The First and Second Amendments in modern times

So you’re all in for a little history lesson today. We’re going to learn about the U.S. Constitution which was written over 200 years ago. I’m specifically going to talk about the first and second amendments. We often hear liberal groups citing the first amendment to protect them from other people’s religious beliefs, yet their the same people who are quick to say that somebody can’t speak their mind if it offends somebody, but I digress. And I’ll talk about the second amendment which we hear gun nuts site all the time as to why they can stockpile enough guns to arm a 3rd world nation.

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.

The first part about no law respecting or prohibiting the free expression of religion is commonly what’s referred to as the separation of church and state. This amendment was designed for two reasons. Firstly so the country is not ruled as a theocracy. (There’s one of them there fancy words you better look up again.) And secondly so people are free to practice any religion of their choice. This was not meant to keep prayer out of public schools. As long I was in public school I was free to pray to whatever god I wanted to. Granted no public school should force prayer on anybody. This was not meant to discourage public buildings from decorating on any religious holiday. If you’re offended, don’t look. Don’t go to that building. But don’t bother me with your anti-religious crap.

Now let’s talk about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Freedom of speech was put into the constitution so any citizen could speak out against the government without fear of reprisal. It was not intended so that someone could put a crucifix in a jar of urine and call it art. It was not intended for hate groups to spout their rhetoric in unfriendly climates. (i.e. the KKK speaking in a black neighborhood or neo-nazis speaking near a synagogue).

Now the second amendment states…

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The right of the people to bear arms was intended back in the days of our forefathers to keep foreign invaders off our soil. Remember, back then we were only 13 states all on the east coast. I have no problem with someone owning one or several guns. But when these extremist groups like in Waco or Ruby Ridge start stockpiling guns then I have a problem. We have a well maintained military now to protect our borders from invasion. We don’t need to have so many guns. As an aside I believe outright banning of all guns is ludicrous. Criminals get their guns in illegal ways and will continue to do so even if guns are outlawed.

In conclusion my point is that these are just a few ways that the Constitution has been taken out of context time and time again. I’m sure our forefathers are spinning in their collective graves. Tom Landry once said “Freedom is not a right, it’s a responsibility.” I think its high time we started acting responsible.

Trench on public schools

So my son (technically my step-son don’t worry I haven’t reproduced) has a learning disability. I’m not going to say what it is but he’s not retarded or anything like that. So he doesn’t like to do his classwork in school. So the teacher calls me and my wife to tell us he’s not doing his classwork at his public school. At this point I’m thinking, “Um….isn’t that your job?”. Granted I don’t expect the schools to raise my kids, but since I can’t be with him 24/7 I need the school’s help to help educate him. So I pose this question. Why the fuck are the teachers not making him do his classwork? It was only 20 years ago when I was his age. Not to sound like my dad but when I was his age there was no option of not doing your classwork. You either did it or else. Have the public school teachers gotten so incredibly lazy in the past two decades? Yes they have. Teachers don’t go into their profession because they like teaching or enjoy children. They go in for the benefits, the union, and their summers off. State benefits have always been cushy. It’s almost impossible to get fired as a teacher unless you molest or kill a student. Hell, I got hit by a teacher when I was in 3rd grade and she didn’t even get a reprimand. And summers off is just the sweetest deal anywhere. Most public school teachers lack the passion for teaching, and unfortunately that reflects in our children.

Racial Profiling

Let me get out my society poking stick. There that’s better. Ok, in my home state of New Jersey the state agreed on Friday to pay $12.9 million to the victims of a State Police shooting which some say was the result of racial profiling. Ok let’s bring in those ugly things called facts that nobody hears about anymore.

Fact: The State Troopers pulled the van over for speeding.
Fact: The driver of the van attempted to BACK OVER the police officers.

Ok, now those two things lead me to believe that THEY WERE BREAKING THE LAW. If you try to run over a cop he/she will shoot at you. Now since there were 3 blacks and a Hispanic in the van it must be racial profiling. Granted the police are not the most racially tolerant people I’ve ever met, but the driver TRIED TO RUN THEM OVER. There will be racial harmony once the races stop acting as victims and start acting as leaders.

Pharmaceuticals

So I’m watching TV with my wife and I see an ad for a pill that helps cure yeast infections. Now being a male I’ve never had a yeast infection but just by the name it doesn’t sound pleasant. Anyway, I thought that must be a real convenience to women. Then they announced the side effects to the pill which included nausea, headaches, etc. Usual crap like that. Then they mentioned in extreme cases it can cause severe allergic reactions, liver problems, and you shouldn’t use it while pregnant or nursing. Now this got me to thinking. When I was a teen I had an extreme case of acne, like I wasn’t already an outcast enough. And my dermatologist put me on this brand new pill at the time that was supposed to be some wonder drug. The side effects were worse than the disease. My lips became cracked to the point of incessant bleeding. I became hypersensitive to sunlight. And then I read the package which stated that if taken while trying to achieve conception in hopes of a baby the baby can be born with severe birth defects.

Now if you notice every time you see an ad on TV for some doctor prescribed medication for either allergies, or weight loss, or what have you, listen closely to the side effects. Some of the ones I’ve heard are just mind-boggling. Now what I want to know is why the Food and Drug Administration allows this. I have a theory. Want to hear it? Well you must if you’re still reading this. Here it is. The FDA is in the back pocket of the pharmaceutical companies. The drug companies are making money hand over fist on people’s suffering. But you may say that they are trying to find cures for diseases and I say to you my friend….”bullshit”. What major disease has been cured in the last part of the 20th century? Cancer? AIDS? Brittney Spears? None of the above. The closest we’ve come to curing an actual disease is impotency with the advent of Viagra. And I’m sorry as much as I love sex I’d rather be impotent than have cancer. The truth is that the drug companies are making more money treating the symptoms of disease than they would if they found a cure, and they know this. If cancer or AIDS was wiped out the losses for the drug companies would be in the billions if not trillions. And the FDA surely gets a cut of that money and as we all know in modern times money rules all.

You Lost…get over it

rednexsuck

Ok so I’m reading an article in the local news rag (The cHarlotte Disturber) about a local high school student who got suspended once for having the confederate flag in the back window of her truck, and then got in trouble again for wearing the confederate flag on her t-shirt. This got me to thinking about how both sides of this argument are so very wrong.

Let me first dispel some rumors about the south. Of all the many years I’ve spent in the south I have seen less instances of racial hate crimes on the news than all the years I lived in the northeast. Rednecks exist in every state north or south. Just go to Millville New Jersey sometime. And it’s not just a southern thing either. I have seen many a confederate flag flying in the state of New Jersey.

Now to the issue at hand. Some southerners cling to the notion that the confederate flag shows pride in their southern heritage. Now I have no problem with people being proud of where they came from. Which is why I wear my New Jersey Devils hockey jersey every chance I get, but I digress. But I see three problems with flying that flag. One, um….hello, the civil war is over, you lost, get over it. I mean it’s like flying a flag that says “Hey we’re proud that we lost”. Secondly, unfortunately hate groups like the KKK and neo-nazi skinheads (not all skinheads are neo-nazis) have taken the flag as their own. So now most of the country views the flag as a symbol of racism. Hell I even used to have the confederate flag t-shirt from when Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” was popular but I wouldn’t dare wear it today. Now matter how much you try to justify that it’s not a symbol of racism it’s too late. The swastika is also an American Indian symbol. But since World War II not too many tribes have been using it. Thirdly it’s not even the true flag of the confederacy. It is the Confederate Navy Jack. The true 1st flag of the confederacy looks like this…

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But that’s till a Confederate flag. My suggestion to you is if you want to show your southern pride come up with a new flag instead. And please for the love of God stop requesting “Freebird” on the radio.

Abortion

Ok now here’s where I drag the party down. Recently I saw an advertisement on TV for NARAL. They are a Pro-Choice organization. The ad consists of several children playing in a yard, mostly focusing on the girls but there are some boys. The voice over is a woman speaking about “What do we tell our children if our right to choose is taken away?” Which should be read “What do we tell our children when abortions are made illegal?” The logic behind this ad perplexes me. To me the ad should say if we keep on having abortions we won’t have to tell our children anything because there won’t be anymore children. If you’re a pro-choice organization don’t use kids in your ads it will only backfire. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those bible beating, hypocritical, pro lifers either. They also annoy the hell out of me. Anyone who says that abortion is murder then kills people for their cause deserve a special place in hell. What I am can not be labeled. My views on abortion are this. Abortion should only be used in the cases of incest, rape, and endangerment to the mother. I wish that didn’t have to be but this a cruel world we live in. But if the sex is consensual, then abortion is not only wrong, it’s an act of cowardice. Abortion should not be used as a form of birth control. This goes back to my saying that people, both men and women, need to take more responsibility. Men if you’re not responsible enough not to take precautions then you need to step up and be responsible enough to be a father. Women, this isn’t about your right to choose what you can do to your body. It’s about denying someone the right to live. Now don’t give me all that crap about I’m not a woman and I would never know. Well let me tell you a story. About 6 years ago I was dating this girl and we split up. I found out later that she was pregnant with my child. I also found out that she went and got an abortion behind my back. Where was my right to choose whether or not I wanted to raise that child? Not only that, I’m adopted. If abortion was legal in 1968, I might not be typing this right now. So many couples who are unable to conceive would do anything to have those children yet so many are terminated needlessly.

More Al Gore Hypocrisy

Recently the Federal Trade Commission released a report saying that the film, music, television, and video game industries have been marketing adult oriented material towards children. Let me add to this by saying “Duh!”. This has been going on for years. When I was 11 a movie came out called “Friday the 13th”. It was rated R and I was much too young at the time. Did that stop me from wanting to go see it? Um…..NO!!!!! What did stop me was a responsible mother who realized I was too young to witness such violence. Not to mention the fact looking back I really didn’t miss much outside of seeing Kevin Bacon get slaughtered but I digress. I found an article (dead link) on MSNBC.com that had Al Gore’s reaction to the FTC findings….

Gore said Monday if the entertainment industry did not halt such practices, he would support unspecified measures to hold it accountable. “A lot of it has to be done privately,” Gore said in an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey television talk show. “It’s not about censorship; it’s about citizenship, including corporate citizenship.” Referring to his wife’s involvement in the 1980s in a campaign to urge the recording industry to voluntarily label obscene and violent lyrics, Gore said, “Tipper started 20 years ago educating me about why parents need more help, and she was successful in convincing the recording industry to give warnings to parents when material is inappropriate,” Gore said. “Now Joe Lieberman and I are following up on that to try to persuade all the companies in that industry to abide by what they said they would do.”

Ok lets break this down shall we….
1. He’s on Oprah. We know how great a fair and even-handed political forum the Oprah Show is.
2. This is coming from the man who has accepted more campaign funds from the Hollywood industry than any presidential candidate ever.
3. He dug up the ghosts of the PMRC. The ill-fated pet project of Tipper Gore. She cried for ratings, she got a sticker.
4. So either this man is dead serious about censorship or he’s a hypocrite. Either way that makes him dangerous.

Bottom line: All corporations are soulless money-making machines out for a fast buck. Of course they are marketing towards your children. Children want most what they can’t have. It’s yours and my job as parents and step-parents to protect our children, not the government’s. And if you feel it is the government’s job to help raise your children than you shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.

Video Game Violence

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So my friends at The Washington Post are at it again. No it’s not about me this time but you’ll see the connection if you’ve been reading this site. (Yeah, right.)

 I read an article run in the daily newspaper that was run in the Post on 8/12/2000. The article was an opinion piece about how video game manufacturers are marketing their merchandising for M rated video games towards pre-schoolers. Now I thought it was just another article saying that the government should be the watchers of our children and not the parents until I saw this quote concerning ratings…

“More concretely, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) have introduced a Uniform Ratings Bill and are planning to hold hearings on it after the FTC report comes out. This bill would mandate an end to the current hodgepodge of ratings systems and require that Hollywood, the video game industry and music industry work together to create a single ratings system. If the industries fail to come up with such a system, the FTC would be authorized to establish one.”

Notice a familiar name in there? That’s right kiddies. Our fair senator from Connecticut is not only concerned about pro-wrestling but he seems to be meddling in the affairs of one of my other loves, video games.

Again I say it is the parents responsibility to know what games your children are playing. Just like you should know what TV shows they’re watching. No excuses. And don’t give me any crap about how you’re too busy. You should always have time for your kids.

Senator Joe on Wrestling

So I’m checking out one of my least favorite wrestling sites at SCOOPS. (No longer exists) And the author of the article I was reading said he was watching the Sunday morning news shows and saw Sen. Joseph Lieberman say this….

‘I’m going to keep saying that to them and appealing to them to draw a line. And I can assure you … a Gore-Lieberman administration will be concerned about what government can do within appropriate constitutional limits to improve the moral future of America.’

Appropriate constitutional limits? Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the First Amendment guarantee the freedom of expression without fear of government reprisal? So this man (and Tipper) is going to decide what I can or can not watch on TV, or movies, or the internet? Big Brother is close at hands my friend. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about read 1984 by George Orwell.)

I said it before and I’ll say it again, a vote for Gore is a vote for censorship.

Al and Joe = Censorship

So I know I haven’t written lately, (not like anyone is really reading this), because things have been sailing pretty smoothly for yours truly.

I got married on July 30th, but my wife is still 642 miles away. So I’m busy searching for a new job to be with her.

I was going to write about the dumbass, tree hugging, no job having, no real point protesters that were here in Philthy for the RNC but everyone and their grandmother has written about that so I’ll write today about something that seriously pissed me off today. One personal, one not so personal. The not so personal first.

Vice President Al Gore chose his running mate recently. One Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut. Not much is known about him but I do know a little bit about him. Sen. Lieberman is on the board of an organization known as the PTC. What the PTC does is it recommends what TV shows are suitable for family viewing and pressures the advertisers of shows that it finds offensive. For those of us in our 30’s does this sound familiar? One specific show they targeted is WWF Smackdown on the UPN Network. This happens to be one of my favorite shows. Granted this show is not what I would call family viewing and I believe that it should not be viewed by anyone under 15. But, it is the parents responsibility to monitor your child’s viewing habits. Not the governments and certainly not the PTC’s. If you don’t know what your child is watching than your just a bad parent, bottom line.

Rewind to about 1985 I believe. There was a senator from Tennessee whose wife organized a coalition to censor lyrics in rock and rap music. That senator was Al Gore and his wife Tipper Gore. (Do you see where I’m headed with this?) We haven’t heard from Tipper in a while have we? Just biding her time until she got to the White House perhaps?.

I almost was going to vote for Al Gore because he was a Vietnam vet and I believe that our Commander-in-Chief should have military experience. But now there’s no way I would vote for him. A vote for Al Gore is a vote for censorship. I’m not asking you to vote for Bush, I’m just asking you to not vote for Gore.