There's a poem out on the internet, called The New School Prayer, supposedly written by a teenager from Arizona, that pokes fun at the left's tolerance for everything but Christianity. It goes:
Now I sit me down in school - Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God - Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites, - It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow - Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green, - That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise. - Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall - Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate, - God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, - And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible. - To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, - And the 'unwed daddy', our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong, - We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls, - Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed, - No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess, - When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make: - Should I be shot; My soul please take!
A school principal in nearby Athens Georgia had to apologize for reading this poem over the school's intercom. Because of people like Ginger.
"Basically, I found the poem offensive, but even if I didn't, I still would believe it crossed the line between church and state," said Ginger Smith, whose daughter is a junior at Cedar Shoals High School.
Ginger's probably one of those lefties who thinks conservatives are stupid. To be perfectly frank, I don't think she could find "the line between church and state" if it was drawn on her ass with a paint roller. However, I would challenge her to find "the line between church and state" in the Constitution. Let's see what the First Amendment says:
"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."
I guess she thinks the Principal is a member of Congress, and that he passes laws by speaking over the school intercom.
Don't get me wrong, I would be one of the first parents to object to any public school allowing members of the staff to lead students in prayer. Any prayer, including any and all Christian prayers. I would object because I believe firmly that my children's moral values must come from me, my wife, and the other people we choose to share the lives of our children with. I don't want schools teaching morality. They are barely able to teach their core subjects; I'm not going to ask them to supplement my responsibility as a parent.
But really, reading that poem over a loudspeaker hardly represents making a law respecting the establishment of a religion.
The irony - a poem about the intolerance of the left when it comes to Christianity, being attacked by the lefty parents because they can't stand criticism. And they misunderstand the Constitution. Okay, so the left tolerates everything but Christianity...and criticism.
Yup, those dumb intolerant conservatives.
OTTAWA (AFP) - Hopes for early mass protests in the streets of Ottawa on the eve of Tuesday's visit by US President George W. Bush fizzled out, as journalists outnumbered demonstrators.
The first demonstration -- of Palestinians and sympathisers of the Palestinian cause opposed to Washington's support of Israel -- attracted less than 40 demonstrators.
According to a quick head count by journalists, the protest attracted 39 demonstrators, 42 journalists and television crew members and three police officers.
A second, ostensibly larger, demonstration scheduled for the midst of the evening rush hour -- was called by a group calling itself Students Against Bush.
Nobody turned up.
If you go to CommonDreams.org, you can't help but be amused. Go there today, and you can read such hilarious articles as How To Take Back A Stolen Election, where some moron named Thom Hartmann convinces himself and other lefties that exit polls are not only more accurate than actual ballot counting, but that they also should be used in lieu of ballot counting:
On Election Day, Traynor reports, the apparatus springs into action. Their main tool is a nationwide set of exit polls along with election observers supplied by credible organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE - which monitored the 2004 US elections and raised questions about non-transparent electronic voting machines). The exit poll results are released to the public before the official results, putting the regime in power in the difficult position of being reactive rather than proactive in declaring victory.
The sexual sphere supplies the perfect raw material for the project, because its logic is heteronomous to that imposed by the regime of social production. Sexuality is ready-made for the nourishment of delusional thinking. In all its aspects it is a perpetual well of negativity; it is the instinct which refuses the real and can be twisted into innumerable fantastic shapes; it cannot be explained or rationalized without vanishing, and it will not vanish so long as the blood pulses in human arteries, Thus once the ruler succeeds in anchoring the regulation of sexuality in an enduring coercive institution like religion—especially if, like Bush, he can co-opt America’s cornucopia of populist evangelical faiths—he has created prime conditions for imposing mass auto-repression.
It's almost impossible not to laugh, especially when you realize that this writer is not only serious, but that he's also the Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal called Capitalism Nature Socialism, "A Journal of Socialist Ecology." Socialist ecology! Now that's funny!
Ah, but here's the one article that really caught my attention. Titled Ten Reasons Not To Move To Canada, it seemed the perfect base for launching a comic piece. I could almost hear Bob and Doug MacKenzie reading the piece. Take off, Hoser! I still can't tell if this is a spoof on stupid leftist pieces that appeared overnight (well, over election night) promising the much sought after, but never carried out, migration of whining
lemmings, I mean, leftists, to Canada.
Ten Reasons Not to Move to Canada
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! *sniff* No, really, did they actually write that? What did they write in April of 2003?
OSHA? People can trump presidential power, and to prove it, she's only going to go back 34 years to find a somewhat lame example, that, well, doesn't really prove her point but allows her to bring up Nixon. They all hate Nixon, don't they? And they all love labor unions, don't they? So somehow, that makes it a good example of people power, doesn't it? But c'mon, OSHA?
Yeah, keep the faith with youth mobilization. Oh, and keep mentioning Nixon, the youth really relate to him. Mention OSHA again, too. Surely the youth voters have seen the OSHA signs right next to the deep fryer.
Reagan changed his policies because of lefty power? Hahahahahahahahaha!
Okay, point taken. Pretty much all of us "would love to see a progressive exodus to Canada." (Sorry Mom, Dad, friends and family)
He probably could teach other progressives about broadening their base. First lesson: Don't call the white rural districts that voted for you "cracker dumb-asses who couldn't find their Bible because it was covered up with American flags"
"Dean, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Sharpton" Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Funny! No, really, you need to let these folks lead you out of the wilderness. Seriously!
She got to bring up Nixon again! Just how old is she?
See #6 above for self-ridiculing of this statement. But do keep open those efforts to convince Frenchmen.
And man, there's no reason to put personal beliefs above personal comfort!
The WaPo has a long article about the dehumanizing effects that the checkpoints separating Israel from Palestine has on both the Israelis and the Palestinians. There isn't one mention of the reason for the wall and roadblocks; that Palestinians, male or female, young and middle aged, are strapping explosives to their bodies and blowing themselves up when they are in a group of Israelis. The closest the article comes to that is when the reporter states that:
The Israeli military says the checkpoints are necessary to protect Israel and Jewish settlements in the territories from Palestinian attackers. Government and military officials have repeatedly cited the system of checkpoints in the West Bank as one of several factors contributing to a steady reduction in the number of suicide bombings against Israeli targets in the past two years.
All passive voice. All the violence, which the Palestinians work very hard to make personal to the Israelis, seems to be directed against things: Jewish settlements, Israeli targets. The next 30 something paragraphs go into minute detail about the abuses Palestinians face from Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoints. The reporter writes about Palestinians who have died waiting for their ambulance to get through a checkpoint without once mentioning that Palestinians routinely use ambulances to transport terrorists and weapons, or that Israeli soldiers have died when they moved out from behind protection to check on a supposedly sick Palestinian, only to be blown up when they got close enough to the suicide bomber, or shot by snipers hidden a few hundred yards away.
The reporter fails to mention that the power to eliminate (or exascerbate) what is going on at these checkpoints lies entirely with the Palestinians! Should they decide to stop sending suicide bombers into Israel, the Israelis wouldn't need to man the checkpoints. It's simple, it's clean, it's foolproof; and unfortunately, it's a pipe dream.
No matter what goes on at those checkpoints, it's always been in the Palestinians power to effect change there. And as long as they send their daughters and sons past checkpoints with explosives strapped to their bodies to kill the soldier's families as they ride civilian buses, they should expect to be treated poorly by dehumanized soldiers guarding the gates.
If you are like me, you just hate tax time. And the normally over-complex tax rules are even worse for me now, as my wife is making a US income, as a Canadian citizen, wearing a US Army uniform, and I have the Combat Zone Exclusion to work into my pay. Luckily, I don't have to worry about state income taxes, as the Wyoming legislature has seen fit to keep it's expenditures at about the level that oil and gas revenues (along with a state sales tax) can handle. So that's nice.
Anyway, here's the link to the official guide, published by the IRS, that is written specifically for military members. The official name is the Armed Forces' Tax Guide, but it's commonly called "Pub 3". It contains most of the answers for questions that servicemembers run into when doing their taxes, including the sale of houses, moving expenses, combat zone exclusions, deadline extensions and all that other stuff. It is a .pdf file, so you'll need Adobe Reader to view or print it.
I don't say this often, but this is one time you should click and read the whole thing.
When I first volunteered at a hospital, I was pretty sure I wanted to be a doctor. I went through EMT training (then only a short course, about 10 weeks long, a few hours two nights a week followed by ER time) and volunteered at a local hospital Emergency Room on Friday and Saturday nights. One year of seeing docs abused by patients and hospitals alike completely cured me of wanting to be a doctor; but I was addicted to the adrenalin rush of EMT/ER work, so I did that for many years, stopping only when I was commissioned into the Army. In addition to my regular duties as an EMT, I also did all sorts of weird stuff, since I was generally the only male staff person awake in the hospital at 2am. I got to help the nurses turn patients, usually the terminally ill ones that were full of open sores, as they were the hardest to turn, and needed to be turned the most. It was working with these patients that I first heard nurses mention the Brompton's Cocktail, which was being considered for use in terminally ill patients. According to what I heard, it allowed dying patients some pain relief while allowing them a small, very small, level of coherency so that they could get their affairs in order. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and though our hospital didn't have the legal permission to use it, I think it was used. Not prescribed, but used nonetheless. If it did any of the things that it was supposed to do, who cared? The patients were dying anyway (the nurses had a small sign behind the desk at their station; it read "No one gets out of here Alive!"), and if they died addicted to heroin or cocaine, who cared?
The idea of something being available that will bring pain relief with few side effects for terminally ill patients, or even for chronically ill patients suffering from pain, has been a long-sought-after goal for medical research. The draw of a pain-free illness or injury is so strong in the medical field that there are hundreds of professional-level medical books on limiting chronic pain, and hundreds of commonly prescribed medications for pain relief. There are millions of patients that could use some level of pain relief from chronic pain.
Marijuana seems to bring pain relief for some patients. In the states of Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington there are laws allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for pain relief, but these laws conflict with the federal government's laws on marijuana use. In this case currently before the Supreme Court, two chronically ill patients have asked the Supreme Court to decide whether they should be allowed to have marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Bush Administration is fighting this, saying that Congress has found no acceptable medical use for marijuana. I certainly hope the court finds for the two women, and allows states to consider programs for the use of medical marijuana. If I was in constant pain, I would want access to any drug that effectively blocked it and allowed me some semblance of a normal life. If heavy marijuana use hasn't had much of an effect on post-high school education (and high school education, for that matter), it can't be that friggin dangerous to have a few hundred thousand people smoking it for pain relief. And it can't possibly have as many side effects as things like the Brompton's Cocktail.
There are far bigger things to worry about right now than this. That the Congress and Supreme Court are now invovled (I know, it's a state's right case, not a marijuana rights case) in this means that it is completely out of the hands of the medical world, where it belongs. That's too bad, because politics hasn't helped the medical world in any way that I can tell.
This is one battle I hope the Administration loses.
If you are interested in reading a book about the Arab peoples, written prior to political correctness invading every syllable of every word, you might want to look up the various books written by Sir John Glubb. There's no denying that T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, A Triumph, and Revolt in the Desert are classics, but there is also no denying that T.E. Lawrence wrote for his own advancement, and his description of his contemporary Arabs was designed to influence British Middle East policy (and his standing within that policy), not educate the British public on the Arab and Muslim worlds. Sir John Glubb, who lived with, trained with, then commanded Arab soldiers for thirty years, writes less for self-aggrandizement, and more for basic knowledge. Often referred to as Pasha Glubb, Sir John Glubb was the pre-eminent British soldier in the Middle East until resentment over his stand with the Arabs during the Arab-Israeli War of 1956 forced his dismissal.
If you only have time to read one of his books, I'd recommend A Short History of the Arab Peoples. It will help with the whole Andalusia thing that UBL keeps referring to, and how the early armies of Islamic fighters came to be. It is those armies, the ones formed originally from the first Arab (read Bedouin) converts to Islam, that UBL is trying to re-invent. These armies fought not for state, not for tribe, not for family. They fought purely for Allah. Al Queda hopes to revive those early fighters that were so successful in advancing islam's borders a dozen centuries ago.
After that book, his slightly longer The Story of the Arab Legion (The Middle East in the 20th Century) is a good read on the more recent history that has led to the despotic mess that is the middle east of today. If you are unused to pre-PC writings, you may find Sir Glubb's writing a bit harsh; and it will become clear why it was easy to dismiss him as commander of the Arab Legion when the time came to change policy. It is far harder to dismiss him as a blatant self-promoter like Lawrence, and even harder to dismiss him as having "gone native" like many current writers from academia, the US State Department, and the CIA.
If you are not comfortable with reading about the world through the eyes of a professional soldier, then you shouldn't even be reading this blog, never mind the writings of Sir John Glubb. But given that the world's armies have dominated the entire middle east scene since before the time of Alexander, it's hard to ignore the fact that the world knows of the middle east, for good or bad, through the campaigns that endlessly roll over the arab and persian lands and the soldiers who fight in those campaigns.
I got an email letting me know about a miltary spouse that designed a LollaFallujah t-shirt, and is selling them on ebay. See picture on right as to the design.
During the Gulf War, there were a few t-shirts being sold that went over well ("I'd fly 6000 miles to smoke a camel" and Baghdad AirShow '91 were particularly good sellers), and this war has produced some funny ones as well (like the Baghdad Hard Rock Cafe), though you'd hardly know since most of them are being sold by street vendors in Baghdad. Capitalism at it's finest, even in a war zone. The vendors know that the soldiers can't resist buying something, anything, that is a little reminder of their time in hell.
I'll buy this one to give as a Christmas present to one of my friends currently wandering the rubble strewn streets of Fallujah (last I heard). I'm sure he'll wear it with pride.