Sunday, January 30, 2005

The First Amendment

Nearly everyone knows about the Bill of Rights, or maybe a more correct assertion might be: Nearly everyone knows about certain parts of the Bill of Rights.
There is the 2nd Amendment, which enumerates the right of individuals to keep their guns. The 4th Amendment which gives an individual protection from government taking and searching their private property unless there is a good reason (probable cause) and the proper paperwork has been filled out and presented. My personal favorite is the 3rd Amendment, probably because I can't think of one instance where the government has violated it.

The First Amendment is the amendment that gets the most press. Some high school in Texas wants to have a prayer before a graduation ceremony? Some judge in Alabama wants a copy of the 10 Commandments in the courthouse? Sorry, the ACLU might have something to say about that (incorrectly asserting the "separation of church and state" and "establishment of religion" clause in Constitution). Dr. Alan Keyes (yes, the one who got creamed by Obama in their Senate "race") wrote an excellent piece awhile back about it called "On the establishment of religion: What the Constitution really says"

But I digress, here is what the First Amendent says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
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

There are ALOT of people out there that believe that the Government routinely abuses its power and in the process its citizens. I'm not talking about criminals, or terrorists, or people who are trying to overthrow the government. I'm talking about law-abiding people who live in both the red and blue states. It explains the rise of groups like We the People, and The Free State Project, and political parties like the Libertarians and the Constitutionalists (what I call the Constitution Party). These groups, especially We the People, are active in petitioning the government for a redress of grievances and working within the framework of the Constitution.

Sphere: Related Content
Digg this

Thursday, January 27, 2005

News around the world

Check out this news report about some of the interrogation techniques used at Gitmo to "break" the Muslim detainees. "They used sex to break me"

Here's another account from an Englishman who spent 2 years in Guantanomo. "My Hell in Camp X-Ray"
An interesting sidenote is how the writer of the article describes how Mr. al-Harith ended up in Cuba

The website designer, a convert to Islam, had gone to Pakistan in October 2001, a few weeks after September 11, to study Muslim culture.
He accidentally strayed into Afghanistan - believing he was being driven to Turkey - and was arrested as a spy, perhaps because of his British passport. He was held in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and fell into US hands.

How does somebody decide to leave his family in a time of uncertainty such as immediately after 9/11? What is so important to Muslim culture in Pakistan that he couldn't go to a dozen other Arab states in the region ? Or maybe even Mecca? And maybe he should have studied a map as well, how was he going DRIVE to Turkey without going through Afghanistan?

Sphere: Related Content
Digg this

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In the year 2042

Social Security, like abortion, gun control, pornography and the "Blue Thunder" versus "Airwolf" debate has proven to be a polarizing issue. Depending on who you listen to you will get one opinion or another or something in between. The Social Security Network gives us 10 myths about the program and why there is no "crisis" . Professor Thomas Sowell weighs in as well (in 2 parts) and . The CATO institute also has done ALOT of research on the subject .

Speaking of pornography, I had no idea there was so much out there on the internet (Imagine my chagrin when I found out there were gay people in the arts). Here is an editorial written by Caitlin Hall from the University of Arizona. It's an elegant opinion piece on how porn demeans and objectifies women. . After reading that, feel free to spank the monkey guilt free.

Sphere: Related Content
Digg this

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

4 more years?

While I haven't drunk the whole glass of kool aid on our newly re-elected Commander-in-Chief. I have to admit that there are certain things that are commendable in the way he has handled his job the past 4 years.

Yes, I'll concede that a lot of people will say Iraq has been a failure (at least the members of the mainstream media who tell us what to think will say it has been). But the jury is still out on that. The country is on the verge of having elections where we know that Saddam Hussein will not get 99.999% of the vote (which is the margin of victory I believe he had over every single opponent he ever ran against). We won't know for maybe a generation, maybe two if the money spent and blood that has been shed will pay off. I do know that the reports I've read recently regarding terrorists capturing and murdering fellow Iraqis tell me that the "insurgents" are getting desparate.

And for those of you out there that say "What about the WMD's???" Well, it looks like the administration has given up searching for them. To that I say "Better safe than sorry" Look at the options that were available to the president at the time :

A. Leave Saddam Hussein "contained". He threw the UN weapons inspectors out and wouldn't let them back in. He gave sanctuary to terrorists like Abu Nidal AND there are proven connections with Al Qaeda. The inability of the weapons inspectors to do their jobs and confirm that Saddam was not making nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons means having him in power becomes a liability for us infidels. And the only proof that we might have that he had developed WMD would be a mushroom cloud over a major metropolitan area near you.

B. Go into Iraq and look for yourself. In the process, get rid of a dictator and maybe send a message to other terrorists "Don't fuck with us" (see Khadafi).

I would've chosen option B.

Finally, for the people out there who think we are less safe from terrorists now than prior to the president taking office I call "scoreboard". We haven't had a major terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11.

Sphere: Related Content
Digg this

Monday, January 24, 2005

But Roguenation, where did you go to school?

Are you an information and news junkie? Is the Drudgereport usually the first stop when you get online? Do you usually read your entire newspaper, front to back? What about the back of cereal boxes? Are you a pop culture literati? My answers to those questions are: Yes, yes, yes,twice on Sundays, and yes, I am. This blog is my attempt to put into words what I see every day (or when I get around to it).

A little bit about me, I'm a Gen X'er. I actually did get a college degree; and I decided today that I would share my worldly views as a thirty-something, white-collar job holding, son of immigrants (legal). I'm not presumptous enough to think about how other people would describe me but the thing about our country is I don't have to care.

My "Jerry Maguire" epiphany came to me this weekend when my 67 year old father underwent heart bypass surgery. Initially, it was supposed to be "just" a triple bypass. While they were in there, they doubled that number (I don't even know what the medical term for it would be).

What amazed me was how routine the process was. My family and I met the surgeon and head nurse at 5:30 am this past Friday so they could answer any questions. They cracked his chest open at 9 am and 4 hours later the surgeon came out and explained what he did. The hospital is looking to discharge him this Tuesday. On top of that, his procedure was one of 3 scheduled that day. Now, that type of medicine is being done in an area of California which wouldn't exactly be considered urban. Semi-rural would be a more apt description. What a country! My gratitude to Dr. Mayer and the staff at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia California.

The hospital experience reminded me of a column written by Dr. Thomas Sowell regarding the benefits of living in a wealthy country.


Sphere: Related Content
Digg this