As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
In any case, pay attention to your antivirus software and make sure it's updated all the time. And do a complete system scan at least once a week. It never hurts to make sure.
However, there are certain topics that I try to stay out of, particularly politics and religion. As the old saying goes, opinions (in politics or religion) are like a certain part of your anatomy: "everyone has one". It's really not worth the aggravation to get into an argument on those subjects.
I remember the "good old days" when my friends and I had waged "holy wars" in the debate of the merits between Unix and VMS. This was just about computer operating systems and had a limited scope of logical reasoning. Unlike technical and scientific discussion, opinions in politics and religion are subject to emotional states of mind that can lead off in random unrelated areas, where logic, reasoning, and facts are not allowed to intrude upon the merits of one's arguments. I find it very hard to debate someone on a logical level when they fight from an emotional point of view.
Our founding fathers, the signers of the Constitution of the United States, recognized that we're not going to all always agree on anything (if ever) and wanted to make sure that everyone was allowed to stick in their two cents which explains the first Amendment of the Constitution. After having their religious beliefs dictated to them from the Church of England, they also wanted to make sure that the rule of law was not determined by the religion of the people in the government since it was obvious that any group of people will have differing points of view regarding religion.
A quick, though not particularly studious, glance at the Constitution gives me the idea that the founding fathers remembered all the restrictions that their former sovereign had placed on them (see the Declaration of Independence). While I'm not sure if this was their explicit goal, they understood the potential tyranny of Government and took steps to declare, preserve, and protect every American citizen's right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". To this end, I see a pattern in the Amendments to the US Constitution. (the document, not the ship). This document (when viewed in conjunction with the Declaration of Independence) was intended to prevent the Government from infringing upon the rights of the people; it was intended to stop the government from withholding the ability to do the right thing for *all* of its citizens and this was the basis of the original Bill of Rights. Minority rights were just as important as majority rights.
Some of the debate these days on modifying the US Constitution rests on the fact that many of the laws that some politicians want to pass really can't pass constitutional muster so they want to modify the Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, to fit their ideological needs as opposed to what's truly right. The rest of us must be vigilant against giving these politicians an easy way out, that is, allowing (any) politicians to inflict their ideological agenda upon us without a national debate, a national examination of their political motives, and a definitive measure of whom it's going to hurt. To most Americans, the Constitution is our most sacred document and we must think carefully before making any changes. Any changes should be aimed at benefiting all Americans and not used to restrict the rights of a particular class of citizens. While times change, as do points of view, the people who founded this country might have known what they were doing.
P.S.: While the above editorial may imply that I have a opinion on a certain subject of concern to all Americans right now, this is not necessarily so. I don't have a public opinion that I care to share with you on that subject (because it would get into that rather no-win us-versus-them discussion of politics and religion). The comments above can be applied to past issues, present controversies, and future issues, and pertain only to the morality of changing the most important document in this country. The little issues are usually used to disguise the big picture.
Subject: A few year's worth of opinions of swing dancing
Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for all the great tips (the above subject should clue you in to what I'm talking about :)
I think the article should be required reading by beginners, and it should be obligatory reading once every year after that. Just to remind us about what's important.
I realize that I have a tendency to teach on the social floor. I'd convinced myself that I did it in a manner that wasn't hurtful, but I realize that this is a lie. I read your article about 1,5 years ago, and I'm really glad I read it again today.
The "Less is More" tips is also something I should write down :)
Greetings from Norway,
[name withheld by webmaster for no reason at all]
Thanks for taking the time to write in.