First, some chemistry; iodine turns black when exposed to starch. So, a lighter ink which contains iodine will turn black when it comes into contact with starch, which is included in the manufacturing process of standard copy paper. When the ink is used on paper that...
Abortion. This word is at the same time one of the most cherished and abhorred words in American culture today. I fall on the side of those who are offended by the word and everything it represents. Whether politically, social-scientifically or personally, I see...
Today is the anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks made waves in Montgomery Alabama in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. What Rosa did that day sparked a movement resulting from pressure that had been building for almost 100 years.
African Americans, who had been freed from slavery by Abraham Lincoln, were forced to endure a century of contempt, disdain and abuse from white Americans. Our society, although founded by men who rejected the concept of social classes, was maintaining a dual class existence and legally forcing people of color to live a servile existence.
This was wrong.
By the power and grace of God, this finally changed in America as a result of the boycotts, rallies, legal wranglings, and efforts of the Federal Courts and finally Congress. Although one may believe strongly in the sovereignty of the states, clearly the rights of United States citizens was being abridged by the actions and/or inaction of many of those states, and the Federal government needed to act.
When I contemplate these events, it always amazes me that human beings can be so incredibly dysfunctional. It certainly makes greater sense to me to see an individual here or there who is so stupid that they actually think they are superior to others. But to think that large swathes of our society would actually continue to look down on others because of a history that is over two generations old, and especially in a time following the horrors of Nazi Germany, that they could continue to look upon other humans as just wild cattle that had been let loose and whose status as free men and women had to be tolerated. How could our country reach this point?
I think the answer to [...]
Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, the men of the Second Continental Congress made a bold gesture as they sought to uncleave themselves from their ties with Great Britain. A gesture intended to convey that they were serious about the war that was already raging on the American Continent. A gesture intended to tell the world, and perhaps garner the support of other countries, that the American Colonies could not and would not continue to live under the yolk of a tyrannical King and Parliament.
A gesture that could cost them all, and indeed did cost some, their lives and their properties.
The Declaration of Independence was written primarily to formalize the decision to separate the colonies from British rule. It also sought to communicate the importance of concepts of liberty that were lacking in the current arrangement with the Britsh Monarchy. Subjected to Britain's control though they were, equal to other British Subjects living in the homeland they were not. Even in attempts to seek the kind of autonomy eventually considered standard within the British Empire were at that time brushed aside... self-government was not in the best interest of Britain at that time.
Many know that the original Jeffersonian draft of the Declaration included a statement that could not be agreed upon by the 13 "free and independent states"... that is, regarding slavery. Incredible that the words "...all men are created equal..." would remain in a document that could not hold the words:
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivatng [sic] and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce." (Washington State University Web Site: Original Draft of The Declaration of Independence)
But these and more words were removed by a Congress that was unwilling to do the right thing, as it would have an impact on the economy of some southern states.
So our beginnings were not perfect. We moved forward tolerating [...]
Next to the Holy Bible, the US Constitution is probably the most important document you will ever come in contact with. Some may argue whether the Bible actually takes precedence, but that's a discussion for another time.
But few would debate that that, in a world where we put aside our differences with regard to faith, the document hammered out in 1787 to replace the failing Articles of Confederation is the most important bullwork to protecting our liberties.
And yet, without the accepted social contracts that the Constitution implies we operate under, and the willingness of those who "lead" our nation to maintain the integrity of the purpose and protections the Constitution affords us, we would likely drift into chaos. But as long as we can point longingly at that document and proclaim it's efficacy to protect our rights, we are safe.
On Saturday, I spent my usual morning perusing my favorite daily periodical, the Wall Street Journal. As I began reading an interesting piece by David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey on the D.C. Voting Rights Act (an excellent treatise on the issue), my dear wife (who likes to [...]
Wow! I totally missed the Lieberman confrontation with YouTube (owned by Google) until it was mentioned in an email exchange I had today. From CNN: In a Monday [May 19, 2008] letter to Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, Lieberman asked that YouTube...