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Comments for: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012: The fiscal cliff, school restraints and ‘holiday’ trees

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  • Anonymous

    Susan Mendell, Christians don’t get to run everything anymore. We are and always have a nation of many faiths, it’s just that the other faiths no longer will be oppressed. The tree is a gift from the city of Bangor, to the people of the area, no mater their believes, and or faith.

  • Anonymous

    What’s ironic is that all we’ve been hearing from Republicans is the doom and gloom that’ll come from huge deficits. And yet, their Presidential candidate offered budget proposals that would have increased our debt even further AND now congressional Republicans are desperately seeking to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” What the fiscal cliff does is cut the deficit — it cuts spending and increases taxes back to the Clinton era rates. Now, ask yourself why the Republicans are trying to avoid cutting the deficit — could it be that they never cared about the debt all along and that this is all politics?

    • Anonymous

      So the Rs should offer a genuinely balanced budget and push for that?

      • Anonymous

        It’d be nice to have their walk line up with their talk.

  • Anonymous

    Dennis, The reason Clinton left a surplus was not the tax rates but the fact that government spending was only about 20% of GDP. Today it is 40% of GDP.
    Spending is the problem.

    • kcjonez

      The military budget was a little over $300 billion when Clinton left office. Now it is over $800 billion.
      http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1999_2017USb_13s1li111mcn_30t_30_Defense_Spending_Chart
      Military spending is a problem, yes. Wealth inequality is also a problem. It is past time for the Bush tax cuts to expire and to slash our military spending.

      • Anonymous

        The military budget pales in comparison with the Welfare budget. Get your facts straight.

        • kcjonez

          No, YOU get your facts straight!
          Unless of course you think 12% is greater than 24% in which case your facts are fine and your math needs attention.
          http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/piechart_2012_US_fed

          • Anonymous

            I suppose if you leave out the $848 billion spent on healthcare

          • kcjonez

            Oh, like the $100billion+ VA budget for instance. We should classify that as welfare, not military, eh?

          • Anonymous

            Oh its military all the same. IMO. But leave out healthcare from the HHS budget and you are not being accurate with your numbers.

          • kcjonez

            If you add the Medicare budget to the Welfare budget, then it is about equal to the military budget. Of course, most of Medicare is not welfare, it is part of the social contract. it was earned by our parents and grandparents for their lifes’ work.
            On the other hand, when you add the VA, most of the “intelligence” agencies and a good portion of State and Transportation and a sizable portion of healthcare and pensions to the military side of the budget where it belongs, then you come up with Smartenup’s War Resisters League numbers. With our now inflated military, all these entitlement numbers will be going up also.

            Bottom line–we can’t pay down the deficit without seriously shrinking the military.

          • Anonymous

            Yes when I want a good unbiased look at government numbers I contact the War Resisters league first
            I am not disagreeing basically but when we have doubled our spending as a percentage of GDP we are in real trouble and its on the spending side not the revenue side. All things need to be cut and drastically to be put into a position where the economy can grow. I don’t just mean cuts in the increase of spending these folks are talking about. I mean cut as in “don’t spend”.

        • Anonymous
          • Anonymous

            Well, no, that’s not true. See kcjonez’s pie chart. Military spending is 24% of the budget

        • Anonymous

          Let’s see, if we spend 100 billion in welfare payments to the poor, how much of that money is re-circulated back into the local economy?
          If we spend 100 billion into the industrial-military complex how much is recirculated into the local economy?
          If you cut the poor off from any aid, what will be the immediate result?

          • For the supposedly economic experts, many Republicans (though also many Democrats) fail on understanding of ROI.

          • Anonymous

            Yes it stuns me that people thing that Government spending provides an ROI.

          • Most of it does – if not directly, indirectly. Some has high ROI, some has low. High ROI would be something like infrastructure. Low ROI would be something like overseas wars/nation building projects.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry. My economics class taught me that a return on investment was a term used by business to determine a profit. Government by its nature does not turn a profit. It spends. That’s what it does. There is no “Profit.”

            The notion that government has an ROI is silly.

            Now its possible in the intervening years since I took that class the left has redefined ROI. In which case I shrug my shoulders and throw the term into a junk pile of words that once had meaning and no longer does.

          • I meant it quite literally. ROI – abbreviation – return on investment.

            I suppose some view it differently, though when I pay my taxes, I think of it in terms of an investment. Not only short term and long term – but whether this investment benefits me personally, or benefits the whole.

            Just because something doesn’t pay off the minute it’s spent, doesn’t mean it won’t in the long term. Education for example is a quality long term investment.

            Just because something doesn’t benefit me directly, doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit the whole. Infrastructure for example – repairing highways I never drive on seems a waste if looked at in a “does this help me?” perspective. Though if one looks at it in a “does this help us?” perspective, it certainly does.

            Save “the left” crap for someone else cheese. I support centric, mixed economic policies. I don’t believe in pure socialism, or pure capitalism and will adamantly go against anyone who proposes either.

          • Anonymous

            I guess we can agree to disagree. I favor good schools and bridges as much as the next guy, but when i watch governments call “spending” “investment” it makes me cringe.

          • If it’s not a good investment, it shouldn’t be spent. ;)

      • Anonymous

        We could use a good cut in the military budget, I agree, although it would have to be done slowly to avoid harming the economy. Entitlements (Social security, Medicare, medicaid account for more than half of the budget and are growing at unsustainable rates.
        I agree with cutting the military budget and letting the tax cuts expire, but that still avoids the elephant in the room. Without addressing entitlement spending and it’s growth rate, such a plan will only be a feel-good bandaid.

    • Anonymous

      When Clinton and the Democrats repealed the Reagan/Poppy Bush tax cuts for the very rich, the economy boomed and we ran surpluses.

      When Boy-Bush cut taxes for the very rich and waged his unpaid War of Lies in Iraq – the deficit ballooned.

      Are GOP Iraq War supporters willing to pay a surtax to pay for their stupid unnecessary war?

      No they are not – they all too willing to place that burden on Americans yet unborn.

      The GOP/Tea Party created the Fiscal Cliff and reduced our credit rating with their dumb default maneuver in 2011.

      They once again hold the nation’s economy hostage to protect millionaires and billionaires.

      Do not negotiate with fiscal terrorists.

      Yessah

      • Anonymous

        The fiscal cliff was a team effort. Brutal and economically crippling spending cuts (yes, this will guarantee a return to a deep recession) and a big fat tax hike for all (not just the rich). Basically mutually assured destruction to force Congress to do their job. Sadly, it seems they’d rather cripple the country than compromise.

        • Anonymous

          Wow, lots of thumbs down with no counter arguments…typical.

          Sadly, it is the poor and middle class that will ultimately suffer the most if sequestration occurs. The rich will lose a lot of money, but will be fine. All economists agree the “fiscal cliff” will result in recession, possibly a bad one. But not from the tax hikes, but the spending cuts!

    • Anonymous

      Sadly no one wants to look at reality. It’s much more comfortable to deny there is an entitlement/spending problem and wish that by just taxing the wealthy everything will be copacetic.

      • Anonymous

        And 10 people thumbs down your comment. Unbelievable. And scary…

    • Anonymous

      Yep, running two wars against 3rd world countries lasting 10 years is kind of expensive. Perhaps if we allow our National Guard to return to weekend warrior status, where they should be, and stop trying to drag nations into the 21st or even the 20th century, we could cut way back on that spending. Perhaps if we could cut Medicare part D costs by negotiating as a nation with the Pharma’s on the cost of meds, just like Canada and The EU, we could cut down on spending.
      Perhaps if we stop giving tax breaks to companies for advertisement expenses on products that aren’t manufactured here in this country, we could get more revenue flow back in this country.

      • Anonymous

        The idea in your last paragraph is actually a very good one. Europe doesn’t allow the US to price the cost of advertising into American produced drugs there. Why should we allow them to pass the cost on to us here. We end up subsidizing their drugs companies.

        The problem comes with the blowback. Trade agreements etc.
        But still a good idea.

        • Anonymous

          I was thinking more on the line of companies like Nike that claim they’re US companies but manufacture nothing here. They get to write off the 40 million a year they paid Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan not including all the other give aways they do which are write offs. These write offs are taxes that are on the books but so are the deductions. Now if Congress sets tax rates to meet expected costs of running the government based on what the actual income from taxes are.
          Maybe Romney would have eliminated these deductions but he never came out with what particular write offs he was talking about. In the mean time we have companies that have US name recognition that rely on the US market buying their products that don’t employ any people here to manufacture their so called US products.
          Sort of like have your cake and eating it too.

          • Anonymous

            Unless I am misunderstanding you advertising is always an expense. I advertise and its immediately considered an expense for taxes just as labor or utility costs telephone or any other cost of operating a business. It is booked on your tax return separately but so are a dozen or more other categories.
            Besides why would you want to put all those middle class employees in the advertising/media industries in the unemployment line. I thought the point was more middle class jobs?

          • Anonymous

            My point is that if we give some incentive to return manufacturing jobs to this country there will be more people making a living wage here. If the manufacturers wish to retain their deductions they merely have to use American labor to keep that deduction. They will still advertise to sell their product.

          • Anonymous

            I think we have different terms which are causing me problems. Advertising is not a deduction like a child is a deduction on your personal return. Advertising is an expense to the business considered the same as any other. There is no special treatment for it.

            It could get complicated really quickly if it were anything else. Free speech issues for one. Sit that aside and foreign companies with manufacturing in their own countries would be given a competitive advantage. Change the tax system for them and suddenly you have trade wars.

            I know you believe that companies would still advertise but I am of the opinion that the media industry would change dramatically and fewer jobs would be the result. Just my opinion.

            Now if we applied the same rules to foreign drug manufacturers here that are applied to American companies in say Europe
            we could come up with a lot of revenue. But that again is trade war stuff …. but worth considering.

          • Anonymous

            Have you seen the Toyota ads where they are boasting that more of their product line is made in the US than GM’s?
            Advertisement may be an expense but it is still written off, label it any way you want. It has nothing to do with the actual manufacturing of the product.
            Years ago when Michael Jordan was king and Nike was paying him 40 million in endorsement, it was reported that it cost Nike less than 10 million in labor to produce every product in their line. To me, I find that obscene.

          • Anonymous

            I understand your complaint about offshore companies causing lost jobs and we need to find ways to incentivize business to manufacture in the US. I am not sure punishment through tax laws is the way to go.

          • Anonymous

            I give them incentive to return manufacturing jobs every time I make a purchase. I buy American, or I don’t buy. Now that is incentive. If everyone had the same resolve, every factory in our area that was closed down would be reopened, practically overnight.

          • Anonymous

            So, my perpetual question. Are corporate donations to PACs and Super PACs considered “expenses” and therefore deductible?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think so. I know when my company makes a contribution it ends up on my income statement. (Of course when i buy a new piece of company equipment it does also.) My guess is that it is taxable and not an expense for the big guys also.

  • kcjonez

    Susan Mendell–Here is some very tame Christmas tree history if you can stand to have your narrow beliefs challenged.
    http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-christmas-trees

    If we really want to be traditional, we should call it a solstice tree.

  • Anonymous

    Susan Mendell: It is not a conspiracy. You are getting riled , it sounds, over something that is not happening. Call it a Christmas tree then, as many will continue to do. No one and nothing (including the government!) is going to stop you. It seems like you want to make something more of this than necessary. And then you tie it into the recent gay marriage vote. Yes, more and more people, are on the side of equality and also recognizing that we live in a very diverse country (one that will continue to get more and more diverse.) This seems to bother you. It must be difficult….or is it, that in your mind you are making it much more than it actually is.
    To many of us it is a good thing to acknowledge different faiths and religions (as after all, there is not just one, contrary to what some people seem to want to promote), and it is wonderful too to know that gay couples can marry here in Maine around the holidays. (or any time, as can other couples.) This will be good for businesses and the economy, but most of all it will be a happy day for these people. Hallelujah!
    Merry Christmas.

    • Anonymous

      Great answer! I’m not sure Ms Mandell will feel cheered or change her mind. LOL

      • Anonymous

        I doubt many of those letter writers to the editor read the comments here. Maybe some, but I doubt many.

        • jersey

          Susan and her husband are arcissists. I guaruntee they read and most likey post on their own articles. They are very sad and have made themsleves look ignorant in this case. The tree was actually banned by gov. Bradford as a pagan symbol. It became a part of christmas when the queen had a pic of her in front of one. It became a status symbol. But God is showing us these peoples ignorance daily. The world is watching.

  • jersey

    Susan Mendell the christmas tree is a pagan symbol. I am surprised that you are focussing on a tree as a symbol of the holiest day of the year instead of christ, church, good will and the greatest of these…love. but you will do anything for an argument. God bless and forgive you for your blasphemy.

  • Anonymous

    D. Lopez, T. Stephenson: good letters.

  • Anonymous

    Mr Lopez I for one hope they run this hot mess of a country right off the edge, full steam ahead,pedal to the metal ,all engines ahead and any other anachronisms that are relevant.

    • Anonymous

      Ya.
      There’s some hard lessons ahead for the liberal/progressive minds.

      Let the classes begin.

  • Cecil Gray

    With all due respect Sarah the paranoid delusions of the Tea party fruit cakes who control the GOP sent a day of shame right by Bob dole and his wheelchair. These extremists are crippling the Congress with their simple minded tangents that befuddle the decency implied in this treaty. Until these clowns are dismissed we will continue to live out the sad embarrassing fact that such people could have even attained a direct part in the ruling body of this republic. Jim DementED quit yesterday and that’s good but his vitriolic venom will seek to enlist the most extreme from his perch at the John Birch shadow known as the Heritage Foundation. Heritage of what I ask?

  • Anonymous

    Stephenson. I can hardly wait until the country wakes up and realizes what they have done. Just wait ’til the Bush tax cuts expire. You just wait! Also, former Gov. Baldacci only received 38% of the vote, so your LePage argument really is irrelevant. If you want communism, which it sounds like that is exactly what you want, you should try living in a communist country. You will mature and wake up, just wait. Hopefully you are not indoctrinating the young people. I am aware of the members of your school wearing diapers at protests outside of senators offices so they can keep protesting in defense of their socialist views.

    • Anonymous

      Wicked wild hyperbole. How do you really feel about that?

    • Anonymous

      I highly doubt that there is a truely communist nation in the world. There are however a fair number of dictatorships around the globe. Personally I don’t want to hand the radical right the power to form their dictatorship. I don’t want the radical left either.

    • Just wait until the Bush tax cuts expire…Obama’s deal would prevent them from expiring for approximately 98% of Americans – a very fair and reasonable compromise. Do you support it?

      If they are allowed to expire, don’t blame the “socialist”.

      • Anonymous

        I have been giving some thought to a Rand Paul suggestion. He says give the Democrats everything they want. Do not filibuster just vote “present” on every spending and tax bill that comes up. The Democrats will just eat it up… when the economy falls and unemployment rises the Dems will own the economy and the devastation it will cause.
        I would go further go ahead cut defense ignore entitlement spending. The Democrats and their euro socialist dream would be dead for generations. .

        • How very adult. This is a chance to compromise and for the GOP to show they aren’t just for the ultra-wealthy. Can they do it? There are some signs that they might concede.

          Many middle and lower class GOP are too numb it seems to see that what’s best for them is supporting the “socialist”‘s plan. I suppose it’s impossible for many of them to take their partisan hats off for a moment and think objectively about the matter.

          If one needs proof that the GOP are more interested in the country failing so they can blame it all on the Democrats, I guess one needs look no further than suggestions like this. Pathetic.

          • Anonymous

            What is the problem? Under that scenario you would get exactly what you wanted. Is there a problem with that?

            I find it interesting that you know whats best for other people.

          • Wrong. I don’t want a one party system (actually I’d like three.) Until then, I want two adult, moderate parties – that vie between center left and center right economic policy.

            I know unless the Republicans compromise, that everyones income taxes will go up. So, do you want that? Is that what is best for you?

            Do the “taxed enough already” people want a tax hike? Will they blame Obama or the Rand Paul types when this happens?

            I keep asking, but haven’t had one so-called “conservative” explain what exactly is so offensive about the President’s proposal, other than it comes from the President of course. The ultra-wealthy’s taxes are going up either way. Shouldn’t the GOP try to salvage everyone elses tax rates? Logic would dictate that yes, they should.

          • Anonymous

            I am a little confused by your post. Should the Democrats get what they want the fiscal cliff is a avoided… and the middle class gets to keep their Bush tax cut & the rich get the Obama tax increase. All things the Democrats want.

          • Perhaps I misinterpreted – you mentioned “every” spending and tax bill. I thought you were suggesting it was something beyond this single issue.

            So…do you agree with Rand? If not, why?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know. I was simply, as I said, considering it. It seems likely that the Democrats are going to get what they want anyway… The Democrats also like to spend what we don’t have and are likely not to want to cut as much as they should.

            Therefore it might make sense politically to step away from the economic mess that the Democrats are inevitably creating. When the time comes to take credit for the mess the Dems always say … well you voted for it too… This way the Republicans can say truthfully. It wasn’t us… You did it all by yourself remember?

            On the other side is the notion that maybe Republicans in some way can minimize the damage that will come.

            Things aren’t as good out here as the Dems would have you believe… There are some big taxes already in the pipeline that won’t hit til 2014… Then even Ultra Liberal Democrat Howard Dean said the other day that taxing the rich would not be enough… He said that the middle class would have to be taxed at a higher rate as well.

            Well you get what you ask for I suppose.

          • And if the Democrats are successful?

            The problem with the “present” approach is, when a R is back in the White House, the D’s will take the same approach. It’s a bad precedent. Instead of voting for it, but not (who does Rand think he’s fooling?), they should step up and say yes, this is the best approach for the short term and vote for it. If the Republicans want to win back the moderate vote, they’re going to have to show compromise.

            I’m sure Dean is right – what Obama is proposing is not much more than a band aid – though it would cushion the fall a bit AND it is, whether they’ll admit it or not, an attempt at compromise with the GOP. I’m sure Dean’s advocating to let all the Bush tax cuts expire.

          • Anonymous

            ?? I’m confused. Are you suggesting that you WANT the Republicans to push back and filibuster? Or that the Democrats need a counter to protect themselves from themselves?

          • I want them to fight when it makes sense and compromise when it makes sense. I want them to look out for the best interest of Americans, not just stick to a strict ideological playbook.

          • Anonymous

            Well, that’s a nice thought, but it’s not going to happen. Both sides have been acting like children for years.

            BUT, if the Republicans go the Rand Paul route, then I see it as a huge opportunity for Democrats to show their approach is correct. They just need to make sure their own internal special interests don’t sink the ship…

          • Anonymous

            I agree and just as big an opportunity to show they are incorrect. Government can’t raise taxes and increase spending be 40% of the economy support 50% of the population and do well. It doesn’t make common sense. But if that’s what they want more power to ’em.
            It will stuff the Progressives back in the closet for another 80 years.

        • Guest

          Ridiculous. Just like M. McConnell the other day when he filibustered his own proposal.

          • Anonymous

            You would get everything that you wanted. You mean you don’t want tax increases?

  • Anonymous

    Merry Christmas, Mrs. Mendell!

    I’m getting ♥ civil marriage ♥ for XMas this year! What is Santa bringing you— sour grapes?

    I believe it was your husband Don who so vocally opposed treating all Maine families equally under Maine law, appearing in deceptive commercials both in 2009 and 2012. 53% of Mainers are glad the lies didn’t work this time around!

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations on your hard won marriage.

    • Anonymous

      Great comments. (and yes, she sure sounds like one of those “sour grapes” types.)

      Congratulations.

  • Anonymous

    Miss Mendell, Christmas wasn’t celebrated until a few hundred years after Jesus died.

    • Anonymous

      Lest your forget, Christmas has been celebrated throughout our nation’s history. The decorated tree has been and continues to be a symbol of Christianity. Attempts to change this symbol into something it is not is a denial of our past heritage. It sounds to me some people are bent on negating our heritage for political ends. They’re a relatively small minority, albeit a very politically well-placed and powerful one residing in our Universities, media outlets, and entertainment industry that are trying to transform the culture into an atheistic one. This is reminiscent of China and the old Soviet Empire where tens of millions of people perished on account of their faith. If there is any doubt about this comparison just observe how militant atheists have become. The Occupy movement is just one example of many.

      • Anonymous

        Whawell, you need to read up on the history of Christmas trees. They have always been symbolic of the tradition of gifting during the season, never a symbol of Christianity.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, the Christmas tree is associated with gift giving. But it’s also a religious symbol people are trying to tear down for political reasons. Before this nation was born the tree represented both the Trinity and the tree of life in Genesis. Until recently it was never referred to as a holiday tree in lieu of “Christmas tree”. Check out the following reference for a brief history:

          Christian Beginnings of the Christmas
          http://www.christmastreehistory.net/christian

      • Anonymous

        Merry Christmas, whargarbl!

        I’m getting ♥ civil marriage ♥ for XMas, what is Santa bringing you? Another year of perpetual outrage for your fevered ego?

      • Tedlick Badkey

        Lest you forget, the holiday and the tree predate our nation by a very, very long time.

        Keep your traditions should you choose… but others will follow theirs or make new ones.

        Have a Merry Christmas whawell… I’m getting married for Christmas. What are you getting?

        • Anonymous

          I’m using the opportunity to give to the poor as Christ would have me. Furthermore I am urging my children and grandchildren to do the same. There’s so much joy in giving. I hope you have this same sense of sharing. Merry Christmas.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            I don’t wait for Christmas…

            I give all year ’round… there should be no season for such things.

      • Anonymous

        I thought the Cross was the symbol of Christianity???

        • Anonymous

          It is. But it’s awfully good fun for “Christians” to fight about trees during the Christmas season. It keeps their tiny little minds from having to think about Christmas as a season of renewal, and love and joy.

      • Anonymous

        What a sad little world you live in.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, to you and many posters my world must be very sad. Not to me however. To you it must mean giving up everything. And because things really mean so much to you, parting from them is difficult and even unthinkable.

          My experience has been this: I looked for happiness over a period of many years, even in things. The satisfaction derived from things of this world proved to be only temporary and unsatisfying. Then someone came along and pointed the way to Christ. At first I was like most unbelievers, skeptical. When I finally surrendered, I came to know Christ and the deep joy of knowing Him. That, this Christmas, is my hope and prayer for all of you, particularly those who are alienated from him or have never known his love.

          • Anonymous

            You are wrong, once again. We are not materialistic at all at this home. We like “simple ” things like gardening, animals. So your bringing up “things”shows that you hardly ever know what you are talking about.
            We are always so appalled at many of these fundamentalist and other church leaders who live a flashy, materialistic lifestyle. Such blatant hypocrisy. They are full of shiny words, but don’t back it up.
            We are also very familiar with some church leaders who are genuine and live their lives in a worthy way.

          • Anonymous

            When I refer to “things of this world” I mean both tangible and intangible ones not of spiritual nature.

            As to those “fundamentalist(s) and other church leaders who live a flashy, materialistic lifestyle”, I can’t speak for them. God will be their judge. I can only attest to my own life, which was transformed for the better on account of Christ.

      • Anonymous

        It was appropriated from the Druids…… actually the whole season was. To persuade them to convert. Jesus was not born in December. He is a Pisces.

        • Anonymous

          Is the Anti-Christ a Capricorn then?

        • Anonymous

          Americans did not follow the exact traditions of the Druids even though some of their Christian symbols were borrowed from their culture. Also, I don’t know of any church that claims Jesus was born on December 25th. Actually no one knows for sure, and it’s really not that important. What is important is that God himself took a human nature like ours to show us the way to eternal salvation. That is why we celebrate his coming into our world on Christmas day, a day designated as his “birthday”. My stepdad was born in a leap year on February 29th. Outside of leap year, we celebrated his birthday on February 28th each year, not the exact anniversary of his birth. Like each and every member of the family, there was a special day in the calendar year designated to celebrate his life.

      • Anonymous

        The “Christmas tree” is a pagan symbol adopted by the church when they co-opted the traditional pagan solstice celebration and called it Christmas. Its use in solstice celebrations pre-dates the birth of Christ in the spring (when shepherds would have been watching their flocks by night as it was lambing season). Start celebrating the birth of Christ in the proper spring season. You owe him that respect.

        • Anonymous

          You are right. Many pagan symbols were adopted by Christians except for their meanings. From the founding of this nation these Christian symbols flourished to this day. It’s a part of who we are as a nation that is now beginning to reject Christianity and God in favor of another god called self.

          I often wonder why so many people today take offense at nativity scenes and Christmas trees. Is it because they do not want to be reminded of their lack of faith? Why some even react with outright hostility. That was my reaction at one time when I walked in my own path oblivious to the Creator who loved me. Strangely, even faithful Jews who are not Christians take no offense at Christian symbols.

      • Anonymous

        The Christmas tree custom was brought here by German immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries and caught on with the rest of the nation after that. And the Pilgrims probably didn’t celebrate Christmas to any extent.

        • Anonymous

          Actually the custom of having a Christmas tree started to take root in America in the 1750’s, before the founding date of this country. By the mid 1850’s the tradition was very well established here in the U.S. It has been a tradition since with most Americans.
          http://www.christmastreehistory.net/christian

      • Anonymous

        If you read U Mass. Prof. Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Struggle Over Christmas that appeared about ten years ago and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, you’d learn that America’s supposedly centuries-long celebration of Christmas dates only to the 19th century.

  • Anonymous

    One can only assume that the annual December screeching about anti-Christians denying ‘real’ Christians the opportunity to celebrate their Christmas lends excitement to what must be exceedingly dull lives.

    Joke: How do you tell “real” Christians from other people? Other people are buying gifts, decorating trees, planning family get togethers, singing carols, going to midnight mass, eating a feast at grandma’s, opening gifts and sharing the season with each other. “Real” Christians are fighting over what to call decorated trees and sulking because SSM is a reality.

  • Tedlick Badkey

    Mrs. Mendell,

    Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

  • Anonymous

    Mabe it is time for the Republicans to just give in to the Democrats and when the economy goes totally to S**t the Democrats have no one to blame but them selvesOnly problem with that plan is that it will either take a century to fix the problem or a violent revolution, which honestly is why the progressives want to take all private ownership of firearms away from the people of the US.

    • Anonymous

      What if ………… Republicans did “just give in to the Democrats” and instead of the economy going completely to hell the economy grew and prospered?

      And that folks is exactly what the Republicans are afraid of. LMAO

      • Anonymous

        No fugging chance of that happening.
        It hasnt happened anytime in human history. Nothing to laugh about.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus never put up a “Christmas” tree. It was named inappropriately from the start. Think it had to do with appeasing the Druids who did decorate trees at Winter Solstice. In fact, it is suggested that the Christmas we celebrate was nowhere near Jesus’ birthday. So holiday tree seems just fine with me.

  • Anonymous

    Toby Stephenson – get over the captain thing. There is no gravitas associated with “Captain – College of the Atlantic”. Steering a dinghy like the Indigo while carrying breathless human ecology majors is just boat-driving. It’s like the Island Explorer bus drivers calling themselves “captains”.

  • Anonymous

    I’m guessing Ms Mandell and other ‘real’ Christians are equally distraught that President Obama’s has acknowledged that this season is also Hanukkah and sent good wishes to Jews all over the world.

    “Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world.This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.

    Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.”

    • Anonymous

      Oh, noes. The President said, “holiday season”.

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