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Need me some Otter advice.

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Need me some Otter advice.

Old 12-24-05, 02:35 AM
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Need me some Otter advice.

I am on the local school board. Was the president up until a month ago, and it is nice just to be a peon again.

The city is rocked with controversy. It is the Christmas vs. Holiday controversy. Here is the background. The school calendar changed from "Christmas Vacation" to "Winter Break" about 10 years ago. We got a new superindendant, and now people notice, and blame her. Big controversy. Having exposed to them that they are upset about something that is a decade old and they never noticed, they found a new cause. The calendar used to say "Christmas Concert" 2 years ago, and the supt. did actually change that to "winter concert." Naturally, this cannot be ignored.

That is the background. Lots of people making a fuss. Lots of letters to the editor. Now, there is a "town" meeting called by someone who wrote a letter to the editor for anyone who wants to discuss the issue. It invites the entire board, etc. I also got a personal invite. I am trying to decide whether or not to go.

It should be pointed out that none of the people involved have ever actually showed up to one of my meetings to discuss it. One person called the Supt. and she and I met with him and he went away happy (even hugged the supt. at the end of the meeting). One gal called me and I talked to her. She couldn't be made happy, but after she told me that Jesus was coming back within 10 years and I said, "Then what's the big deal?" it didn't get any better. One other guy threatened to sue the district to change the name back. I told him that was not the answer I expected to the question, "What Would Jesus Do?" So aside from these 3 people, no one has talked to me specifically to "talk to a board member." I got my pastor on the agenda for a meeting and he addressed the board and basically said he wants it changed back. He has zero support on the board because despite what he says, he hates public education. Pushes homeschooling. I have no problem with that, but it makes it hard for me to care much what he thinks of public education or what it should be doing.

Members of my church are the ones with their panties in the biggest knots. But they tend to be pretty crazy people. Very biblically based, which is why I chose them, but you only have to go down one pew to find someone who doesn't believe we landed on the moon, etc. Probably half of them believe the universe is less than 10,000 years old.

But the middle school principal is also a member, and he thinks it is a silly controversy. One of the Elders of the church that I spoke to also agrees. Another pastor in town called me to express support for me.

But we are in a levy year, and to me that is far more important than the name Christmas on a calendar. Especially because I attended some concerts, and they are Christmas Concerts. Same songs as always. Same everything.

Anyway, give me your advice, but temper it with the knowledge that I speak in public the same way I write on this forum and am very prone to pissing people off in tense situations because I make light of it.
Old 12-24-05, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Anyway, give me your advice, but temper it with the knowledge that I speak in public the same way I write on this forum and am very prone to pissing people off in tense situations because I make light of it.


Old 12-24-05, 04:08 AM
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I say loan the guy the money.

Last edited by AudioWizard; 12-24-05 at 04:11 AM.
Old 12-24-05, 04:23 AM
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This whole jesus thing sounds like a scam.
Old 12-24-05, 04:32 AM
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Tell them Happy RamaHanuKwanzMas. And be done with them.
Old 12-24-05, 04:33 AM
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A "Winter Break" should only apply to places that receive more than 6 feet of snow during the season.
Old 12-24-05, 06:19 AM
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Tell them a committee has been formed to study the issue, and will get back to them.

You aren't going to change the minds of the people who write lots of letters to the editor with LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS. Your goal is to please the more moderate people of the community. When the fruitcakes get their chance on the microphone, look politely interested, and take the mike away if they go over their time limit. Pretend you're on the city council.

Try to bring in a few ringers. You want articulate, persuasive people to go on record to say that nobody complained when the changes were made, the kids are happy either way, and no one has even looked at the deplorable state of the math books.

To wrap the meeting up, tell them that the football game is on, and that's more important than the Christmas vs. holiday debate.
Old 12-24-05, 08:21 AM
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You need to go in with a T-shirt that says "You Can't Kill a Man Born to Hang" on the front and "Fuck with me and I kill your dog" on the back. Turn appropriate side to each speaker.
Old 12-24-05, 08:23 AM
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Oooh, and I forgot, get a baseball cap that says "WWJD? He'd kick your ass."

Then you should have all bases covered.
Old 12-24-05, 08:50 AM
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You can't 'win' over the crazies. The best thing to do is to appeal to the moderates and make the crazies look like the fringe minority, which will weaken their position. Use the facts (little to no objections during the official meetings, which were advertised, etc), and then get a few level headed people to talk about the reasoning, and then shift into issues that are more pressing. Issues that involve taxes/costs/benefits to the school are a good area. It is hard to argue improvements to their kids' educations.

-p
Old 12-24-05, 09:21 AM
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Tell the people who are offended to take the pastor's advice and either home school or send them to private schools
Old 12-24-05, 09:43 AM
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"In the spirit of Christian tolerance and gentleness (cite appropriate scriptures here if you can do it with a striaght face) we changed the names to more open terms, in the hope of bringing unbelievers closer to God. Using the word "Christmas" to describe these public events was making them seem like a closed club for Christians only, and how can you reach the faithless if they don't come to your concert?"
Old 12-24-05, 09:50 AM
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"So all those presents you bought are for Jesus, right?"
Old 12-24-05, 09:59 AM
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Oh crap. The Seahawks are playing the Colts today. Avoid these people at all costs, and if you see them, don't mention that fact.

Last edited by Th0r S1mpson; 12-24-05 at 10:01 AM.
Old 12-24-05, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
A "Winter Break" should only apply to places that receive more than 6 feet of snow during the season.
The label "Winter Break" also implies that is for the entire winter.
Old 12-24-05, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
You can't 'win' over the crazies. The best thing to do is to appeal to the moderates and make the crazies look like the fringe minority, which will weaken their position. Use the facts (little to no objections during the official meetings, which were advertised, etc), and then get a few level headed people to talk about the reasoning, and then shift into issues that are more pressing. Issues that involve taxes/costs/benefits to the school are a good area. It is hard to argue improvements to their kids' educations.

-p
when are you running for office??
Old 12-24-05, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sash
The label "Winter Break" also implies that is for the entire winter.
You must have had long Spring breaks.
Old 12-24-05, 11:58 AM
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This is the stupidest shit ever.

Stupider than pushing an ammendment to ban flag-burning, or disallow gay marriage. Stupider than the whole Terry Schiavo "culture of life" debacle. Stupider than the whole "intelligent design" facade. Stupider even than the whole "persecution of Christianity" mixed in with the "left-wing homosexual agenda" nonsense.

If I say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", it's because I have respect for the beliefs and practices of the person I am talking to. I personally celebrate Christmas -- but if someone else is celebrating Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or Divali, or whatever, that's fine with me. Insisting that everyone say "Merry Christmas" is as ignorant as always saying "good morning" whether or not it's 9 o'clock at night.

Calling it the "winter concert" simply recognizes the reality of our American life -- we are a mix of different cultures, different faiths and different faiths, and that is exactly what makes us the greatest country on earth. Way to stand up to these people, Dave.

(Oh, and one last point -- many of the same people who believe they are on the frontline of the whole "war on Christmas" are the same people who want to "put the Christ back in Christmas". They get incensed when a local government pulls out the nativity scene from the town square -- but then they want to ban any and all references to Santa Claus and the "secular" part of Christmas.)
Old 12-24-05, 12:09 PM
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There is no winning with Christians, that's for sure. At an adult Sunday school class they were talking about how they needed to get prayer back in school. I told them I agreed, and we should let the Methodists come up with the prayer. Suddenly they didn't think it was a great idea anymore because they look at Methodists as very liberal.

Okay, thanks so far. Part of the question is whether or not I should even attend. This is not a meeting called by the school, but called by the crazies. I don't have the ability to limit what anyone says, how long they speak etc. This meeting is put together by the crazies. If I don't go, though, it will get out. The paper will undoubtedly be there and they will have a field day if no one from the school shows up.
Old 12-24-05, 12:26 PM
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Don't attend. No one else will. By giving attention to the nuts, you've only validated them. The "media frenzy" will die down by December 26.

And if you think someone has to go, why you? Why not the president of the board?
Old 12-24-05, 12:28 PM
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As hard as it is to believe, I will piss them off less than the current board chair.
Old 12-24-05, 12:30 PM
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Along the lines Mrs. Danger suggested, remind them that they are supposed to "render unto Caesar the things that are etc.," and that even the hellbound heathens have a right to the public schools.

Or you can hit them with the Stephen Colbert point -- holiday comes from the Old English word "haligdaeg," meaning Holy day. I guess these people who don't want you to say "Happy Holidays" have something against holiness. Well, we know what God thinks of people who are against holiness, don't we.
Old 12-24-05, 12:34 PM
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Man, I hope the town Jew has 24-hour police protection.
Old 12-24-05, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemdog
Tell them Happy RamaHanuKwanzMas. And be done with them.
[sick twisted freak]Aaaah Yeeaah!![/sick twisted freak]
Old 12-24-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
By giving attention to the nuts, you've only validated them.
Validate this.

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