Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

November 26, 2004

What Does the ACLU Stand For?

Filed under: Government,Society-Culture — Bunker @ 12:57 pm

I use to think the ACLU was in the business of looking out for Joe Average American, acting as a watchdog over the government and its tentacles reaching ever deeper into our souls–you know, kinda like MSM.

But like any organization that has success in living up to its original charter, once its work is pretty much complete, it begins looking for other things to keep those who live off its income employed. We will never see a “non-profit organiztion” simply decide to close up shop because their work is done. They must continually look for “victims” to “help.”

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

That’s pretty clear, is it not? Okay, it may not be clear what “an establishment of religion” means. The precise meaning was, and is, that the Federal Government cannot establish any religion by law. Nor can Congress prohibit anyone from exercising their own religion. Less than two decades later, almost immediately after his inauguration, President Jefferson responded to a Baptist association in Connecticut whose congregation feared he would restrict them in their religious practices. He wrote to assure them he would not, and told them he felt “separation of church and state” were essential.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions

Funny that the Separation advocates ignore the last part of that sentence and often advocate hate crime legislation. If we are to take Jefferson’s words as unofficial amendment to the Constitution, perhaps we should include them all. Isn’t it also odd that Jefferson would also say (in the same letter), “I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man.” Do you think he meant God?

Actually, if you want to understand the essence of the words in our Constitution and its first ten Amendments, maybe the best way is to see how James Madison, primary author of the document, first wrote it:

The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience by in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.

Today we have the ACLU demanding the Defense Department distance itself from the Boy Scouts, and we have a teacher in California in trouble for distributing historic documents to his students. And our popular ACLU continues its assault on Christmas, with communities knuckling under in order to not have to spend exorbitant amounts of money fighting through court.

Will the ACLU come to the teacher’s defense? Isn’t the government imposing opinion?

The ACLU is also involved in trying to have a small cross removed from the Seal of the City of Los Angeles. They will prevail because the City will simply remove it rather than take the fight to court. Yet I see nothing in the First Amendment, or any other portion of the Constitution that restricts a city from having a religious symbol, or even a city ordinance requiring everyone in town to belong to a specific church. If a city council decide to force everyone to become Catholic, there is nothing in the First Amendment to prevent it.

It would be nice if everyone running for office had to pass a test on the Constitution. I would also prefer to see Justices on our Supreme Court be students of the Constitution rather than the law. Perhaps then groups like the ACLU would quit using what they see as tacit approval from the First Amendment–it only says Congress shall make no law; It says nothing restricting the courts from making those laws.


Filed under: General — Bunker @ 7:15 am

Hud found this this article which is probably giving Mr. Gates a few sleepless nights.

While IE’s market share has dropped 5 percent since May to 88.9 percent, Mozilla browsers, including Firefox have grown by 5 percent.

Over 6 million copies of Firefox have been downloaded–including my own. And it is, in my oh-so-humble-opinion, far better than IE. I began using it about eight months ago, and now cannot even look at IE. Firefox has pop-up blocking along with many other features that make my browsing much easier. One of the things I really like is the tabbed browsing capability. If you do any web page development (and what blogger doesn’t want to tweak code?), there are extensions to help. In fact, there are hundreds of add-ins to use in customizing the interface to suit the way you play around with the web. They also produce Thunderbird, which is a better way of handling emails. The spam sifting is worth the change alone.

I’m a Bill Gates fan. I think he and his millionaires at Microsoft have done more to expand our ability to glean information and opinion than any other group in the world. I don’t always agree with the direction he wants things to go, however. And the internet interface is one of those areas.

You can download, install, and run Firefox without removing IE. Take a chance.

November 25, 2004

Pete Geren

Filed under: General — Bunker @ 8:29 am

It always amazes me how small this world is that we live in.

I went to the studio for Jim’s show this morning. Mayor Loyd Neal was also there. During one of the breaks, after discussing how politicians often forget their roots, I mentioned Pete Geren.

I attended Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. Pete was a year ahead of me. We both played football. Pete was one of those young men that simply stood out as exceptional, even to the point that I was in awe of him. I remember one time in practice where I missed a block on him and the coach jumped all over me about not knocking him on his butt. “Are you afraid to hit Geren?” No, I just didn’t want to take a chance of hurting him. Not that I ever would. Pete went on to play at Georgia Tech. When Pete ran for student body president, nobody ran against him–no point wasting time and effort. Somebody did submit another name and put up posters supporting an alternate candidate: Frank Zappa. I don’t think Frank got any votes.

Later on, Pete was elected to Congress, and served three terms. Every time I visit Fort Worth, I tell myself I need to call him. I’ve always wanted to ask him about his time in Congress. Pete is the kind of person who would never abandon his ethics.

The mayor knows Pete fairly well. He now works in the Defense Department, one of Rumsfeld’s top people. That makes me feel even better than I did already about Rummy’s tenure. And something else that gives me hope–Pete is the man Rumsfeld put in charge of the Abu Ghraib investigation.

I can’t express how much that means to me, and how much that means in terms of the investigation of the Marine shown on video shooting a jihadist. I know personally the kind of man Pete Geren is. By association, I know what kind of person Rumsfeld has looking into the shooting. I am more optimistic than ever regarding that Marine.

Revisit the Shooting

Filed under: Media,Military — Bunker @ 4:54 am

Having never been in face-to-face combat, I defer to folks like Kev and Wallace. And Birdie has even more recent experience. All three of these men are loathe to condemn Kevin Sites, and all three agree, as do I, that what the Marine did was the right thing to do.

Romantics and novelists quote flags of truce and Geneva Conventions. The soldier sticks to reality and until he is totally in control Rule 5.56 applies.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year. One of the things each of us must be thankful for is the freedom we have to simply talk about this situation.

God bless that Marine. And God bless Kevin Sites.

Happy Thanksgiving

Filed under: General — Bunker @ 1:00 am

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the twenty-six of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that Great and Glorious Being, who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country, previous to their becoming a nation; for the single manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition’s of His providence, in the courage and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish Constitutions of Government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private institutions, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discretely and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us) and to bless them with good governments, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science, among them and us; and generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

George Washington, 1789


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

Abraham Lincoln, 1863


All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends, and grateful for the many gifts of America. On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come from the Almighty God.

Almost four centuries ago, the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to thank God after suffering through a brutal winter. President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and President Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War, asking Americans to give thanks with “one heart and one voice.” Since then, in times of war and in times of peace, Americans have gathered with family and friends and given thanks to God for our blessings.

Thanksgiving is also a time to share our blessings with those who are less fortunate. Americans this week will gather food and clothing for neighbors in need. Many young people will give part of their holiday to volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries. On Thanksgiving, we remember that the true strength of America lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. By seeking out those who are hurting and by lending a hand, Americans touch the lives of their fellow citizens and help make our Nation and the world a better place.

This Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to our dedicated firefighters and police officers who help keep our homeland safe. We are grateful to the homeland security and intelligence personnel who spend long hours on faithful watch. And we give thanks for the Americans in our Armed Forces who are serving around the world to secure our country and advance the cause of freedom. These brave men and women make our entire Nation proud, and we thank them and their families for their sacrifice.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for His blessings and ask Him to continue to guide and watch over our Nation.

George W. Bush, 2004

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November 24, 2004

More You Should Know About Fallujah

Filed under: International — Bunker @ 1:06 pm

Dean Esmay points out an interesting PowerPoint slide presentation.

Just go see it and don’t ask questions until you do.

Mental Health Screening

Filed under: General — Bunker @ 7:28 am

Ron Paul wasn’t successful in getting this federal funding removed. The House was opposed, but the Senate wanted his wording taken out of the spending bill.

Phyllis Schlafly’s article makes a lot of points about where this is headed. Fear-mongering? Perhaps. But it is something the people of each state need to be cognizant of. Unless, of course, you don’t send your children to public schools.

Will the ACLU step in to support parents who don’t want their children to go through this?

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