preference is none of anyone’s business as long as consenting adults are the only participants.

    I lived in Europe. I did not see anything spiteful about Europeans. There is no such thing as a spiteful nation. There are spiteful people and individuals, but your issue with the Europeans probably stems from an inability to understand the historical circumstances and politics. Europeans had empires until recently and they faced the same issues that face all empires. Now it is our turn. We are still young at this, but we will learn one day.

    There are many people who “hate” the United States, including many Americans. There are also many people who hate other countries all over the world. I lived in another country in another time and I questioned the actions and inactions of the government and the different groups in that country too. That did not mean I hated it. People who “hate” their country do not take the risk of trying to change it despite the opposition and potential risk for their safety. I would argue that those are the people who truly love their country. If they did not really care, they would not be putting an effort into trying to change it. Maybe a logical examination of the way we view our relationship with our “country” is in order.

    It seems you are implying that because the US at some point in history did come to some people’s rescue it somehow should prevent us from trying to change the things we deem unfavorable and destructive. That is the best example of blind patriotism and the herd mentality. Herds never govern themselves but allow their selves to be led by strong emotions that do not necessarily have a basis in reality. Those emotions are played upon by the herders who try to keep everyone ignorant.

    We live and die for concepts that really mean nothing in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. Flag worshiping, anthem singing, verbally troop aggrandizing (versus troop understanding and compassion), contempt of other nations deemed beneath us, hollow patriotism, deifying the state in its theoretical form while usurping its people for the benefit of the few, and intolerance, are not an indication of love for one’s country. A country is nothing without the people who live within it.

    We can claim we support the troops all we like and send them gift bags and parade them up and down Main Street on their way to war or the first day they come back. But if we forget about them through neglect of their long range problems, lying about why they were sent to war, denying that they have concerns related to a war most of them feel is wrong, we are not really supporting them at all.

    Most civilized societies rally around the weakest and less privileged amongst them. The measure of a true democracy is not in saying that we have free speech while condemning and vilifying the people who are exercising the free speech. The measure of a true democracy is its willingness to hold on to the principles it deems important despite the challenges it faces.

    Herds never accomplish anything. It is through the greatest dissenters in history that human civilization has progressed. Were it not for Aristotle, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, and their like, all persecuted by their own people because they advocated for the poor, the disenfranchised, for true equal rights among classes and genders and between those who govern and are governed, and for exercising the right to think for their own, we would not have progressed morally. They were among the people who inspired the founders of this nation to come up with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But there are many more ordinary Buddhas and Aristotles who live among us and they leave their mark on us through their actions. They are true leaders in the historical and practical sense because leaders lead by example, not by the rule of law or force . There are many leaders among us and they can be your next-door neighbor, the homeless guy down the street, or the man across the ocean who lives his life the way he believes it should be lived. It does not matter that he wears a turban and rides a camel. He is still a human being who faces the same dilemmas you face and asks the same questions you do. He loves his “country” just as much as you love yours and he does not care if his president or king is the biggest oppressor on Earth. His allegiance is to his people, not his king.

    America did not save me from the Nazis. I was not even born then.

    I owe nothing to America or any other country. What I do owe a lot to are the people who, despite the hardships they face and despite their disagreements with me, continue to be decent human beings and continue to be there for me. A country is nothing without its people. A democracy that is based on lies is a non-functional democracy. A democracy where 80% of the people are non-participants is no democracy. A democracy whose citizens have no understanding of history and who are only looking out for number one is no democracy. Democracies and capitalism are not the same either.

    You can take the flag and the country any time, but give me the people and I will go anywhere for them.

  42. Elizabeth
    June 19, 2007 at 3:31 am

    Marilyn blogs,

    “I owe nothing to America or any other country.”

    Clear as can be Marilyn, great point. That’s why I like when Dave and Tom defend you.

  43. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 4:20 am

    marilyn is a woman without a country…
    Only bitterness, lonliness, anger, and resentment for any political structure period.
    Maybe that’s what being raised as a muslim woman does to you.
    Sad eh? To live that way…off the public tax support system?
    I suggest you pick up a rifle and stand a post! Otherwise…shut the hell up!

  44. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 4:35 am

    marilyn are reading from a book DISSECTION of your words

  45. Marilyn
    June 19, 2007 at 4:43 am

    Hey last anonymous,

    All the bitterness is coming from people like you who have to interject off topic issues to bash others. I ask again, what has your diatribe about me and Muslims got to do with dissecting cats?

    Hey from your comment: “…..resentment for any political structure period” is an indication that your comments are purely racist. The fact is, you really don’t care what beliefs I hold because no matter what they are, you will continue to be abusive. You really have no grasp of what I was trying to say because you really have no grasp of the Constitution. Hatred and bitterness are the motivators, not understanding.

    Must be the bitter soldier or wannabe soldier in you talking. Don’t take it out on me. Take it out on those who put you in that position in the first place. And I have stood in front of loaded rifles more times than you can think. So, don’t even go there with that one. You really know nothing about me and you are really clueless, so butt out.

    What is this obsession with “living off the tax support system.” Hey buddy, all employees who get a paycheck really do. You do too. I probably pay more taxes than you do, so I am not living off anybody. I save lives on a daily basis. What positive things have you done recently for your fellow human beings?

    I wonder why I even bother.

    Bye.

  46. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    why bother??
    Don’t!
    We’d all be happier!

    as for standing in front of loaded rifles…Given your country of origin that doesn’t surprize me or anyone else.

    Cindy “drama queen/attention whore” shehan quit he cause…take a hint!

  47. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Marilyn,

    I was reported today that Iran just hang three more gays today.

    Are you okay with this?

  48. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Sharia Law,

    If you hate gays, women and anybody who dose not belive the way you do, its the best thing since sliced bread. You just kill them.

  49. Anonymous
    June 19, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Boy, I sure love Sharia Law!!!

    Sir Salman Rushdie celebrates his 60th birthday today in familiar circumstances: he is once again the subject of death threats across the Islamic world.

    Eighteen years after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill him, a government minister in Pakistan said yesterday that Rushdie’s recent knighthood justified suicide bombing.

    Hardliners in Iran revived calls for his murder yesterday. Mehdi Kuchakzadeh, a Tehran MP, declared: “Rushdie died the moment the late Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] issued the fatwa.”

    The Organisation to Commemorate Martyrs of the Muslim World, a fringe hardline group, offered a reward of $150,000 (£75,000) to any successful assassin.

    Forouz Rajaefar, the group’s secretary general, said: “The British and the supporters of the anti-Islam Salman Rushdie could rest assured that the writer’s nightmare will not end until the moment of his death and we will bestow kisses on the hands of whomsoever is able to execute this apostate.”

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