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Lesson from American Idol
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I enjoy watching American Idol. The outset of the season, of course, features some of bizarre and terrible auditions. Adding to the comical mix is the reaction of the three celebrity judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

Simon is an unpopular guy but I appreciate his candor. For the most part he's right on the money. Unlike Paula, who is not as discriminating and sugarcoats a lot, Simon doesn't flinch in telling someone the unvarnished truth.

We're amused that some who have no talent have the courage to audition. Yet, they go before the nation and make fools of themselves.

Some people have to know that they can't sing but want to be on TV anyway. Others probably believe in their heart that they can sing well but are truly deceived; and nobody in their lives has told them the truth. In many instances the horrible singer can't take the truthful verdict issued by the judges. Some of the spoiled brat varieties wig out, using obscenities in front of the camera and flipping off viewers. Alexis Cohen of Allentown, Pa., actually grabbed her rump ("If I could legally moon you, I would") to defy Simon Cowell. Others pout and cry as their dreams crash land.

This caused me to think, how can some people get that far offbase from reality? Is it because they wanted to believe what they wanted to believe and never fully sought out the truth? And that got me thinking .... if people could develop whacked out ideas about singing abilities, what about politics and religion? Could they be living an illusion of emotions and not logic?

Go no farther than the Berkeley City Council which just passed two resolutions attacking the Marine Corps, calling the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city."

They condemned the Marines on Jan. 29 as part of a campaign by anti-war activists to shut down a U.S. Marine Recruiting Center in Berzerkly. One of Berkeley's resolutions grants a parking spot in front of the Marine Recruiting Center to be used by anti-military activists to harass Marine recruiters.

Only in the land of freedom can you have officials who swore to uphold and defend the Constitution to actually put down a great American military institution that has defended the cause of American freedom. If it depended on Berkeley, we wouldn't have the Marines and would be speaking Japanese or German today. Has the Berkeley City Council forgotten that freedom must be defended? These sorry excuses for city officials should address some real issues in their city. Addressing any weed in a vacant lot would have been of greater purpose and value than attacking the Marines.

What about those who treat the issue of global warming as more than an unproved theory? They have adopted a concept of man destroying the environment as a religion of sorts. The same who call for man to end his polluting ways will jump in any car to go listen to a global warming seminar.

How about some American Idol truthfulness dished out to PETA (People for the Ethic Treatment of Animals)? That's the group that caterwauls about animals being equal to people; the group that would be elated if we all gave up eating meat. In my opinion - and apparently a concept backed up in Scripture - the animal was put on Earth by the creator to work for and feed man. A cow doesn't have the same rights the human does. It doesn't have the same thought process nor intelligence nor function of a person. It doesn't have the same value given by the creator. Really, PETA, it's okay to eat them.

On a local scale, can we offer Simon Cowell's brand of truthfulness to those who insist that a Wal-Mart Supercenter would destroy life in Ceres knows it? It's annoying to hear emotionalism trump facts. They apparently weren't around when Wal-Mart was proposed for Hatch Road in the early 1990s when people made wildly exaggerated claims that Wal-Mart would destroy Ceres' economy. None of it came to pass. Indeed, Ceres has more retail today than Ceres' pre-Wal-Mart days. Be honest, if you're singing the anti Supercenter song, then admit it's not because you really believe in free enterprise but probably due to your passions for labor unions. But don't stand there whistling this shreik that Wal-Mart, as a whole, is a violator of human rights for its workers. Spare me. Nobody is holding a gun to heads of workers and saying they have to work at Wal-Mart.

And can anyone tell me what value there is in granting marriages to gay couples? How would society benefit in that regard?

I have a feeling someone, somewhere is flipping me off or seething with obscenities. I've seen this behavior on American Idol.

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