With a hat tip to Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web Today we have the following.
On the ACLU’s website you will find this:
It is probably no accident that freedom of speech is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Constitution’s framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society.
Perhaps Maureen Dowd wrote the text for them. Let’s examine what they left out in the ellipse. Any guesses? Here’s the full text of the First Amendment.
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.
Now, it could be that the ACLU intended the careful caveat of the word “freedom.” But what about “free exercise?”
That might be a plausible argument, except elsewhere on the ACLU’s website, we find this:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These opening words of the First Amendment to the Constitution set forth a dual guarantee of religious liberty. Both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause operate to protect the religious liberty and freedom of conscience of all Americans.
Perhaps the ACLU really just finds it inconvenient that freedom of religion comes before freedom of speech in the First Amendment. Perhaps the ACLU has spent so much time trying to convince people that the First Amendment relates solely to speech and freedom from religion that it has itself forgotten that the first freedom in the First Amendment is the freedom to freely worship. Perhaps this forgetfulness explains why the ACLU spends so much time using the federal courts to prevent people from freely practicing religion.
To paraphrase the ACLU, it is probably no accident that freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment. Maybe someone should remind them.
Crossposted at Red State with a much more controversial title.
In taking over from the Democrats, the Republicans in the State House have decided to fashion themselves after the US House leadership. In doing so, the Republicans rammed through (pdf) this rules package that has one provision a lot of people on both sides of the aisle aren’t too happy about.
33.2 In arranging and fixing the calendar for each day’s business, the Committee on Rules is authorized to place on each measure to come before the House any of the following special rules: (a) Open Rule- Germane amendments may be offered in accordance with the provisions of these Rules. (b) Modified Open Rule- Germane amendments may be offered subject only to an overall time limit on the amendment process and a requirement that the amendments be pre-printed and placed upon the desk one hour prior to debate. (c) Modified Structured Rule- Germane amendments designated by the Committee on Rules may be offered. This rule may preclude amendments to a particular portion of the bill, although other parts of the bill may be open to amendment. (d) Structured Rule- No amendments may be offered.
The rule allows the Rules Committee to decide which bills coming from committees may be amended on the floor of the House. While it creates a more efficient process, it also hinders the ability of elected representatives to participate effectively in debate.
I trust the House leadership will not to abuse the power, and I trust it will be used more to stymie the efforts of an angry minority that thinks it should be the majority. Using the rule that way would be sweet indeed.
At the same time, one wonders abou the right of a representative to actively engage in the legislative process when his hands are tied through the Rules Committee. One also wonders what might happen to the Republicans if they fail to maintain their majority in two years — something that is not likely, but should be considered.
I have lust in my heart.
The new Apple Mac Mini. It fits in the palm of your hand and connects to your pre-existing equipment for only $499.
If this doesn’t attrack Windows users, nothing will.
While sad, I take strength from something like this too.
Presbyterian minister collapsed and died in mid-sentence of a sermon after saying “And when I go to heaven …,” his colleague said Monday. The Rev. Jack Arnold, 69, was nearing the end of his sermon Sunday at Covenant Presbyterian Church in this Orlando suburb when he grabbed the podium before falling to the floor, said the Rev. Michael S. Beates, associate pastor at Covenant Presbyterian. Before collapsing, Arnold quoted the 18th century Bible scholar, John Wesley, who said, “Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done … I go to be with Jesus,” Beates said in a telephone interview.
The Steve Jobs keynote begins at the MacWorld Expo right at 12pm EST. There is a media blockout, but we have our sources.
Expected through the rumor mill are upgrades to the Powerbooks, a cheap headless Mac to lure Windows iPod users over to Apple (we have MS Word AND no viruses), a flash based iPod for about $100, and some wordprocessing software. Oh, let’s not forget Asteroid, a rumored piece of equipment for connecting instruments to your computer for use with Garage Band.
This should be fun.
I have a small post up at Red State and I want to extend the discussion here.
With Bush seeming tolerate to illegal immigration and delegating management of the economy to seemingly incomptent stewards, will he be ripe for criticism in 2008? Right now the Republicans are still in post-election love fest. By 2008, however, if Bush does not shore up his conservative and Christian base, my bet is that the GOP primary will be more ripe for an anti-Bush candidate than the Democratic primary. That is not to suggestion the GOP will be greater Bush bashers or louder Bush bashers, but will make a more — dare I say it — nuanced criticism of the Bush Presidency than the Dems, who already hate him for merely breathing.
The taped message is so common that many callers might assume that no one is ever listening, let alone taking notes. But they would be wrong. Monitoring is intended to track the performance of call center operators, but the professional snoops are inadvertently monitoring callers, too. Most callers do not realize that they may be taped even while they are on hold. It is at these times that monitors hear husbands arguing with their wives, mothers yelling at their children, and dog owners throwing fits at disobedient pets, all when they think no one is listening. Most times, the only way a customer can avoid being recorded is to hang up.
According to the Telegraph, Dubose Porter, the House Minority Leader, says
“It shuts the public out of government . . . .It’s just as bad for rank-and-file Republicans as it is for Democrats.” Richardson, a Dallas Republican, said the new rules will help make state government more efficient. He said his party is no more abusive of power than were Democrats under former Speaker Tom Murphy, D-Bremen. “Rep. Porter’s clearly in denial that he lost the election,” Richardson said. “I think Georgians are closer to where we are than where the Democrats are.”
The problem for Porter is he’s upset the Democrats never thought of it. Here’s an idea for Porter. Since the Dems bought and paid for Leah Sears spot as Chief Justice this year, run to court and have the rule overturned. While no court should do that, you might just find a friend in court willing to wage war against the GOP on your behalf.
Oh, and there is this:
Some Democrats criticized the speed with which Richardson called for a vote on the new rules, overruling attempts at debate. Rep. David Lucas, D-Macon, stood up and shouted, but was without a microphone and was drowned out and ignored by the speaker.
Heh. Welcome to the minority Mr. Lucas. May you be treated with the same respect you showed Republicans when they were in the minority. Again — heh!
The Macon Telegraph has a profile of Willie Talton, the first black Republican to serve in the Georgia House since Reconstruction.
Mr. Talton says he wants to pass new laws to further curb vote fraud in the state. He can start by introducing legislation to restrict what forms of ID voters can show at the polls. In Georgia, like many other states, a voter need not show photographic identification when they vote.
For more on ID’s see my post at Red State.