Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

Wishing my blogging friends all the best for 2007!

Mike's America is having a New Year's Blogger Party:
It's that time of year when we look back at the year that was before we leap to the year ahead...[and] also an opportunity to look back at some of the big stories of the year and place them in the context of time and fuller understanding.
You might want to stop by Mike's site to see what he'll be posting in his end-of-year roundup.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/29/2006 09:13:00 AM  


Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Look Back At 2006

In the December 18, 2006 edition of Newsweek, George F. Will begins his commentary with
"How gruesome was 2006?"
Mr. Wills begins his essay with mention of Ahmadinejad's mania and ends with mention of the passing of Lillian Gertrude Asplund, the last American survivor from the Titanic. In between he runs the gamut from politics to the justice system to sports.

Read all of Mr. Will's take on the serious and the absurd from 2006. Evaluate what he had to say, and/or add your own commentary on 2006.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/28/2006 09:30:00 AM  


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ellison: Muslim Activism As Part Of Allah's Plan

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

[Hat-tip to Jihadi Du Jour for the first link here]

From this source, on December 25, 2006:
Speaking in Dearborn, Mich., late Sunday night, the first Muslim elected to Congress told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice.

"You can't back down, you can't chicken out, you can't be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause.

"Allahu akbar" — God is great — was the reply of many in the crowd....

Ellison said in Dearborn that Muslims can help teach America about justice and equal protection, suggesting that Muslim activists may be part of God's plan....
Those who found fault with policital activism from evangelical Christians, who often mention "God's plan," remain noticeably silent when it comes to criticizing Ellison's remarks.

Over at Infidel Bloggers Alliance,a posting by Pastorius included some information about the groups to whom Ellison directed his recent remarks, made at the annual convention of two Muslim groups. One group was the Muslim American Society, which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood:
[T]he fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood operates in the United States as none other than MAS. So while most American Muslims don't want to see the United States governed by sharia, Bray's organization does. And while researching for the debate, I found that MAS--except in its most public of statements--is quite open about its agenda and allegiances. Even a brief review of various MAS chapters' websites provides a revealing look at what the national organization is teaching its members.

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD is an international Islamist group that largely operates underground and behind the scenes, with branches in about 70 countries. The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher who--in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and abolition of the caliphate--bemoaned the sickness of the Ummah, or larger Muslim community. The Brotherhood's response to this perceived sickness was to emphasize doctrinally that Islam encompasses all the affairs of man. As al-Banna wrote, "Islam is faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur'an and a sword." The group also emphasizes that Islam is a universal faith. As al-Banna put it, Islam "has encompassed all aspects of human life, for all peoples and nations, and for all times and ages."

Because the Brotherhood views Islam as all-encompassing and universal, one of its highest goals is to spread Islamic law...

Brotherhood members did emphasize to the Tribune that they operate within the laws of the countries where they live:
They stress that they do not believe in overthrowing the U.S. government, but rather that they want as many people as possible to convert to Islam so that one day--perhaps generations from now--a majority of Americans will support a society governed by Islamic law.
The other group whom Ellison addressed was the Islamic Circle of North America, which, according to Steven Emerson,
is on record as calling for jihad in the United States, to promote the notion of an Islamic world. ICNA also published something very recently saying that they are against suicide bombings, except when it comes to killing Israelis.
Does Mr. Ellison not know the details regarding the company he is keeping? Surely he is informed!

By making speeches to various Muslim groups, Mr. Ellison himself is making it clear that his photo-op of swearing on the Koran contains a larger message. When he puts his hand on the Koran, what is he symbolically upholding — the Constitution or shari'a law? Perhaps Mr. Ellison will soon take the opportunity to explain to us, specifically, how shari'a law is compatible with the principles of Western freedom.

In the case of Abdul Rahman, we learned that shari'a law trumps constitutional law. Of course, Abdul Rahman was in Afghanistan, and his close call with execution for apostasy was in an Islamic nation. Such trumping of Constitutional law could never happen here in the United States, right?

For further reading, see "Keith Ellison, Taquiya In Action" at Kevin's Amboy Times. Maybe, as Kevin suggested in a comment here at Always On Watch, we can turn that new MRI lie-detector in the direction of Representative Ellison.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/26/2006 06:11:00 PM  


No More Lies?

Just think of the possible applications of this! From the Washington Post article "Brain on Fire":
The Siemens Magnetom Trio at the University of Pennsylvania is a 10-foot-tall, 14-ton "functional magnetic resonance imaging" machine -- fMRI, for short. It promises to be the most formidable lie detector ever built. By peering directly into our brains, its keepers aim to set a new gold standard for the recognition of honesty in everyone from politicians to criminals to lovers.

The check's in the mail.

That was wonderful.

I'm from Washington and I'm here to help you.
In large part the fMRI imaging technology is based on the following principle:
What the lie detection research has shown so far is that "the truth is always simpler," says Gur, of the Brain Behavior Center. "To make a lie you have to know what is true, and you have to distort it. That is the extra work that goes into lying." It lights up the parts of the brain that control behavior, watch for mistakes, and create physical reflections of your thoughts...
Thus far, the cost of getting such a scan done is cost-prohibitive. No Lie MRI is charging $900 for a half-hour test. Nevertheless, according to the article,
In the pipeline are several cheaper, faster, easier-to-use brain-examining technologies, all intended as major improvements on the unreliable chicken-scratching polygraph we use now. Some seem to identify mental preparations for telling a lie even before the liar opens his mouth -- verging on mind-reading. Another is meant to work from across the room, even if you do not wish to cooperate....
The article mentions several applications of this new technology. One of them makes for some interesting speculation:
[T]he University of Pennsylvania has licensed the technology developed there -- on which it has applied for a patent -- to the California firm No Lie MRI Inc.... No Lie MRI's Web site has proclaimed that the company hopes to revolutionize truth telling in America, offering "objective, scientific, mental evidence, similar to the role in which DNA biological identification is used," to everyone from the FBI, CIA and NSA to the Department of Homeland Security....

The boundless desire for a way to dig through deception is why political consultant John Zogby, president of Zogby International, expects the new brain scanning devices to be in widespread use in the 2008 presidential election. He can clearly see a demand to discover what voters really think of candidates -- and their commercials.
How about turning those lie detectors onto the candidates themselves? Politics, as we know it today, could undergo a major metamorphosis!

The testing of the new scans ran into a little glitch when No Lie MRI, recently licensed by the University of Pennsylvania to use the equipment, prepared to test its first customer on October 29, perhaps a case of ignorance is bliss:
[A]t the last minute, with NBC and CBS camera crews standing by to record the event, [the customer] decided she didn't want to put to the test her assertion that she had not cheated on her husband while he was in alcohol rehab...
The web site No Lie MRI makes the following assertion:
"The technology used by No Lie MRI represents the first and only direct measure of truth verification and lie detection in human history!"
Is the human race ready for total honesty?

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/26/2006 12:01:00 AM  


Monday, December 25, 2006

Celebrate CHRISTmas!

Graphic from Old Soldier:

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1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
May we ponder in our hearts the Gift freely given so long ago.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/25/2006 11:30:00 PM  


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Meme

Graphic borrowed from A New Dark Age Is Dawning

I don't usually play games like this. But Raven tagged me, so here goes....

Things I would like for Christmas:

1) The best of times with my extended family and my friends.

2) A dusting of snow.

3) A dishwasher.

Things I don’t want for Christmas:

1) Calendars. I have several already.

2) Anything for the kitchen, except aforementioned dishwasher.

3) Toiletry items, especially those for bathing.

Apologies, but I hereby tag Brooke, Mr. Beamish, Nanc, Warren, and Elmer's Brother. According to the directions I received from Raven, each of you should tag five others in the comments at their blogs.

Other commenters can play, too, in the comments section here.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/22/2006 11:52:00 AM  


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Memories

This time of year, newspapers carry stories about Christmas memories. I got to thinking, “What is my strongest Christmas memory?” Although I can search the archives of my memories and remember bits and pieces of many other Christmases in my life, my strongest Christmas memory has to be that of the Christmas Eve when my husband’s eye patch came off.

My husband didn’t undergo eye surgery. Nothing as simple as that! Rather, on December 7, 1993, he underwent surgery for a large and rapidly growing acoustic neuroma. The surgery lasted nearly ten hours, with expertise required from both an otolaryngologist and a neurosurgeon.

A week later, both my husband and I thought that the worst was over. He had had no complications such as facial paralysis, blindness, or leakage of spinal fluid; and he had learned how to walk again. When he was released from the hospital on December 14, we were primed to celebrate a special Christmas. So what if he had to wear that funny-looking helmet to protect his head? He was alive and recovering well! The worst was over, life was good.

Our relief didn't last long, however. Within a few days my husband developed severe double vision and had to wear an eye patch in order to avoid dizziness and disorientation. Of course, the eye patch was merely symptomatic relief, and the surgeons were concerned about possible damage to the optic nerve, permanent damage which could have resulted from brain swelling following the operation. After all, the neurosurgeon had dug around in my husband’s brain stem for over two hours.

On December 23, my husband was back in another specialist’s office, this time for a consult with an ophthalmologist. We had to wait for hours because my husband’s appointment was one of those we’ll-work-you-in-as-an-emergency-before-the-holidays-start appointments. As we waited, we had plenty of time to think about all the horrible possibilities. The two of us wore glum looks as we contemplated how life for us might be forever changing. And awful thoughts ran through our minds: “What if the problem is another tumor, another kind of tumor which the doctors missed diagnosing?” “What if the neurosurgeon missed a tiny piece of that acoustic neuroma and it’s growing?” “What if another operation is required?” “What if this problem is inoperable?” In that festively-decorated waiting room, my husband and I sat in silence and stared at the floor.

Even now, thirteen years later, I don’t have sufficient words to describe the relief we felt when, after hours of tests including another MRI done that very day, the ophthalmologist said, “It’s brain swelling and very slight. Another round of steroids will resolve your diplopia. You can stop worrying.” We wanted to believe her, but had our doubts. After all, the human brain is a mysterious and complicated organ about which much is not known. Silence filled the car as we made our way home through the crunch of holiday traffic. We returned home exhausted—and, yes, worried.

The next evening, our family gathered to exchange gifts as is our custom on Christmas Eve. Despite the medication, my husband still had to wear the eye patch to cope with his double vision. Every few minutes, he kept taking the patch off to check his vision, and every time he put the patch back on when he found no change. Our gathering wasn’t very cheerful, and nobody ate much. I put most of the feast away, largely untouched. After opening our presents, all of us forced ourselves to raise our voices in the sing-along of carols. I drove my father home earlier than usual and returned home to fall into bed—alone, because my husband had to sleep in a recliner with his head elevated for months following the surgery.

But that ophthalmologist was right. At 11:30 P.M. on December 24, my husband woke me up. “It’s a miracle! I can see! I can see! I’m fine!”

A few minutes later, my husband and I listened as the chimes of the nearby country church rang out and sounded the notes of “Silent Night.” Despite the cold weather, my husband and I went out onto our front porch so as to hear more clearly and to sing along. Before or since, those chimes have never sounded so sweet. God had given us our own personal Christmas miracle.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/21/2006 08:08:00 AM  


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Unnecessary"? "Psychological Harm"?

1,282 illegal aliens arrested for possible involvement in identity-theft schemes get arrested at the Swift Meat Packing Company are demanding that the ICE raids be halted. Excerpt from the December 20, 2006 edition of the Washington Times:
The nation's oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization yesterday condemned as "unnecessary" the raids last weeks at Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in six states, saying further raids should be halted until Congress passes immigration reform legislation.

"We demand a halt to further immigration raids unless the government demonstrates that a particular arrest is necessary to protect public safety or for national security," said Rosa Rosales, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

"The manner in which the raids were conducted has caused psychological harm to the immigrants and their families," said Ms. Rosales...
Arresting lawbreakers causes psychological damage? Arresting identity-theft criminals is unnecessary?

According to the December 20, 2006 edition of the Washington Post, immigration reform may be on the way:
...Bush said that he is interested in enacting a proposal, blocked earlier this year by House Republicans, that would establish a guest-worker program for low-skilled workers and a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now in the country.

"I hope that Congress will join me on a comprehensive bill, and I would hope that the majority of both parties support it," he said.
Do these words mean that, at all costs, we must prevent the "unnecessary" "psychological harm" inflicted upon illegal invaders?

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/20/2006 08:51:00 AM  


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Islamicizing Christmas?

From the December 16, 2006 edition of the Tennessean:
Gov. Phil Bredesen [Democrat, Tennessee] has given an unusual twist to his family's Christmas card: He is marking a Christian holiday with a card depicting a Muslim girl.

The card's cover is a print of a painting by the governor of a young woman he met when he toured Afghanistan in March.
The following is the complete text of the card, from this source:
I met the teenage girl depicted in this painting in March of this year at a primitive school on the Shamali Plains Road outside of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Until recently, under the Taliban, education was forbidden to her. She is now learning to read, and on the day I visited, was studying geography.

While it may seem odd to put a portrait of a young Muslim woman on a Christmas card, this Season reminds us that He loves His children most of all.

May the miracle of Christmas help bring peace and hope to this young woman and her wounded land.
What is Governor Bredesen's intended message? Perhaps he's trying to link "the Abrahamic faiths." Perhaps the card is a subtle evangelical message. Or perhaps the card is a reflection of the governor's interest in education. His web site states,
"A quality education is the difference between a healthy, happy life for a child or a lifelong struggle to stay ahead."
No argument with that statement. Nevertheless, according to the article in the Tennessean, the governor's choice of depiction on the Christmas card has caused one minister to question the appropriateness of using a Muslima:
A local conservative Christian minister also wasn't sure [of the intended message of the governor's card].

"If he is saying Christmas is about honoring all religions, I don't agree," said the Rev. Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church in Madison. "If the message is to love all people, that is Jesus Christ's message. The governor's message is just not very clear."
And at least one Muslim has criticized the card. In happy-holiday wishes for Christians, Khaled Sakalla, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, has voiced criticism of the card:
...[I]f the governor saw a Muslim woman in Afghanistan as depicted — with her head partially uncovered — that's not the Muslim dress code.

"Women shouldn't have their faces fully covered, nor should they have their hair half-uncovered," Sakalla said.
At Christmas time, we speak a lot of the love of God. Many Christians talk about how He loved us so much that he sent His only Son to be born in a lowly manger and later to die as the propitiation for our sins. Is Governor Bredesen trying to send that message in a subtle way, or is he bowing to interfaithing? Something else? Your thoughts?

Addendum: See Bear Creek Ledger's post on this same topic.

[Hat-tip to Nanc, who sent me the article from the Tennessean]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/19/2006 11:20:00 AM  


Sunday, December 17, 2006

For The Holocaust Deniers

The video below has a soundtrack. Before watching, please stop the Christmas music which automatically loads by accessing the controls at the top of the right sidebar.

[Hat-tip to Skye]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/17/2006 07:56:00 PM  


Is This A Hate Crime?

Received via email....

San Anselmo's Pat La Tray, who built the gallows and has this display on his front yard, doesn't think so:
"It is a patriotic symbol," La Tray said. "It has nothing to do with race or religion."...

La Tray said he moved to the house in 2002 with his wife, Nong. As a veteran of several wars, he said he is offended people don't stand up for American troops.

"I'm an American to the bone," he said. "For me, it is strictly about Islamo-fascism."

La Tray noted that he proudly displays several American flags - including one painted on the address marker on his curb - and he is angry that someone wants to say what he can display on his own property. People in Marin would cheer if the effigy looked like President Bush, he said.

"I don't live for my neighbors," he said. "They can turn their head and walk away."
Predictably, CAIR has something to say about La Tray's gallows and effigy:
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Washington D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he hears about similar displays from time to time across the country and understands the frustration caused by terrorism. But, he added, there are better ways to express opposition to it that don't reinforce stereotypes against Arabs or Muslims who don't participate.

"I don't think this would promote interfaith understanding," he said.
Frustration, Mr. Hooper? 2996 people murdered on 9/11 leads to a lot more than frustration!

As far as I know, CAIR has yet to name a specific terrorist or terrorist organiztion and issue a specific condemnation, although CAIR did condemn the recent Holocaust Conference without mentioning Ahmadinejad's name despite the fact that he is a Shi'ite. I note that CAIR had no trouble mentioning David Duke's name and condemning that anti-Semite.

As far as interfaithing goes, based on what I've observed interfaithing means making concessions to Islam and getting sweet few concessions in return.

Would CAIR condemn the effigy on La Tray's property if that effigy were plainly Osama Bin Laden or any other Sunni terrorist?

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/17/2006 06:53:00 PM  


60 Minutes: December 17

Received via email from a cyberfriend:

From: CBS News
To: "Association of Holocaust Organizations"
Subject: 60 MINUTES' "Hitler's Secret Archive" (Sunday,Dec.17)
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:15:51 +0000

Good afternoon. I wanted to give you a heads-up on a story that will be running this Sunday, Dec. 17 (7PM ET/PT on CBS) on "60 MINUTES" about a long-secret German archive that houses a treasure-trove of information on 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust. The archive, located in the Germantown of Bad Arolsen, is massive (there are 16 miles of shelving containing 50 million pages of documents) and, until recently, was off-limits to the public. But after the German government agreed earlier this year to open the archives, CBS News' Scott Pelley traveled there with three Jewish survivors who were able to see their own Holocaust records.

It's an incredibly moving piece, all the more poignant in the wake of this week's meeting of Holocaust deniers in Iran. We're trying to get word out about the story to pople who have a special interest in this subject. So we were hoping you'd consider sending out something to your list serve and/or posting something on your website. Further information will also be available on our website, which you're welcome to link to from yours.
This program promises to show up the Holocaust deniers for the liars they are, provided the politically correct producers at 60 Minutes don't distort the information.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/17/2006 07:45:00 AM  


Friday, December 15, 2006


Rejoice! Haloscan provides a way to ban trolls!

Apologies to Farmer John for the Haloscan restrictions on the length of comments.

A special thanks to Warren for helping me to set up this site. We may still have a bit of tweaking to do, but the site is up and running.

I'd appreciate it if those of you who have linked to my blog would change the link on your sidebar.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/15/2006 01:23:00 PM  


December 15: Bill Of Rights Day

According to this source,
This day was signed into practice by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 15, 1941, one hundred and fifty years after the actual signing of the Bill of Rights by our forefathers. Ironically, he proclaimed the holiday just one week after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor initiating the United States' involvement in World War II where freedom issues were at the core of wartime dogma....

While the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, it wasn't until two years later that the ten Bill of Rights were incorporated into the governing document.
George Mason of Virginia, with the Virginia Declaration of Rights, helped to contribute to our Declaration of Independence and to the Bill of Rights, an essential portion of our Constitution:

A call for American independence from Britain, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was drafted by George Mason in May 1776 and amended by Thomas Ludwell Lee and the Virginia Convention. Thomas Jefferson drew heavily from this document when he drafted the Declaration of Independence one month later.

Mason wrote that "all men are born equally free and independant [sic], and have certain inherent natural rights,...among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursueing [sic] and obtaining Happiness and Safety." This uniquely influential document was also used by James Madison in drawing up the Bill of Rights (1789)...
The following is the complete text of our Bill of Rights, with summarizing headers:
First Amendment – Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.
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.

Second Amendment
– Right for the people to keep and bear arms, as well as to maintain a militia.
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.

Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment
– Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property.
No person shall be held to answer for any 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.

Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and other rights of the accused.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Now is also a fitting time to review some quotations from George Mason. A few samples:
June 12, 1788
Live in a frugal Style, without parade or Ostentation, avoid all unnecessary Expence, & do as much of your Business your selves, as you can...

April 17-26, 1775
We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it. All men are by nature born equally free and independent. To protect the weaker from the injuries and insults of the stronger were societies first formed; … Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed to this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further, or is of longer duration than is in its nature necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact oppression.

May 20, 1787
It is easy to foresee that there will be much Difficulty in organizing a Government upon this great Scale, & at the same time reserving to the State Legislatures a sufficient Portion of Power for promoting & securing the Prosperity & Happiness of their respective Citizens.

July 5, 1792
… for at my time of Life, my only Satisfaction and Pleasure is in my Children; and all my Views are centered in their Wellfare and Happiness.

Aug. 22, 1787
...Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of caused & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.
From this article about George Mason:

Mason...[called slavery] "that slow poison, which is daily contaminating the minds and morals of our people." At the Constitutional Convention, he spoke against allowing any mention of slavery to appear in the text of the Constitution. He also pressed to include a bill of rights — and when none was put in (this was before the first ten amendments were passed), he urged his home state of Virginia not to ratify our country's key founding documents.

That move cost Mason his long friendship with George Washington, and also knocked him out of the pantheon of Founding Fathers. Had he supported the Constitution, his name would be spoken in the same breath as Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Instead, he went into history as a leading Anti-Federalist.

Mason...supported freedom of religion and freedom of the press long before these ideas became institutionalized in American life. He was a lifelong champion of liberty whose influence improved the United States in its earliest days.
A Republic, If You Can Keep It is maintaining an updated list of Bill-of-Rights Day commemorations. Please notify David if you learn of a commemoration in your area:

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/15/2006 08:37:00 AM  


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Graphic from NeoCon CommandCenter

According to the December 16, 2006 edition of the Washington Post, the Christian Defense Coalition is promoting "Project Nativity" as part of their effots to "take Christmas back":
"Our hope and prayer is that over the next three to four years, hundreds of nativity scenes will begin to dot the landscape of America once again," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. He said he hoped the temporary nativity scene on a terrace of the Capitol would serve as a "template" for similar efforts.
The project is not limited to the United States. For example, Catholic schoolteacher Kathleen Darragh has written another version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," available through ACTA Publications in Illinois:
Writing with her schoolchildren in mind, her poem begins: "On the first day of Christmas, our true God sent to us . . . Our Saviour Baby Jesus."

"The most excited talk they have is about Santa, and I sort of thought we have to get this idea across to them that Christmas is really about Christ and keeping the Christ in Christmas," she said in a telephone interview.

"People here and people in England are saying: 'Let's not go down the American route of having a Happy Holiday. Let's say . . . this is Happy Christmas. It's not Happy Holiday.' "
The 2006 film The Nativity Story has added impetus to the idea of paying more attention to the reason for the Season:
This year, some Christians are celebrating the focus on Jesus's birth on the big screen with the recent premiere of "The Nativity Story," just one way they hope to redirect Christmas away from the North Pole and back to Bethlehem....
For Christian believers, Christmas has, of course, always been about Bethlehem and the birth of our Savior. Despite the turning of this holy day into a commercial holiday, the meaning has always remained the same, for God has promised us that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Before we get caught up in the last days of the Christmas rush, I now take this opportunity to wish all my many Christian cyberfriends, too many to name, "Merry Christmas!" May the Spirit of Christmas be in your heart today and forever.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.


O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Turn the page ....

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posted by Always On Watch @ 12/14/2006 01:25:00 PM