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Are These Our Rights As Americans? You Decide — Part I

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My Fellow Americans,

I want to do a little experiment with you. I feel America has lost its way. I feel we have strayed from the value system that helped define this country at its inception. We have neglected the teachings of the Founding Fathers so much, in my opinion, that this country would be virtually unrecognizable to them.

To that end, would you recognize the country as it is today back in November or December of 2008? Because I know I sure would not. This is not the America I know and love. And if the Tea Party movement that has swept through the country since April 2009 is any indication, many of you out there would agree with me.

President Barack Obama and his administration can keep their “change.” America does not need change. We need to return to our roots. We need to return to the principles that made this country a beacon of light for so many people. Our ancestors came here for a reason — to escape persecution and be free.

What is sad is many of us have forgotten why America is so great. Our perception of reality has become so twisted that we do not even know what our basic rights are. The same rights that are “endowed by our Creator,” not granted to us by a government bureaucrat.

We need to remember who we are, America. That is why over the next several weeks I want to talk to you about your rights. I want to remind you of the rights recognized by The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Each week, I will post about one right and state my case for that right. Then, I will get out of your way. I want you to tell us why or why not you believe that right is essential.

I believe this exercise will be enlightening. It will allow for an exchange of rational ideas and rational debate. It should also tell us how far off course we are from the early days of this country and what the Founders intended – and how we can get back there once again. My hope is we can get to a general consensus one way or the other.

Right #1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

I combined the “Establishment Clause” and the “Free Exercise Clause” because they are so closely related.

I have to agree with this one. I believe it is essential for the government not to endorse or promote one religion over another. I also agree that people should have the right to practice any religion of their choice. In my opinion, both are vital aspects of a free nation.

However, I have often struggled with the Establishment Clause. It is not that I am retracting my earlier statement, it is just I am a bit biased because I am Christian. I don’t like the fact that the Ten Commandments have been removed from court houses or that prayers are prohibited in public schools.

What I have come to realize is that the Ten Commandments are not necessarily just a set of rules from one religion’s God, but a fundamental value system for life. When you read the Commandments, are there not at least seven of them you should live by? Leave out the ones about God and the Sabbath. What about “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not steal?” Can’t we agree that maybe the criminals in the court house about to be sentenced for first-degree murder or grand theft auto could have used those rules?

As for prayer, I think anybody that wants to join in a morning prayer should be able to do so. Don’t take it out because of political correctness. Just allow each student to pray to their religion’s God. There should be time set aside for it.

At the end of the day, people should be allowed to have their own spiritual times — without any government interference. The government should not be involved in something that personal. The only reason to do so would be to control you.

Now, I want to know what you think. I have stated my case. I am in favor of this right and believe it is essential.

Do you think this right is important? Would you consider it an essential right? Why or why not?

These are your rights at the end of the day, America. It is up to us to make sure we remember that and do not let them be taken away.

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About TheRefoundingFather

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Senator Brown from Montana,

    I can help you find you’re way again.

    Please text Haiti to 90999 so that ten of you’re dollars will go directly to the Red Cross. They are digging men, women and little children from the rubble as you write at you’re desk.

    thank you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    What is it with you Americans and longing for the past? Did it ever occur to you that maybe the “good ol’ days” weren’t all that good to everyone and that progress and change are inevitabilities in this world?

    This basic concept of needing to return to your “roots” is outdated and sluggish. It is solely responsible for America’s consistent slide into mediocrity and financial ruin.

    What you need as a country is legitimate progress, production, compassion, and tolerance for that fearful “Other” you’re always crowing about. Living by dead documents is a sign of regression and, yes, the Founding Fathers meant for America to be a land of progress, leadership and strength.

    It’s just too bad that so many Americans are spitting on this ideals by attempting to apply them across the board on a nation that is expanding culturally and morally by the second.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Yes, as Americans sink deeper and deeper into the disease of consumerism, this man speechifies!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Jordan,

    I am glad that you are commenting on his thread.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Senator,

    Before the earthquake there were two and a half physicians for every twenty thousand Haitians…no infra-structure whatsoever!

    Is this the America you are invisioning?

    We go back to only white male landowners being allowed to vote?

    We go back to slavery, so you’re wife will not get her nails chipped doing housework or her breasts ruined from feeding her children?

    You own it all?

    My God, all your voters should read this article…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Please Text The word HAITI to 90999 and send ten dollars to the International Red Cross. The money will go to help dig out the living and dead from the rubble, give urgent medical care to the wounded, and feed the starving people.

  • Arch Consevrative

    What is it with you Americans and longing for the past? Did it ever occur to you that maybe the “good ol’ days” weren’t all that good to everyone and that progress and change are inevitabilities in this world?

    In 1913, prior to the creation of the federal reserve we were the largest creditor nation on earth. Nearly 100 years later after the FED, the New Deal and a buttload of social welfare policy, we are the largest debtor nation in the world.

    People used to read, and eat dinner as a family, and spend time with each other.

    Today we watch TV, eat fast food, and sit at the computer all day long.

    To be sure there were black marks from our history which have been rectified such as slavery, civil rights and the way women were viewed.

    But I feel sorry for anyone that can’t see what lazy, shallow, self-centered, materialistic, group think, bunch of whiny crybabies we have become as a nation.

    Jordan is the typical leftist. Claiming that because the Constitution is old it is no longer relevant. he’d prefer we just tear it up and let the uber liberals have their way with this nation. He’s the type that claims change for the sake of change is a good thing….as long as those who are in charge share his views.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Please Text The word HAITI to 90999 and send ten dollars to the International Red Cross. The money will go to help dig out the living and dead from the rubble, give urgent medical care to the wounded, and feed the starving people.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “To be sure there were black marks from our history which have been rectified such as slavery, civil rights and the way women were viewed.”

    You’re quite right, Archie, but don’t forget that none of those things have been won in the struggle and against bitter resistance.

    And so you happen to think, Archie, that we have arrived. Well, may I suggest that the struggle goes on.

    So I shall return thus to Jordan’s quote:

    “. . . the Founding Fathers meant for America to be a land of progress, leadership and strength.”

    Returning to “our roots” is therefore a form of regression, Archie, because by your own admission, we have already progressed beyond the original conception. So why stop now, Archie. Why not develop, what Jordan calls,
    “legitimate progress, production, compassion, and tolerance for that fearful ‘Other'”?

    We should be championing this fight rather than serve as a major obstacle.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I hope dad’s reading this thread.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    . . . without the struggle and without bitter resistance

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    we would all fold like sheep!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    see you all tonight..

  • Arch Consevrative

    Roger…..Jordan pretty much used a blanket to say that therw was nothing good from our past. I at least attempted to acknowledge that there was good and bad in our history.

    Are you ready to tear up the Constitution Roger? Jordan is…..

    Do you think society is better off now than 100 years ago? Look around you……….we’re a nation full of morons glued to our tvs. We do what we’re told when we’re told. We sit idly by while our so called elected leaders and and their corporate counterparts rob us blind. This is progress?

    You speak of change as if any change just for the sake of change is the right thing to do.

    Ever heard this one Roger…….

    if it ain’t broke. don’t fix it.

    Perhaps you think there is nothing from our past worth returning to…….

    I disagree.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I ain’t looking to the past, Archie, only to the future. Which isn’t to say we should ignore the past.

    But then again, by your own admission, “we’re a nation full of morons glued to our tvs . . . [etcetera],” since this is not progress but a kind of retardation, there is something needing fixing, ain’t that so?

    Of course, you’d like to argue its the direct result of our increasingly “nanny government.” My suggestion is that’s it’s deeper-rooted, indicative of a systemic problem.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    Yes, America used to be the greatest creditor nation in the world. And after we paid off the monstrous debt of WWII (by using 90%+ tax rates on the richest Americans), our level of debt stayed pretty stable through Democratic AND Republican administrations…

    …until Reagan came along.

    “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” THAT, sir, is from Dick Cheney. Clinton tried to make things better and handed over a surplus to Bush 43…and we all see what happened then. Obama got handed the worst economic mess since the Depression, and he did exactly what all the other presidents did to get us out of recession – by stimulus spending.

    But will you learn the lessons of history? No, you won’t, because you cannot conceive that maybe, just maybe liberal policies are better for America…never mind that living standards are better in blue states by almost EVERY measure despite the fact that blue states (unlike red states) generally use fewer federal tax dollars than they pay out.

    EVERY claim in that last sentence is provable, Arch. But be sure to ignore it, now, because you must protect your pride! You mustn’t let yourself see that America generally does better under Democratic administrations, that blue states are generally better off than red states! No, REFUSE to see the truth! REFUSE to see through the hypocrisy of the Rabid Right!

    Keep those blinders on, Arch! Why? Because those blinders are all that stand between your present political philosophy and reality!

  • http://therefoundingfather.blogspot.com THE REFOUNDING FATHER

    All:

    I first want to say thanks so much for all of your comments. I love the debate.

    May I ask that you please stay true to the subject of the article?

    In this case, it’s the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution.

    How do you feel about these rights? Do you feel they are essential? Why or why not?

    May God Bless the victims in Haiti and their families.

    Thank you,

    THE REFOUNDING FATHER

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    We are free to comment as we see fit.

    as long as we do not attack you..I learned last year that I cannot control what people say in my thread.

    You will learn if you stay.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Please Text The word HAITI to 90999 and send ten dollars to the International Red Cross. The money will go to help dig out the living and dead from the rubble, give urgent medical care to the wounded, and feed the starving people.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Don’t let my poor sentence structure fool you.

    What I lack in primary education, I make up for in INTELLECT.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jeannie, we all care about Haiti, but please stop spamming the threads about it.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Apparently we don’t, Dave. Kenn Jacobine chooses to use this situation as an occasion to make political point.

    Consequently, I don’t think Jeannie’s reminders are spam. They are appeals to our conscience. Nothing wrong with that, and I don’t see why you should object.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I don’t think Jeannie’s reminders are spam.”

    If she is doing it more than once on an article, particularly one that isn’t about Haiti, it is

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Considering lots of nonsense posted on BC threads, I’m willing to live with it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Are you ready to tear up the Constitution Roger? Jordan is…..

    You finally understood one of the concepts I was talking about, Archie. Congrats!

    The rest of what you said, about having nothing good in your history, was not at all what I said.

  • Jordan Richardson

    He’s the type that claims change for the sake of change is a good thing

    I’m the type who claims progression is better than regression in a world with inevitable changes. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” line that you yourself tout is obviously off-kilter considering your incessant criticism of your country.

    You’re so hilariously ironic that I think my e-sides are splitting, dude.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Considering you post lots of nonsense on BC threads, that’s not surprising

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Yes, you are right Dave, this is almost spam now…

    Sigh….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s for you to say, ElB, and for others to find out.

    It’s interesting, though, your remarks are still restricted to sniping.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Sure, let’s stick to the topic at hand…

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Let’s look at the totality of the First Amendment and not just at the religion clause. That being said, every American should have the right to practice their individual religion so long as it does not infringe upon the rights and personal safety of a fellow citizen. No American should be coerced or threatened into becoming a member of a religion. And, finally, religious institutions, in order to preserve their right to grow and practice, must be bound by the same tax code as every citizen, regardless of societal status.

    While Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or the press, the government is bound to create laws which protect the safety of its citizens while free speech and press are practiced. That means no shouting “fire” in a crowded room. The problem with the “free press” concept is that the framers really had no clue how the media would evolve. The so-called “free press” we have today is held hostage by advertisers and publishers with a fiscal agenda and no ties to journalism. In my mind the switch from broadcast media to cable and digital only serves to suppress the freedom of the press further. The airwaves were owned by the people. Now they’re no longer being used to any great extent. Instead we get our information from a wire, owned by a corporation, from a news network owned in some cases by the same corporation. While “freedom of the press” is a noble right, there ain’t no such thing in the United States.

    …or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…

    Sure, we can march. The problem is that most of us are so disengaged or disenfranchised by our political process that we’ve lost the drive to protest. In Europe, when people get pissed off they strike. Even the protests we see today are all financed by the same corporations who own the wires and the news caster. Respectful, peaceful protests are a thing of the past replaced by grand scale production numbers strewn across news broadcasts as a way to fill time gaps, drive up ratings and collect the ad revenues.

    I’d like to see a million people surround the Capitol, hand in hand, holding members of Congress at bay within the Rotunda while keeping out the special interests. Unfortunately, that’ll never happen.

    …and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    To me, this is the most important phrase in the First Amendment and it is the one we hold with the least regard.

    Carry on.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Get real, TRF and Arch,

    Then lead directly to what we have now. The values and the design are flawed. Fact: We got here from there.

    If you design a system based on personal greed, what do you expect? Some people will respond with attempts to correct the deficit left using govt power. Thus, the ‘Silent Spring’ Rachel Carson recognized was coming, was a direct result of the flawed design. Same with the Great Depression, New Deal. Problems with the system and reactions to those problems.

    People don’t agree with Libertarians. The Founding Failures are dead. I see that as a good thing. Minimally it is heartening that people have conscience, even if they don’t yet recognize that there are better alternatives to govt control.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave pops in, just to boss Jeannie around. Some ‘Libertarian’.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I love you, Cindy. Even as I swim entangled in the seaweed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “People don’t agree with Libertarians. The Founding Failures are dead.”

    Likewise with an age of Dave.

    Hurray, Cindy!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    lol, poor Silas. I adore you my little starry eye fellow.

    correction to above: ‘Then’ led (not lead) directly to what we have now.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yay Roger, Silas, Jordan, Jeannie, et al–greed is passé.

    (Shall we sing Age of Aquarius?)

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Before or after we smoke a, well um, never mind? Cindy, seeing your post caused me to recall something from this afternoon. A person in Harvard Sqaure urged me to check out Scott Brown’s centerfold shot from a Cosmo layout in the 80’s. Well, I did. So, ladies of Massachusetts, if you haven’t decided yet I urge you to check out this hunk. Since we’re so superficial these days I figured what the heck — sex sells and might get Scott Brown elected!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    This is the dawning of the …

    Actually Cindy,

    I see the school yard mentality here all the time.

    Whenever I do strike one of their cords or make a solid point, instead of debating me, they run to another thread or probably E-mail one-another in private.

    While we wait for them to grow up, more people die in Haiti.

    I did need to chill..:(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    But! I forgot to add the word BUT

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    That is a fellow who you think is TRF? If I am not attracted to the mind it is a complete loss. I am first attracted to the soul then the looks are always beautiful as it is who they represent.

    But don’t let me spoil your fun, Silas. :-)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Hi Cindy,

    I started singing but, I’m a little rusty! :)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Well, I’ll say goodnight then…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The Age of Aquarius, definitely it’s dawning. Long live Colonel Carter and cat, the Resounding Father and the illustrious Sugar Daddy, may God bless his soul, but yes, you’re passé.

    And I might add, the Obnoxious American, the good old Cannonball (otherwise known as Cannon), and all sundry – but you do know whom I mean.

    We shall remember you at your wake, and sing you great praises, but your demise we’ll definitely celebrate, for your passing will mean the dawn of a new era – The Age of Aquarius.

    So it’s written. So it shall be.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Ah, one of my favorite musicals, ever.

    When the moon is in the 7th house…

  • Franco

    2 – Jordan Richardson

    What is it with you Americans and longing for the past? This basic concept of needing to return to your “roots” is outdated and sluggish. Living by dead documents is a sign of regression. It is solely responsible for America’s consistent slide into mediocrity and financial ruin.

    The annuls of history, along with the public hall of records on the American founding fathers, individually, and in their great debates together, and the resulting founding documents on natural law and freedoms, all stand as insurmountable evidence to the fact that the above statements either come from one of the most obtuse, or one of the most deceptive among us, as there is little middle ground for anyone speaking like a radial far-leftist communist/socialist progressive.

    Living by dead documents is solely responsible for America’s consistent slide into mediocrity and financial ruin.……………………..!?*&#!?

    It is not because many of our elected officially are adhering to our founding principles that we are sliding into mediocrity and financial ruin, it is because many of our elected officials have drifted away from our founding principles and are abusing their power in heading us down a destructive increasingly divisive road away from them.

    In the American founding documents it is carefully and intentionally stated that the individuals right to life, freedom, and property are rights that supersede the existence of government itself, and are natural laws and therefore superior to government. And the founders, in their wisdom, made in clear that government was being established as a means to protect those rights.

    Instead of your reaffirming the superiouty of these natural rights, you are calling for Americans to abandon their established preeminence.

    We the People of the United States require our elected federal officials, state officials, all members of the military, and the police to swear an oath to uphold, protect and defend our founding core principles from all enemies, both foreign and domestic who seek to destroy them. They can not take office until they make that sworn oath.

    Jordon, you can consider that oath a death threat to anyone who would try to destroy and take away these principles in natural law from We the American People. Because the facts are, there are those who are trying and dying as we speak.

    What you need as a country is legitimate progress, production, compassion, and tolerance for that fearful “Other” you’re always crowing about. Living by dead documents is a sign of regression

    Lets break down those accusations of what we need according to Jordon

    -What you need as a country is legitimate progress…….

    Do you mean legitimate progressivism, you know the Marks & Mao (M&M) stuff, or do you mean how America legitimately leads the world in medical innovation?

    -What you need as a country is production…….

    I fully concur with that assertion and further it by adding that government buracracy needs to get out of way and let Americans create their own opportunities and get to work on them. It is a curl lie for anyone in federal government to assert that the federal government can create sustainable jobs for the private sector. The only way government can create any long term jobs in within government itself by increasing the size of government and its bureaucracy and in turn making it all that much more expenses to pay for by the private sector. Everything that has been and is being produced in the United States was/is created by the private sector. Its people putting their faculties to work using raw materials and producing something of high quality and value which the American worker is extremely proficient at doing. We don’t need the government to tell us that.

    Life, faculties, production – in other words, individuality, liberty, property – this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

    Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. The very same laws you say we Americans should abandon.

    -What you need as a country is compassion…….

    Philanthropy: A desire to improve the social, material, and welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities – Oxford English Dictionary

    This is hard for me to discuss and assert these facts here as I do not like tooting Americas horn about this. But the fact is the United States remains the most philanthropic nation on earth. Americans are anything but uncompassionate at home or abroad. Whether foreign aid from the federal government or from private individuals, it all comes from the private sector. Most remarkable is the fact that the private sector gives on its own far more then the federal government or any other government or private sector on earth. Even as Americans are feeling the economic recession and a looming mortgage crisis, they donated $306.39 billion to charity, more than ever before and more then any other country on earth including their own. And it does not require the expensive overhead of government bureaucracy, or the interference of corrupt foreign officials.

    Sources:
    Index of Global Philanthropy

    Philanthropy Journal

    -What you need as a country is tolerance for that fearful “Other” you’re always crowing about…….

    Appeasement – the political strategy of pacifying a hostile nation or enemy in the hope of avoiding war by granting concessions.

    What you call tolerance of the fearful “Other“ (those wishing the destruction of America for their own political gain, and using lies to get there, and or to gain religious authority under threat of death) is nothing more then appeasement of it.

    I would love for America to be more tolerant of the deadly evils in the world if they could, and if for no other reason then to let these fearful “others” blow the cover right off your appeasement dilutions, but the stakes are way to high in todays atomic, biological, and chemical world we live in, so that is a luxury we don’t have as it would allow only the possibility of their killing more Americans or other Westerners in hopes and prayers of fullfilling death and distruction on a masive scale.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    #44 Gee, Cindy, I can see you loving HAIR. What about Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and/or Mamma Mia! I loved them both. I’m more of a dialog driven guy when it comes to the stage. My two favorite stage productions are Othello and (gasp) The Importance of Being Earnest. But, in retrospect I have to say the best show I’ve seen on Broadway was Rocky Horror. Absolutely went nuts over it back in 2001.

  • cannonshop

    #43 Roger, when your Utopian dream collapses into a Stalinist hell, you’d better hope there are more of us out there hiding in the rocks to fight back, because it will collapse into a stalinist hell, and the first victims after the Revolution’s done historically have been the Idealists-killed by their own compatriots. (Trotsky anyone? how ’bout how the Soviets and Castro arranged Ernie “Che” Guevarra Lynch’s betrayal and execution, hmm? or the final victims of Mdme Guillotine in France, or the Parlaimentarians put to death under Cromwell…)

    You’d better hope, if your side “Wins” that there are enough of US to hide you.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Aksimet just rejected my comment as spam. So, I’ve lost my patience with wasting my time attempting to comment here. I’ll just refer to this article by Victor Hanson, and retire to lurkistan.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Do you mean legitimate progressivism, you know the Marks & Mao (M&M) stuff, or do you mean how America legitimately leads the world in medical innovation?

    I said progress, not progressivism. And you’ve narrowed it down to two choices as though the notion of “progress” can be termed as an either/or. I call bullshit, Franco.

    I fully concur with that assertion and further it by adding that government buracracy needs to get out of way and let Americans create their own opportunities and get to work on them.

    Depends on what you mean by bureaucracy, as this is often a catchall term used to denote government “interference.” Americans cannot simply create opportunities out of thin air, Franco, and you know that. There must be a pool from which to draw water and mechanisms in place with which to accomplish the goals of the people. You cannot simply “create opportunity” anymore than you can “create wealth.” This isn’t a magic trick.

    Its people putting their faculties to work using raw materials and producing something of high quality and value which the American worker is extremely proficient at doing. We don’t need the government to tell us that.

    Nobody is saying you need the government to tell you anything, Franco. Again, it’s this either/or mentality that keeps people in ideological prisons. You say and/or support anything as long as it reflects your rigid worldview and you neglect to understand how the world works now – for better or for worse.

    This idea of Americans creating things out of “raw materials” is nice in theory, but what are those ideas in reality? What sorts of “raw material” occupations do you propose in today’s modern technologically-oriented world? What sorts of raw material jobs are you going to operate in America to help the country rise in economic standing in the world again while China and Japan take over the tech sectors with government assistance? How are you, as Americans, going to compete if you insist that the best way to do business is by digging up some seashells and selling them to someone for a profit? The fact is that the monster of capitalism has spread and become the beast it always was. The door was always open for corporatism and now that’s the world you live in, so if you expect Americans to prosper on a global scale, you’re going to have to do better than “raw materials” and setting up a shop by the side of the road.

    Or, conversely, you drop this world superiority shit and concentrate on existing as a nation of builders, thinkers and lovers.

    I know which one I’d prefer, but I’m not an American.

    Life, faculties, production – in other words, individuality, liberty, property – this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

    Well, no. Man is a biological beast that somehow managed to have semi-coherent thoughts every so often. The rest is gravy.

    And the concept of liberty is a tricky one because it always begs the question “liberty for whom?” Liberty for you, for me, for all? If that’s the case, the concept of liberty has never been fully realized in all of human existence.

    Moreover, to suggest that “property” precedes human legislation is bullshit. Property requires human legislation in order to make the concept of ownership legit. Without your human legislation, you wouldn’t own a piece of land. You wouldn’t even know how. You’d just have to protect your small corner of beach by killing anyone who came near it until you were too weak to defend it anymore. Then you’d lose your corner of beach.

    And look, lest I finish without saying this, liberty is not synonymous with freedom.

    The very same laws you say we Americans should abandon.

    Nope, I said scrap the Constitution and start over with a new, modern document that more accurately represents what America is.

    And look, if you need the Constitution to represent the laws you say are “natural” and the laws you say existed before “human legislation,” that kind of blows your theory to shit. If you actually require laws to know the value of humanity, you’re just as bad as the Christians who require God’s Word to tell them that it’s bad to rape or kill.

    As you said, these things existed beforehand and their existence supersedes the legislation that you claim grants you those rights.

    And again, as to property, it didn’t exist and it especially didn’t exist in America before the founders “legislated” themselves parcels of land previously occupied by Natives.

    Philanthropy: A desire to improve the social, material, and welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities

    I say compassion, you look up philanthropy as if they’re synonymous.

    Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

    Philanthropy is an avenue of compassion and a manifestation of the strong desire to alleviate the suffering, but it is not the definition of compassion nor is it the only component involved in the sorrow a compassionate person feels when others suffer.

    But the fact is the United States remains the most philanthropic nation on earth

    Yes, it is. That hardly makes America a nation of compassion; it merely makes America a wealthy nation that donates a lot of money to charity. Again, this is one avenue of what is a broader approach to human nature.

    America does not weep for the nations it bulldozes and destroys. If it did, it wouldn’t do the destroying and it wouldn’t do the bulldozing. A compassionate country does not invade other nations, nor does it occupy all continents with military presence, nor does it spread immoral imagery to corners of the world who do not want it, nor does it fill war-torn nations with greedy private contractors looking to make a buck, nor does it tarnish political discourse to such an extent as to rely on labels like “Nazis” or “Commies,” etc.

    I could go on.

    So bravo, Americans give a lot of money to charity. Frankly that’s the least they could do.

    Appeasement – the political strategy of pacifying a hostile nation or enemy in the hope of avoiding war by granting concessions.

    Then you again jumble it up by comparing tolerance to appeasement. First compassion is philanthropy and now this? Really?

    Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

    This is appeasement how? Tolerance is not a political ideology, Franco. It’s a worldview. It’s a way of life. You either choose to view other cultures in a fair and objective way while permitting their lifestyles so long as they run within accepted rule of law or you don’t.

    those wishing the destruction of America for their own political gain, and using lies to get there, and or to gain religious authority under threat of death

    And now you’re defining what I mean by the Other? Tell me, why is America always at war with Islam? And what of Americans wishing the destruction of other nations around the world for political or religious gain? What do we do with those people?

    Tolerance does not imply appeasement. It implies an attitude of, again, fairness and objectivity. I’d go further to suggest that tolerance cannot exist without compassion. And vice versa.

    Of course, you’ll probably take that to mean that appeasement can’t exist without philanthropy. Which apparently means that you can’t really let a terrorist walk all over you unless you give millions to the Red Cross. Or something.

    it would allow only the possibility of their killing more Americans or other Westerners in hopes and prayers of fullfilling death and distruction on a masive scale

    This is the grand lie that has been told to all generations of Americans since the end of World War II and beyond. “Stay at constant alert: we’re at War. There’s a war going on, don’t you know?”

    Do you really think this seething possibility exists for the sole reason of a handful of terrorists trying to destroy America? And for all your hatred of government bureaucracy, do you really find it appropriate to trust their version of world events when they stand to gain so much from starting wars and occupying other countries rich with resources and political gain? Should those voices be the ones you trust?

    You talk about appeasement, but America is doing nothing more than creating more animosity and more hatred around the globe by the second. It is generating more terrorist cells in more networks by the crateload because it refuses to employ tolerance and true compassion.

    And the instant America does rise, even for a split second and a handful of dollars, to show some compassion and tolerance, there are Tea Partiers or other douchebags ready to slap them down again for spending their tax dollars on earthquake victims or some other such nonsense.

    America needs a new tradition, Franco. It needs a tradition not confined to your limited either/or worldview or your politics of alternate word definitions. It needs a tradition of tolerance, not appeasement, and of compassion, not philanthropy. The very fact that you chose those words and those definitions to counter my points is indicative of the larger problems in your country.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Wow, I had no idea that was so long (that’s what she said).

  • Dr. Science

    I would suggest a compromise. Believe in nothing with contemporary proof or historical evidence.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Comp…compromise? Sounds made up.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Is there really a commenter here named Franco, or a familiar individual trying to sneak in the side door?

    We the People of the United States require our elected federal officials, state officials, all members of the military, and the police to swear an oath to uphold, protect and defend our founding core principles from all enemies, both foreign and domestic who seek to destroy them. They can not take office until they make that sworn oath

    and then the commenter wrote…

    Jordon, you can consider that oath a death threat to anyone who would try to destroy and take away these principles in natural law from We the American People. Because the facts are, there are those who are trying and dying as we speak.

    I would call this little paragraph more than an insult or personal attack. It should and needs to be censored and removed from BC.

    If there is anyone here who thinks it is just me reading more into this bs, I asked my husband to read it and he concurred.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    boy, these pithy little names…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    and to Jordan’s response we say, right on spot!

  • Jordan Richardson

    Franco’s a semi-regular and he’s a pretty good guy. I didn’t take what he said as a threat or an attack.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Jordan,
    K

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Cindy,

    No sound in link on #44, maybe just my computer! I wanted to hear that song…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cannon,

    Stalinism won’t be necessary if the world truly unites. The UK is an example, and it’s only the beginning.

    I was only suggesting that people like you are dinosaurs, a dying breed, like it’s always been with the voice of reaction.

    No need to resort to apocalyptic terms. I do wish you well, too.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    #46 Silas, I loved this.

    I also loved The Importance of Being Earnest. Never saw Othello. I am not a good critic. I think I like anything on a stage–musical, comedy, drama and also dance…whatever it is…if it is on a stage I will probably enjoy it.

    Man of La Mancha with Brian Stokes Mitchell is my favorite all time musical. Don Quixote is my hero. The Quest (The Impossible Dream). That is about the greatest performance I have ever seen. I saw him on stage. What do you think?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jeannie, the sound works for me. Is your computer on mute? :-)

  • cannonshop

    #59 Roger, who said anything about it being ‘necessary’-any system built on artificial crises and deception can only come out one way-and any movement with enough speed either attracts, or creates, the corruption needed-the U.S. was a fluke, the Terror after the French Revolution, the purges after the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot’s “Year Zero” and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” (and don’t forget the wonderful workers paradise of Zimbabwe) are the norm, not the exceptions. Idealists are eaten by the people that use them (and in turn are enabled by them) as the victory feast.

    and the pattern has not been trending toward more humane outcomes when Revolutions occur-after all, someone has to make certain there’s no objections, right?? How do you HONESTLY think they’re going to do that-and how do you control them when you’ve given them the power to do so?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The crisis is not artificial, Cannon. It’s as real as the events that led to either the French or the Bolshevik revolution.

    Of course there will be excesses – possibly another Reign of Terror. Eventually, however, the dust will settle and another world will emerge.

    Again, the era of nation-states is slowly coming to a close.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Cindy,

    No :)

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Cindy, Streep was great but I gotta say Christine Baranski stole the show for me. The scene on the beach and her flirtation with the pretty boy are classic Baranski. Julie Walters was equally incredible. She’s an amazing actress with a diverse repertoire.

    If you haven’t been to the movies lately, I could recommend Avatar or Precious. Both were amazing — but, hands down, Colin Firth in A Single Man is by far the best film on screen this season.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Silas,

    I thought they were all just great. And what I also loved is they didn’t get pro singers to do the show. So, you have ordinary voices. I see the film as being very focused on feeling good as ordinary women. We do not have to be supermodels and superstars and glamor queens and forever 21 to be just fine. One of my very favorite feel good films.

    I have got to see all three of those now, Silas. I intended to see Precious and Avatar I have been dying to see. But I hadn’t heard of A Single Man. I will have to check that out. :-)

    I loved Julie and Julia, last year. I taught myself French cooking in the 80s, for 2 years, Julia Child being one of the chefs I learned from. My aunt and I will watch it again tonight after she teaches me her Chicken Marsala recipe. And I am off to do that now. Ciao and Bon Appetit.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Precious is gut wrenching. Mo’Nique is a shoo-in for the Oscar. Avatar – which I have seen 4 times now – is a graphical masterpiece with a not-too-subtle anti-colonialist message. A Single Man really is amazing. Colin Firth is an incredible actor who doesn’t get credit for the quality of his work. If you liked Far From Heaven you may fall in love with A Single Man.

    Let me know how the Chicken Marsala comes out. If you do well, I’ll give you my recipe for Chicken Parmigiana. It takes a while to prepare but every fork full of it is a gastronomical orgasm of flavor.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, not even close to veal scallopini sec or the sweatbreads; although chicken marsala (with capers of course) is great

    Too much tomatoes in your diet, Silas. High Italian cuisine, and Sicilian, have evolved beyond spaghetti source.

  • cannonshop

    #63, Roger, you don’t seem to get it. The “New World” you’re hoping for? It’s going to be hell on earth, not in the comfy biblical sense, but in the historical trend sense. Instead of having several competing elites whose internal squabbles occasionally knock crumbs down to the rest of us and keep them busy fighting among themselves, you’re going to get the Soviet Union’s excesses writ in large type-instead of a small Middle Class, you’re going to have the Elite at the top, and a vast sea of serfdom below-and guess which end you’re going to be on (if you live through it)? One-size-fits-all solutions result only in famine, poverty, and oppression, Roger. whether it’s quiet, secret-police oppression or loud firing-squad in the public square before the weekly Guillotine doesn’t matter. It’s worth opposing, and if it isn’t, then it’s what you’re going to Get. The norm is Zimbabwe, the freak is the United States, guess which one offers a better LIFE for the common man?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Never enough tomatoes, Roger. That’s why I have the prostate of a teenager. I like pasta but it’s not core to my diet. There are plenty of other Italian dishes which are better. My diet consists mostly of Mediterranean foods these days — hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, falafel, feta cheese, Armenian string cheese, lentils, Labne, basmati rice etc. Beef consumption is down to a couple of servings a week having been replaced by legumes, lamb and some chicken. There’s a salad that my buddy’s grandma makes with avocado, tomatoes, black beans, garlic and feta — I could eat it daily if allowed.

    Last week we checked out a Polish/Russian market over in Brighton where I found the most amazing golumbki, kielbasa and blintzes. We brought them down to my Dad who said they’re the best he’s had since his Mother was alive.

    Hmm, are our food preferences covered under the First Amendment?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Silas, you’re making my mouth water.

    Perhaps you’re right, Cannon, perhaps you’re not. It’s coming about anyway irrespective of my druthers.

    I don’t really think that “the United Federation of Planets,” a la Star Trek is such a remote impossibility.

    So let’s hope for the best.

  • Cindy

    Chicken Marsala with capers? Do you mean Chicken Picata (which has capers)? Chicken Marsala has Marsala wine (no capers). I am working on a dish with deep-fried capers as a crunchy garnish. They pop and look like little flowers. Have to soak the brine away for heart healthy though.

    Silas I am going to do a heart healthy food blog on BC. You should e-mail me your recipe and then I will adapt it, if necessary, to make it work for heart healthy cooking and I will name the recipe after you or whomever you want. I am working on achicken parmagiana with panko crumbs. It makes a lot of difference and is wonderful.

    I just finished a great garlic lasagne. But if you don’t serve enough salad and bread, the servings desired end up being double and it cancels out the benefit of reduced saturated fat.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right, Cindy, the latter.

  • Jordan Richardson

    This thread has suddenly become delicious.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And it’s Veal Picata, Cindy, if I’m not mistaken.

    Gosh, I miss those SF Italian restaurants on the avenues.

  • STM

    Jordan, I’m of the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it persuasion as well as it pertains to this country.

    1) I understand fully why Canada gave itself that great flag, and why it needed to; but it wouldn’t work down here because some idiot would want to put a boomerang or a kangaroo on it. It looks great with the Union Jack in the corner (just like the Hawaiian state flag, which is the best-looking of all the American state flags :), and it tells the story of who we are. If they want to change it, I’ll be jumping up and down.

    2) Our political system is better than that of the US and seems to offer more stability and flexibility. It is far less monarchical than that of the US(Americans in effect elect a monarch every four years; a US president has way too much power IMO, and not just in the executive role. It’s also undemocratic … none of the cabinet are elected). I like the idea of constitutional monarchy for its checks and balances and the convention that both reins in the power of the monarch and of parliament should either act unconstitutionally.

    And there’s nothing like a good double dissloution! Governments that play up and do the wrong thing can be punted and the decision put back to the people. To me, that is genuine modern democracy.

    As to the bizarre argument down here that we need an Australian head of state – everyone knows that as head of government, the PM is the defacto head of state anyway, and the Governor General is … always Australian.

    The system of government we have was the first of the true modern democracies based around rights and freedom of the individual and has been running – UNBROKEN – since 1688
    in the tradition we inherited. That’s a pretty good record.

    So if there are any moves to bring in an American style republic – or even an Irish style one – I’ll be the first person ticking the NO box at the referendum.

    In this case, there is no reason to fix something that works perfectly.

    America, though, I dunno … the poor bastards need to do something, and soon. They do need some kind of change.

    Maybe they should call Liz at Buck House and ask if they can come back to the table. Since they own most of the table, I’m sure having the prodigal son back wouldn’t be an issue.

    They’re already kind of there anyhow. Why not just make it formal :) ????

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m of the approach that we can always improve as a society and as human beings. I also believe that change is inevitable and that we ought to evolve as a species rather than regress to times when people had less rights and privileges.

    Of course, that’s a very general stance and has no specific connotations. I happen to like my country’s system of government too. But I wouldn’t hesitate to change it should something better come along. I think most people feel that way here and, in the meantime, we pretty much just get on with our lives. There isn’t much interest in talking politics in Canada, which is why I come here to much about in somebody else’s business to get my fix. :P

  • Jordan Richardson

    *muck about, that should say.

  • STM

    Cannon: “The norm is Zimbabwe, the freak is the United States, guess which one offers a better LIFE for the common man?”

    Come on Cannon, that’s pushing the envelope a bit mate, don’t ya reckon??

    And the US wasn’t a fluke. If the US was a fluke, how do you get places like Britain and Australia that have near identical ways of life and the same beliefs in rights and freedoms and laws (even if they’re willing to change these latter slightly without tinkering with what underlies them)?

    Despite American belief to the contrary, most of what the US was built upon was already there in the first place. That is: the existing laws in the colonies that were underpinned by political belief in individaul rights and freedoms not unique to America.

    Even the progressive political thinkers of the French enlightement, so often credited by Americans with influencing the birth of their republic, were based on the thinkers’ views of English political thought and religious tolerance (tolerant for the era at least and politically, as opposed to absolute monarchy and religious intolerance). That applies to Voltaire in particular, whose beliefs and writings in this regard were based on his experience of living in England, a society he viewed as somehow “superior” in this regard compared to the absolutism of France. His word, BTW, not mine.

    The US inherited the rule of law of the British (the same as us, the same as many others, including your northern neighbours). All they did in the US that was different was write it all down in a single document.

    We didn’t in the writing of our constitution; there is no Bill of Rights because the framers considered that the rights were already taken to have existed; they are protected under the law (the High Court ruled years ago here, for instance, that freedom of speech is taken to exist, and is protected by the constitution even though not specifically mentioned because it’s always existed and that has been backed in many other pieces of legislation or rulings of other courts, even if it’s not been written down in a single document).

    The two roads have been parallel and near identical, and actually only very slightly different. Even our systems of representaive government are near identical in function, and not that different in form.

    So, despite Americans’ belief in the myth of American exceptionalism, there is no fluke.

    What you have in the US you inherited.

    The founding fathers did not simply plucked this stuff out of thin air.

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work it out, either. I’m an ordinary bloke and it’s just so obvious.

    You can see it in something as simple as the miranda-style warnings that have always been issued by police officers in my country to people upon arrest for a criminal offence.

    It’s a common-law protection, but it serves the same purpose. We didn’t take it from American TV.

    It says: “You do not have to do or say anything, but anything you do say may be used in evidence. Do you understand.”

    The British have a very old saying: ‘Bang to rights”.

    It’s when someone gets caught red-handed in a criminal enterprise and are arrested and read their rights.

    Those rights are the same as those that exist in the US. My argument is also supported by one other very simple fact: the law you have in America is known as Anglo-American jurisprudence. The criminal law process, right through from arrest to trial, in America and the British commonwealth nations adhering to rule of law operates identically. That includes jurt trials, the right to silence, the right not to incriminate yourself by giving evidence against yourself in court, etc.

    The due process passage of the 2nd amendment is almost identical to that of the statute of Edward III, a slight revamp of the magna carta (1215), and made law in 1354. Yes, mate, seriously, that’s right … 1354.

    It says: “No man of what estate or condition that he be, shall be put out of land or tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to death, without being brought in answer by due process of the law.”

    You can see how it survived another 400 years to end up in the US constituion.

    The US is no fluke. It is the product of laws inherited in the American colonies that now go back at least 1000 years.

    The US didn’t suddenly and magically materialise in a puff of smoke. It is NOT exceptional. But yes, I’ll agree it’s good and in the late 18th century, it was indeed progressive (But I’d argue against that notion today; the US seems politically stuck in the late 1700s in many ways).

    As an exercise, I’d challenge any American: come and live here and see how different it is in regard to rights and freedoms.

    Virtually no different is how they would find it, and our way of life comes from somewhere else, not America.

    The clue, however, might be in the common link … and rule of law, and a people’s willingness to abide by it, is key.

    I’d even point to modern South Africa here, where anglo-American rule of law was reinstituted after the apartheid era, and what’s been achieved in that country after two decades hasn’t been achieved elsewhere in two centuries, especially in places that don’t have our tradition.

    Basket case it may look sometines, but considering the upheaval, it’d done remarkably well for one reason and one reason only: rule of law.

  • STM

    Sorry, Cannon … make that due process passage of the 5th amednment, not the 2nd.

    We all know what the 2nd amendment is and the difference between the two :)

    One says you can’t be put to death except by due process, the other says you might be.

  • blueamerica

    First, I’m sick of hearing about Haiti! Didn’t see them over here digging any americans out on 9/11????? go figure. Next, better wake up America, the day of wrath is coming. We are tired of our rights being taking away!! We will fight for them, just like we have before . Our numbers are growing every day and we will take this country back!!! And we will win!!! And we need to go back 100 years and get our common sense and pride and loyalty to this country back!! Enough is enough, plain and simple. Every day , in more ways than one our rights are slowly being stolen from us. It has got to stop , one way or another!! Sad , but true, and NO we don’t want a war on our home front. We Americans are standing with our backs in the corner, we will come out fighting. And maybe , the sooner the better.

  • STM

    What rights have been taken away blueamerica.

    I can’t see anything in the Constiution of the United States enumerated as a right that is suddenly missing.

    Are you talking about some of those that might fall under the 9th amendment … the one that says the rights already written down in this document may not be the only ones Americans have?

    I’m interested because I don’t see Americans losing any rights here at any point.

    Not even gun rights …

  • STM

    They’ve yet to prove it it Irene.

    Until they do, I remain more than sceptical.

  • Irene Wagner

    STM – I think your #83 is on the wrong thread. I could start posting more about fractals HERE though…LOL

  • Irene Wagner

    Or we could argue about gun rights. Your choice.

  • Irene Wagner

    I’m just kidding. I think the comment editor should move stuff around.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Didn’t see them over here digging any americans out on 9/11?????

    Or what about those little Somalians with the ribs and the distended stomachs? Where the fuck were they on 9/11? What nerve!

    And people in wheelchairs? Why weren’t they helping!?

    And the blind? I’m sick of hearing about free rides for the blind! They should have been piling around in the rubble of the WTC. Do that, then we’ll consider donating to your stupid organizations.

    Fuck blind people, Somalians, starving children, and cripples. They should have been helping out on 9/11.

  • STM

    It was their right!

  • STM

    Actually Irene, I’m not opposed to gun rights … and it’s on the right thread, this time :)

    What I worry about in the US is the near complete lack of gun control, rather than actual gun ownership. Last time I had a look at the 2nd amendment, it didn’t mention anything about not having controls. It said the right to bear arms shouldn’t be infringed.

    I grew up around guns so I’m familiar with them … and I’ve seen first hand and on more occasions than I’d wish on anyone the damage they can do to human beings.

    Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to own one. Cooling off periods and licensing are a good idea. Too many people treat them like toys. So I think there should be uniform controls on firearms and firearms ownership.

    In the US, that would prevent such bizarre situations as people buying handguns in, say, Georgia, and then running them across state borders into New York. In many of those situations, they end up in the hands of the wrong people.

    And there is no doubt that a proliferation of easy-to-get firearms in any country where licensing and control is lax leads to an increase in gun crime … or simply in the number of shootings where people are killed or wounded.

    But I don’t believe that people don’t have the right to own them.

    Nanny states that want to ban everything are another issue completely.

  • Irene Wagner

    How did you all get on to the subject of guns anyway? when the associated article is about…let me see…hmm…prayer in schools?

    I wanted to talk about spiritual warfare tonight, but those discussions didn’t go anywhere. Ironically, I end up being dragged against my will into a discussion on physical gun ownership!

    The last two sentences of #89 looks good to me, STM. As for lists of people who should NOT be allowed to own guns, or lists of people the government considers “risky” well…
    there may be concern about the discernment/intentions of the people who make up those lists. That’s all I have to say about that tonight. Have a good week, STM!

  • Irene Wagner

    I sounded angry in that comment, but I was actually laughing.
    Seriously though, families are facing problems that an automatic rifle won’t be able to solve.

  • cannonshop

    #91 As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools. (or so the old saying goes…)which may be why so many districts are trying to get rid of testing…

    But seriously-we really can’t afford to have school-sponsored prayer-not to some faceless, fictional, god, or even the President. Allowing it isn’t the same as sponsorship-people WILL, whether they’re allowed to or not (ask the Soviets about this…)

  • Irene Wagner

    Ask the Chinese.

    There’s a happy medium somewhere.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna
  • cannonshop

    #93 Neither forbid, nor endorse. That, to me, is what the First Amendment’s religious clause is all about-it’s stating that the government has neither the right to forbid, nor endorse, any religion. People can believe whatever they want, and nobody is forced to pay taxes to prop up a “Government Church” in the manner of the Church of England.

  • STM

    #96. And a good thing too.

    The only reason half the world’s not a complete basket case is that the English nation and its ptotestant church represented a people who had the balls to stand up to the absolute monarchs and religious intolerance that marked most of continental Europe.

    Now it has another role, hopefully … standing up for a way of life that is being put at risk by the mass movement of people.

    I don’t live in the UK, but if I did, one extra voice in that fight to actually have a voice would be worth a few measly cents of my tax buck anytime.

  • cannonshop

    #97 from my perspective, Stan, mixing god and Government corrupts both simultaneously. After all, wasn’t the belt-buckle motto of the German Reich (second and third) “Gott Mit Uns” (God is with us)?

    and when the Church has a stake in the government, does that NOT lead to a kind of corrupted nationalism from the pulpit? and isn’t that just as dangerous as the arrogance of assuming Divine Right of Rule (with the support, naturally, of the Church).
    Were it not for Henry VIII wanting a Divorce, and the Pope denying it for Political reasons, England would have been just as Catholic as the rest of the major European states, and probably would have been even more savagely torn up during the 30 years war period (Which neatly coincided with Cromwell…well within the same time period, if a touch on the late side…)

    Mixing God and Government lowers both God, and Government to the lowest common denominator-the ambitions of corruptible officials.

  • STM

    Cannon:

    From my experience, Britain is one of the least corrupt places I’ve ever experienced. They do have the MP’s claiming parliamentary expenses for moat cleaning and chocolate bars (money they’re entitled to but no for those things) … but generally, on a scale of 1-10 for honesty, my experience gives them a 9.8 at the very least.

    They certainly have a fiercely independent judiciary, which is also key to transparency and honesty.

    And I’d wager a bet somewhere in the region of London to a brick (appropriately, even though it’s a term I’ve only ever heard in the antipodes) that the Church of England isn’t corrupt either. Dithering, maybe, but not corrupt.

    But the truth is, church and state aren’t really mixed anymore, and the historical context is very important in this case.

    As I pointed out above, at the time the English were down on Catholics, the church in Rome was absolutist, uncompromising, a supporter of absolute monarchs who answered to the church, not the people, and vehemently opposed to the democratic process, which it saw as an instrument of the devil.

    But I will agree that Henry’s motivation in making the anglican church the official church in the 1500s was so that he could have his wicked way with as many women as he was able.

    But for, let’s say 1688 when the power of the king was stripped and given to the people through their elected representatives in parliament, it was all rather a radical concept to undo it (even Cromwell and his ilk were possessed of religious zeal), especially with the threat from France and Spain still hanging large over their heads.

    The US took it one step further … drawing on their own experience of religious intolerance (or was it actually the puritans who were intolerant?). Of course, they were right to do so.

    Which always amuses me … the Christian right in the US 9especially the protestant Christian right) have far more sway over government in America through lobbying than they do anywhere else in the other modern democracies.

    As for us … well, we have the convict gene. A fair bit of it’s Irish, and therefore catholic, so no one really cares in this place anymore of what religious persuasion you are.

    The only thing still remaining in regard to church and state that actually causes any concern I believe is the Act of Succession … the part that bars a king or queen from marrying a catholic.

    I daresay if one decided to do so, they’d pass a new law that said it was OK. How could they not??

    Nevertheless, it’s ridiculous to believe in this day and age that the church has any say whatsover in the day to day running of modern democracies like Britain.

    Britain is actually a rather secular place, especially in government … and perhaps more so than the US, for the reasons I mentioned above.

    That has certainly been my experience anyway.

  • STM

    And mate, come on, Cannon …

    You can’t compare our brethren in the UK to Hitler’s Nazi legions and his fake “we’re Christians” and his “Gott mit Uns” belt buckles. Christians are known by their deeds, not their platitudes.

    On the British and the Nazis, it’s almost offensive to make a comparison between the two.

    In case anyone’s forgotten, the British were the first to stand up to them. I haven’t, and Americans shouldn’t forget either since they ended up standing shoulder to shoulder with them to destroy a hateful and murderous ideology.

    And they were the first NOT to back down or to hoist the white flag, even when they were getting a thumping.

  • STM

    And for that, they should be forever admired.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m not in agreement with Jordan as to tearing up the Constitution and starting again. On the whole it’s a good, solid, reasonable and (most importantly) timeless document.

    The problem isn’t the Constitution, it’s people who are too rigid in their interpretation of it.

    As to the First Amendment, which TRF keeps desperately trying to remind us is the topic of this article, it’s true that the ‘free exercise thereof’ bit often gets trampled in the stampede over the first clause. For example, the daughter of one of my co-workers once got chewed out by a teacher for saying grace before lunch, which of course she has a perfect right to do.

    I don’t even have a problem with civic buildings displaying the Ten Commandments, as long as it’s in the proper context. They’re represented in the decoration of the Supreme Court, for instance – together with other famous legal documents such as Justinian’s Code and the Magna Carta.

  • cannonshop

    Actually, Stan, the first was because we have so MANY zealots in the U.S. (and always have had) that if there’d been a “State Church” instituted (or permitted) we’d have had religious wars long before the actual American Civil War. Australia’s fortunate in that they were largely founded by convicts, rather than various and sundry stripes of zealot and adventurer (as the N. American Colonies were).

    It’s the same reason why many measures that have worked in Europe only create problems here. By limiting our government, it limits the ways that various groups of American Zealot (ranging from the Krischun Mulishahs to radical communists) can abuse it to go after their neighbours.

    Great Britain’s relationship with their church vs. Americans’ relationship with THEIRS is very different in a lot of ways-you’re right that Protestant Evangelicals swing well above their weight here-and you’re dead on about the intolerance of the Puritanicals-whose descendents, having found a NEW kind of intolerance, still behave much the same way, if with different excuses.

    Governing in America is all about putting checks on powerful blocs to avoid them achieving tyrannical status-this is largely because we weren’t descended from ‘ordinary crims’, but from the kind of people that today would be religous or political terrorists. The only way the Republic can work is to prevent any of those groups from either becoming too powerful, or becoming so pushed down that they resort to vile violence. What Jordan and Roger fail to understand, is that eliminating the Constitution means the core of that ‘check’ is removed-and the urges are still present in large swathes of the population.

    (if you don’t believe me, remember I was, at one time, involved in the “Militia” movement of the nineties. I Know these people. The presence of that supreme law, and their claimed adherence to it, is the primary check on their actions, not fear of arrest, because they already fear arrest, but the presence of a means that is non-violence based to change things forward or back that keeps them from being a genuine danger.)