Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme Court Got One Right 

Shit's Gonna Hit The Fan, Though

Let me first mention that I'm a Christian. My wife and kids are Catholic, we sent our boys to Catholic elementary school, and my oldest son just completed his Confirmation. I and my family have, and always will be, a religious family. I say this to demonstrate I'm not some sort of agnostic extremist

I was incensed by the ruling last week concerning eminent domain. It flies directly against specific language in the Constitution. They got it right, though, with the Ten Commandments.

In case you hadn't heard, they ruled that it is against the 1st Amendment - the so-called "separation of church and state" clause - for a courthouse to display the Ten Commandments.

The counter-argument will be that we have a history of religion in our country and that God is prominently discussed throughout our founding documents. Acknowledging religion is not the same as endorsing it.

So what?

This country is based on secular laws, not theology. Don't give me that crap that the Ten Commandments are the basis for our laws. Two of the ten (robbery and murder) are the law everywhere in the world, even in places that have never heard of the Bible.

Of any government institution, our legal system must be the most unbiased. It must not even have a hint of prejudice. Consider the perspective of a Muslim charged with a religious hate-crime, entering a "Christian" courthouse.

Having the phrase, "In God We Trust" on our money, "...under God..." in our pledge of allegiance and other such similar references to our Christian heritage and beliefs is very, very different. A persons life or future are not put at stake when using our currency. You can't say the same when entering a courthouse.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust 

The Last Straw?

Another of our constitutional amendments is going the way of the dodo bird. Let's take a quick look where we stand as of now:

1st Amendment: Freedom of speech: Teetering as we speak. The boneheads in Congress have brought up the No Flag Burning amendment again. If passed, kiss the 1st goodbye. PC religious intolerance (if you're Christian, that is) has beaten down the rest of it pretty well.

2nd Amendment: Right to bear arms: So far gone, it makes Terry Shaivo look positively glowing in comparison.

4th Amendment: Search and seizure/probable cause: USA PATRIOT ACT, roadside sobriety checkpoints and other laws have largely gutted this amendment.

9th Amendment: Personal rights: We have so many Nanny Laws now, this is a milk-shooting-out-your-nose laugh-athon.

10th Amendment: States rights: Don't make me wet myself with laughter.

Well, get ready to add another one to the hit parade, the 5th Amendment. Here's the text in full:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In the past, the process of Eminent Domain was used by governmental bodies to take private lands and use those lands for the public good. A new freeway. A water treatment plant. A power generation plant. You get the idea.

As I wrote back in April of this year, the town of New London, Ct., wanted to take 90 acres of private land and give it to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals - a private company. Pfizer would then build a research facility which would supposedly bring in additional taxes.

The owners of the properties sued, and lost. The Supremely Ignorant Court has ruled that this is perfectly OK. As long as it's in the interest of "economic development" in any way, shape or form, your property can be taken and given to private entities.

Ya know, like the owners of the properties, I must have missed that part in the Fifth Amendment, too. My copy only mentions public use. I guess the interpretation is that since private use was never specifically mentioned, it must be allowable. Yeah, that must be it.

So, our tally board now shows that 6 out of 10 of our Bill of Rights have been gutted or seriously weakened. Hey, look on the bright side: The 3rd Amendment about quartering soldiers in our homes is still holding strong; The 6th, about our trial rights seem to be largely intact; The 7th, about our right to have a trial by jury is in good shape; The 8th, Cruel and Unusual punishment is churning right along.

So what are we all bitching about? 4 out of 10 is better than nothing, right? Right?



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Despots! Get Your Red-Hot Despots! 

I read the following quote, and it revived a lingering concern I've had for some time,
Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
That was written by Aristotle about 2,500 years ago. I see America in the later stages of degeneration from a democracy to despotism. I've written how, if by the time I plan on retiring - in 12 years when I'm 58 - America has not turned itself around, I'll be leaving the country.

I've been verbally abused as "abandoning ship". I disagree. I came to this decision 3 years ago, and said I would work my hardest over the next 15 years to help right the ship. If it isn't fixed by that time, to me it isn't America. Oh sure, that's what is says on the money and on the official stationary, but the ideal of America will have been lost for me, and it will have become just another collection of people in a smattering of towns across a souless land.

That's not my America.

Look how the various administrations have used fear as an excuse to eat away at our personal civil rights. The Brady Bill during the Clinton Administration to reduce gun ownership. The Patriot Act during the Bush Administration which guts any semblance of privacy for Americans.

The list goes on: Eminent domain laws illegally taking land from private citizens and giving it to private businesses. Administration after administration which are either passive, or at times, are actively trying to undermine our immigration laws. A whoring congress that tries to usurp spousal and states rights laws because one brain-dead woman gave them the opportunity to grandstand. A supreme court which upholds the ability of the police to stop citizens with no probable cause on the pretense that it helps to prevent drunk driving deaths.

Hey, why don't they use the same logic to curb murder rates? Go down into Oakland or Richmond or any of the high-murder cities in California, and just stop all of the people that are walking down the street. They may have a gun. They may be intent on murder. The life that may be saved could be YOURS. Their rights of the citizens will be squashed, but we'll be safer, right?

I guess I should be careful what I wish for, even in jest.

...Democracies degenerate into despotisms...
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
That was also written by Aristotle. Pretty sharp guy, huh?

That second sentence is so powerful, "Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious.". Americans are fairly begging Bush to strip us of our rights in the name of safety.

We trust this tyrant-in-the-making because he seems like a God-fearing, mumblin' and bumblin', guy next door. No intimidating swastikas or jack boots here. Oh no, we're asking him, begging him to become our tyrant.

...democracies degenerate into despotisms...

Have you seen what the surrogates of Mr. Rogers of Pennsylvania Avenue are proposing at the UN? No, I'm not talking about the stalled Bolton nomination (which, short of actually leaving the UN, would be a good thing, BTW), I'm talking about this:
This week Congress will vote on a bill to expand the power of the United Nations beyond the dreams of even the most ardent left-wing, one-world globalists. But this time the UN power grabbers aren't?t European liberals; they are American neo-conservatives, who plan to use the UN to implement their own brand of world government.
Who said this? Ted Kennedy? Michael Moore? Reverend Al? Some other kool-aid drinking, left-wing nut job?

Naw, it was Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. The little gem in question is The United Nations Reform Act of 2005 which was submitted by Republican Henry Hyde.
Specifically, the legislation redefines terrorism very broadly for the UN?s official purposes-- and charges it to take action on behalf of both governments and international organizations.
Uhh, waddya mean, "take action on behalf of both governments and international organizations"?
The official adoption of this definition by the United Nations would have the effect of making resistance to any government or any international organization an international crime. It would make any attempt to overthrow a government an international causus belli for UN military action.
Well, we don't want governments overthrown, right?
Until this point a sovereign government retained the legal right to defend against or defeat any rebellion within its own territory. Now any such activity would constitute justification for United Nations action inside that country. This could be whenever any splinter group decides to resist any regime-- regardless of the nature of that regime.
I think the US is more than a "splinter group", but if this were the law back in 2002, when we went in and overthrew the Iraqi government, the UN would have been required to bring military action against the US, right?

And as Congressman Paul points out, what about the Nicaraguan Contras, or the Afghan fighters against the puppet Soviet government? No matter how oppressive those governments, the UN would have been required to intervene in those civil wars on behalf of the oppressive regimes. Hell, they would have had to intervene if the Iraqi people had turned against Saddam! How ironic is that?

Is someone in charge here?

Remember, this is coming from a supposed national sovereignty, "I don't need no stinkin' international approval", smaller-government, fiscal conservative, states rights kinda guy. Instead, his administration is proposing the New World Order in spades.

Don't take this lying down, folks. Contact your Congressmen and women, your Senators and the President. Or we may all become subservient to the new despot of the day.

...democracies degenerate into despotisms...


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Love Her or Hate Her 

This is funny shit...

I can't stand Ann Coulter. To me, she's a skinny, squeaky, blonde version of Michael Moore, with a conservative outlook. Think shrill. I can't stand extremists at either end of the political spectrum, and that's where both of these idiots come from.

I was over at Velociworld where I saw this post. It links to some guy in LA that really dislikes Coulter. His first post is, "I Fucked Ann Coulter In The Ass, Hard".

It is fucking hilarious! This guy has a gift.

He then did a follow up piece titled, "Back In Ann Coulter's Ass-Saddle Again".

Read them both. He does a good deal of liberal-spew, especially in the second post, but it is well worth the pain.

My favorite line from the second post:

If you think I can'’t know something perfectly well and continue to argue the opposite, you'’re not very familiar with my work.

or maybe

I'’m tapping my clit like a telegraph operator on biker speed.

It's a toss-up. You decide.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back From The Edge 

It's been an interesting two weeks. Here's why my postings have been light:

At work, we've been converting our old processing system to a newer, better system. Now, I'm not talking about swapping out a couple of servers here. I'm talking about changing the systems that drive our entire deposit, loans, general ledger, ATM and online banking systems.

This was the Big Enchilada!

This was the culmination of a 9 month project. The conversion went very well, with one glaring exception: Our online banking system. What a cluster-fuck!

The conversion team for this system (which is out-sourced) totally screwed this up. User names didn't match account numbers. Sub-users (for businesses) were set up as primary users (and given all of those rights). ACH files (think Direct Deposit for your payroll) files didn't even come over. We had to have a team manually enter all of the customer information so our customers could get up and running.

I've got a major ass-kicking to hand out later this week, but for now, my hair is no longer on fire, and our customers (and employees) seem to like the new benefits of the system.

Posting as usual in a few days.... (like anyone cares!)


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?