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Liberal Gene Discovered

Being Liberal, politically speaking, may be in the Liberal's DNA. Cambridge Journals' The Journal of Politics released a study conducted by scientists from Harvard and the University of California San Diego which claims to have discovered the "Liberal gene."

The gene, known as the DRD4 gene which works with the Dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) has also been connected to eating disorders, sex addiction, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Professor James Fowler in The Telegraph, UK stated:

It is the crucial interaction of two factors - the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence - that is associated with being more liberal.

These findings suggest that political affiliation is not based solely on the kind of social environment people experience.

That is all. Carry on!



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NO to Library Expansion; YES to Alvamar Satellite

The Lawrence Public Library has plans for an $18 million expansion that will be voted on this Tuesday, November 2, 2010. A library expansion is long overdue. However, the trustees have chosen the wrong time and the wrong proposal to put forward.

Taxpayers, faced with lower income and increasing taxes, cannot afford to have the city spend money that taxpayers do not have. The estimated cost of $13,000,000 - or $650 per square foot - is between two and four times the national average for construction of a public library. Reed Construction Data has analyzed projects from across the country and provides a summary of average library construction costs.

Library officials are also asking for an additional $5,000,000 for a 5-Story, 145,000 Square Foot Parking Garage which could park over 400 cars. Oops, my bad - that is just what taxpayers should get for $5 million. Instead they are only building a two-story garage that will allow for 230 parking spaces. Once again, the cost is estimated way above the national average of $15,552 per space, which comes to $3.6 million.

That is correct, the proposed parking garage should cost $3.6 million, coincidentally the same amount that it cost to construct Eagle Bend Golf Course, which was completed in 1998.

Now, isn't this a nifty little segueway?

Ironically, Alvamar, Inc. has just announced plans to sell the Alvamar Country Club and Golf Courses. According to a Lawrence Journal-World story, "The offering includes both 18-hole golf courses; the private clubhouse, dining room and related operations; the public clubhouse, pro shop and snack bar; an indoor/outdoor private practice facility; cart storage; a maintenance building; and access to a private pool on the campus of Bishop Seabury Academy."

I propose that the City of Lawrence purchase the Alvamar Country Club as a joint (that means combined, not honk for hemp) venture between the Lawrence Public Library and Lawrence Parks and Recreation. This proposal would triple the City's golfing value by adding two outstanding courses for considerably less money per course than what it originally cost to open Eagle Bend. Parks and Recreation could use part of the land as a home for the proposed BMX Bike Track.

The current Country Club could be converted into an upscale satellite library. This library would sport one of the finest coffee shops and grills in the nation. There would be room for computers, a children's area, and possibly even room for some books. The satellite library would have plenty of parking and easy access. In fact, with access to the Seabury Acedemy swimming pool, it will have everything the downtown library has. All for only $6.5 million.

If you love children and literacy, but just cannot support a major tax increase that will fund a developer's over-priced proposal - vote NO on Tuesday. If you believe that there are less expensive solutions to improve our local library - vote NO on Tuesday. If you want to offer up a silly idea that is one-third the cost of the Library trustee's proposal, and would benefit more of the community, then write-in "Buy Alvamar." Just ask your election officials where you can "write-in" a candidate so as to not deface and void your election ballot.

Seriously, just get out and vote!



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The United States Constitution - Article I, Sections 1 - 3

This is the second, in a series, of a study and dialogue about the Constitution of the United States. Each installment will seek to explore one segment (Preamble, Article, or Amendment) of the Constitution. Please read the first installment, The United States Constitution, Preamble.

Background


The United States Constitution, adopted on September 17, 1787, is the oldest written constitution in use by any nation of the world. The Constitution provides the framework for the federal government as well as that government's relationship to its states and citizens, and to other Nations.

The Constitution has a preamble which establishes purpose. There are seven articles that establish the new government and its boundaries or limitations. The first four articles contain 21 dependent sections. In addition, the Constitution has been amended 27 times over the course of history.

Article I - The Legislative Branch establishes the first of the three branches of government: The Legislative Branch. This article is divided into ten interdependent sections.

  • Section 1 - The Legislature
  • Section 2 - The House
  • Section 3 - The Senate
  • Section 4 - Elections, Meetings
  • Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment
  • Section 6 - Compensation
  • Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto
  • Section 8 - Powers of Congress
  • Section 9 - Limits on Congress
  • Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

Due to the length and content of Article I, it will be divided into several blogs. This one will discuss the first three sections. This blog uses the text as found at U.S. Constitution Online. Please note that this is the original text and some of it is superseded by Constitutional Amendments; those areas are clearly noted.

As stated in the first of this series, I admit "that I am not a scholar of the Constitution. However, I believe that the framers of the Constitution - who were the best, the brightest, the most intelligent of the period - were an elite group that wrote the document for the self-governance and understanding of the common man. As one of those common men, I think the Constitution is worth studying and worth learning. Moreover, I would enjoy having you come along with this common man on a not so common journey."

Article I

Section 1 - The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The newly constituted Legislature was to be bicameral, and appeared to be modeled after Britain's upper and lower chambers. The British Parliament's format consisted of the upper house, or House of Lords (ruling class) and the lower house, or The House of Commons (the ruled). The unique difference, and an important difference, for the United State's congress was whom the two chambers would represent. Section three shows that the upper chamber would represent individual states; while section two provides for the representation of individuals. It is clear from this assignment that the framers intended that individual states be the ruling class of the federal government; and, that the Senators provide representation at the federal level for their state. Moreover, the lower house was established to protect the collective of individuals that made up the United States.

Section 2 - The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

There was an expectation that those sent would be qualified for election within their own state's legislature. The lower house was to get the best representatives of the people; not, the left overs. The federal requirements of Representatives are spelled out: 1) At least 25 years old, 2) A US Citizen for at least seven years, and, 3) An inhabitant of his represented state.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.1

This, now defunct passage, may be one of the most controversial of the U.S. Constitution. It is known as the Three-fifths compromise. The passage specifically applied to a census that would determine the number of representatives that a state would be allotted. In general, states supporting slavery were in favor of counting slaves towards the enumeration that determined a state's total representatives while delegates opposed to slavery did not want to count slaves in determining representation. Essentially this became the great divide between northern and southern states. The architects believed that failure to compromise on this issue would doom the Constitutional Convention to failure. In short, there would be no United States; rather, thirteen separate countries might have formed. The counting of slaves as only three-fifths of a person, although viewed by some as a proclamation of the framer's belief that slaves were less then human; it was, in fact, a mechanism that prevented southern slave states from controlling congress and ensuring the continuation of slavery. Although it took nearly a hundred years for the compromise to have its intended effect of ending slavery, that indeed did occur.

The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

This section sanctioned a federally mandated census to be taken every ten years. It provides for the apportioning of Representatives based upon the census. Finally, it records the political compromise allowing a temporary agreed-upon number of representatives for each state.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

Governors of individual states have federal Constitutional authority to require a special election to fill any U.S. House of Representative's vacancy. Once again, we see that the lower house must be occupied by representatives of the people.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Two specific powers are granted to the lower chamber. First, they are to choose the Speaker of the House and other officers. Second, they are given the Power of Impeachment; or, the right to indict an official in order to cause a trial by the Senate.

Section 3 - The Senate

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,2 for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Stability of the upper chamber was ensured by only allowing for one-third of the body's term to expire every two years. Thus, there is always one-third of the Senate with at least two years experience and one-third with four years of tenure. The equality of each state was protected due to each state being allotted and equal count of Senators. The framers believed that Senators were to be representatives of each state's government; Senators were to be chosen by the Legislature of the state.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.3

The first election of Senators had the unique distinction of having to establish the rotation for the two-year election cycle. Classes of United States Senators were chosen by lot within several weeks of the first assembly. The Senate is still divided into classes that determine re-election cycles.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

Increased experience level is required to qualify as a United States Senator. In addition to the requirements of a Representative, a Senator must be at least 30 years old and a citizen for 9 years.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Vice President is given his only real duty, save becoming President if the President is incapable of serving. Constitutionally, the Vice President is the President of the Senate and casts tie-breaking votes; however, the Vice President seldom serves physically in his role as President of the Senate and even less in the role of tie-breaker.

As with the lower chamber, the Senate chooses its own officers. This includes a President pro tempore, which acts in the place of the Vice President as President of the Senate. This is done since the Vice President is too busy not doing his other duties that were never assigned to him.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

The rules of an Impeachment trial, responsible officers, and consequences are outlined in the final paragraphs of Article 1, Section 3. In addition to political consequences, there is an expectation that criminal charges be pursued for those found guilty in an Impeachment trial.

The framers, using less than 700 words, provided for the election, structure, qualifications, and duties of both chambers of the legislature. Truly amazing.


1This sentence was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2. 2These words were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 1. 3These words were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 2.


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Censoring or Politically Correct?

The definition of politically correct: conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.

The definition of censoring: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution:

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.

Neither Censorship or Political Correctness seem to comply with the Constitution.

That is all. Carry on.



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The United States Constitution, Preamble

This is the first, in what is hoped will become a series, of a study and dialogue about the Constitution of the United States. Each installment will seek to explore one segment (Preamble, Article, or Amendment) of the Constitution.

Background


The United States Constitution, adopted on September 17, 1787, is the oldest written constitution in use by any nation of the world. The Constitution provides the framework for the federal government as well as that government's relationship to its states and citizens, and to other Nations.

The Constitution has a preamble which establishes purpose. There are seven articles that establish the new government and its boundaries or limitations. The first four articles contain 21 dependent sections. In addition, the Constitution has been amended 27 times over the course of history; the 27th amendment took 202 years to ratify and become part of the Constitution.

Let's start with the clear and concise admission that I am not a scholar of the Constitution. However, I believe that the framers of the Constitution - who were the best, the brightest, the most intelligent of the period - were an elite group that wrote the document for the self-governance and understanding of the common man. As one of those common men, I think the Constitution is worth studying and worth learning. Moreover, I would enjoy having you come along with this common man on a not so common journey.

Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Articles of Confederation had already provided a name for the new country. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that new name to the world. The preamble confirmed that name first through the rights of the people (We the People of the United States), then by the right of the new government (this Constitution for the United States of America) and, thus gave the document its name. The preamble recognized the authority of the previous Continental Congress and its forming of the United States. Yet, it boldly declared that "a more perfect Union" was indeed this Constitution's goal.

Having been born out of the injustice of tyrannical governance the young nation was particularly sensitive of the desire to "establish justice." Still stinging from the shock of internal rebellion, such as found in Massachusetts' Shay's Rebellion, the framers were well aware of the need to "insure domestic Tranquility."

There was a need to "provide for the common defence" since there was the expectation of attack from any or all borders. Their was reason to fear Britain, Spain, and the native Indians. It was correctly believed that no state would be able to defend itself on its own and that all states must agree to protect one another.

The purpose of forming the Union, establishing justice, insuring tranquility, and providing for the defense of the country is then summarized. The framers knew that a strong nation would be central to promoting "the general welfare" and securing the "blessings of liberty." The document shows that this belief of the framers was not only one of self-interest, but extended to "posterity."

Finally, we see that the framers believed that the formation of the new country, its founding, and the Constitution it was to be built upon was ordained. During this period of time there is no doubt that the writers were evoking the blessings of something greater than themselves. For many, that meant their God; for some, it meant their acceptance of the premise of a higher authority. But for all, it indicated the collective will and freedom of the people to "establish" the Constitution of the United States.

The preamble has been memorized by school students, discussed by college students, debated by lawyers, and forgotten by most common folk. Take time to learn it. It will provide the foundation, context, and test for the Constitution that follows it. That is to say, an article, section, or amendment must agree with the preamble; if not, the reader must adjust his thinking.

How well do you know the preamble? Are you a Barney Fife or a Captain Kirk?



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Congressional Time Limits

The Upper and Lower chambers of Congress are elected and meet by authority of the United States Constitution.

The election of Representatives and Senators, the qualifications, and basic responsibilities are laid out in Article 1 of the Constitution. Although the Constitution lays out the terms of the office, there are no limits to the amount of terms an individual can serve. The requirement of assembly (when to meet) is found in Article 1, Section 4:

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

This lasted until 1933 when the "Lame Duck Amendment" appointed a different day, by law, with passage of the 20th Amendment, Section 2:

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

The First Congress of the United States, not to be confused with the First Continental Congress, held three sessions:

  • 1st: March 4, 1789 – September 29, 1789
  • 2nd: January 4, 1790 – August 12, 1790
  • 3rd: December 6, 1790 – March 3, 1791

The first congress, the one responsible for completing the assemblage of our new Country, met for a total of 519 days over a two year (730 days) term. It was during the first congress that the last of the original thirteen states finally ratified the United States Constitution. The second Congress (the first with a lame duck session) met for only 216 days having deemed much of their work completed during the first Congress.

Here is a sampling, over the years, of Congress's days in session. Now, in the interest of full disclosure the days are potential days for session; that is, convening date to adjournment date, inclusive. It does not mean the actual number of days that Congress met during that session. However, this should be good enough for government standards - especially since it is about the government. Please, keep in mind that each Congress is two years. A full summary, including beginning and adjournment dates, recesses, and total session days may be found at the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives under the heading, Session Dates of Congress.

Session Terms
Congress Session Years Potential Days Notes
3rd 1793 - 1795 311
10th 1807 - 1809 299
20th 1827 - 1829 368
37th 1861 - 1863 355 Civil War
50th 1887 - 1889 412
65th 1917 - 1919 634 World War I
75th 1937 - 1938 431
78th Congress 1943 - 1944 695 World War II
85th 1957 - 1958 469
100th Congress 1987 - 1988 623
107th 2001 - 2002 656 911 Attack
110th 2007 - 2009 718
111th 2009 - 2010 352 1st year only

The data would suggest that there has been an increase in the amount of days that legislators are meeting. The increases seem to spike during times of war; although following those peaks, the dips do not fall to previous lows. Moreover, there is some indication that as the hours Congress is in session increases so does the amount of legislation introduced. Yet, most of the increased legislation is never passed. In short, with less days in session, less legislation is introduced with a higher rate of passage. An online report, Congress By The Numbers, shows that in 1996, with 132 Senate days, there were 245 laws enacted out of 2759 laws and resolutions introduced (8.8%). During 2009, the Senate met 191 days, there were a combined 9071 resolutions and laws introduced with only 119 (1.3%) becoming law.

There is an obvious conclusion. There would be less government if the terms, or sessions, of Congress were limited. Mark Twain once stated, "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." Will Rogers brought the point home, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

If only Congress would take the 20th Amendment, Section 2 literally and "assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January..." and adjourn on that same day - they would do much less damage.


On the lighter side: Here is a fun video - Uncle Jay Explains Congress's Work Schedule.



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Teabagging Teabaggers

The TEA Party Movement found its footing on April 15th, 2009. It was planned, named, and executed as a modern day emulation of The Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773.

The Boston Tea Party protested the British government's Tea Act, passed by Parliament, by dumping three shiploads of taxed tea into the Boston Harbor. The modern day TEA party emerged as a protest against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and mailed tea bags to the White House.

Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor at National Review magazine, affirms that the conservative TEA Party was first to use Tea Bag, as a verb, when referring to the TEA Party's method of protesting. Nordlinger states in an online article, Rise of an Epithet:

The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was "Tea Bag the Fools in D.C." A protester was spotted with a sign saying, "Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You." So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology.

A Hat TipHat Tip to Lawrence Journal-World online user beatrice for providing the link to the National Review article.

Please take note that at this point the TEA Party had not used the term teabagger or teabagging. It might even be reasonable to assume that the TEA Partiers, those religious puritans that cling to guns or religion, may have had no idea of the secular meaning of the ineptly named protest method. Many mainstream Americans did not; this writer for one. For those still unaware of the alternate subculture definition of the sexual act of teabagging, Wikipedia has come to the rescue: "The Wikipedia definition may be found by clicking on this text. Please be advised that the description is graphic and the graphic is descriptive. (Not suitable for viewing at work!)" The term may trace its roots to an "R" rated movie by writer and director, John Waters. The 1998 movie, named after its main character, Pecker, has this scene (Not suitable for viewing at work!) where a male stripper is admonished for teabagging a male customer. Granted, the act of teabagging can be heterosexual or homosexual. However, the etymology seems to indicate that the term either originated or promulgated as a homosexual act.

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC may have been the first major media personality to attach the sexual connotation to the TEA Party's protest. Once Maddow broke trump, other media and political pundits followed suite. David Shuster, MSNBC made innuendo after sexual innuendo to mock the TEA Party's choice of words. Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor, joked that "it is hard to talk when you are teabagging." Maddow, referring to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele who was invited to a TEA Party rally to listen, stated, "Though presumably, if he is being teabagged while doing so, the message will be a bit muffled." There is little doubt that Maddow was suggesting that Steele would be the recipient of homosexual teabagging, should he attend the rally. Maddow supported her insinuations that teagagging was a homosexual act when, after being accused by Lou Dobbs of being the "teabagging queen," she mocked the idea, asking, "A teabagging queen? ... can a female person be that kind of queen?"

How easy would it have been for the TEA Party, ignorant of the vulgar usage, to choose an innocuous sounding word for their protest? This easy. While writing this blog, three news anchors topped the search lists and date sorts, as using the various terms of teabagging: Maddow, Shuster, and Cooper. When quoting the three anchors, no thought was given to their sexual orientation since it was not known by this writer. Yet, it took only a quick review by an editor to note that two of the three anchors are gay. Does that knowledge change the facts? No, but it does provide perspective.

Prior to the TEA Party movement there were three possible uses of the term, teabagging. First, was the heterosexual act. Second, was the homosexual act. Third, was the prank act. The prank of teagagging occurs when a person has passed out and male pranksters teabag the unconscious person. Many times this is documented with video and photographs. Not one of these usages, when applied to the TEA Party, is meant to be anything less than opprobrious and mocking.

Here is what is known, in summary. The TEA Party chose a term that they, most likely, did not realize had a sexual meaning. Media personalities quickly pointed out the sexual meanings of the term. MSNBC used the term almost exclusively to refer to the sexual act of teabagging. Maddow and Shuster, in particular, applied the terms to the TEA Party in their denigrating, homoerotic monologues. Today, a year and a half later, those opposing the TEA Party movement continue to use the derogatory term with which the first TEA Partiers unwittingly yoked themselves.

Some would argue that the TEA Party chose the term; they gave themselves the nickname. One might even be tempted to stipulate that Teabagger has been adapted to its new meaning - the etymology has evolved. That is possible. However, it is not a symbolism that is representative of the members of the Tea Party, nor one which they claim. Further, the media and TEA Party oppositions' use of the term has continued to retain the original connotation.

And, that appears to be the intent.


An unidentified TEA Party member displaying the sign credited for the Teabagger moniker.
Still thinking double entendre?



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Obama Shrugged

One of America's most recognized investigative reporters, Bob Woodward, has just released a new book, "Obama's Wars."

A recent Washington Post article provides this glimpse, from the book, of President Obama's attitude towards a potential terrorist attack.

Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

America "Absorbing" the 9/11 Terrorist Attack


Absorb a terrorist attack? No, Mr. President. Never.




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Hitler Comparisons

Godwin's Law states, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (one)." A recent blog, The Rise of the New "Nazism," made an unlikely comparison of the ultra-conservative Sarah Palin with the Nazi socialist Adolph Hitler while denigrating the right-wing TEA Party for choosing a "woman" as its spokesman. Whether Godwin's Law can be appropriately applied to a blog that erroneously begins with a comparison of a political figure to Adolf Hitler is debatable. Yet, it is not debatable that the comparison shows a complete disregard for history, the atrocities of World War II, and an ignorance of current events.

In order to illustrate the fallacies of such a comparison the following similitude of Hitler and a different, current political figure is offered.

Similarities of Hitler and (Insert Name Here):

  • Born in the early hours of the evening.
  • Circumstances of birth were questionable.
  • Born of a mix of impure races.
  • One had dreams, one's father had dreams.
  • Published an autobiography prior to 40th birthday.
  • Published second edition of autobiography prior to 50th birthday.
  • Displayed an early interest in Nationalism.
  • Saw their political party as a vehicle to reach a political end.
  • Used Oratory skills and speeches to win new supporters.
  • Used demagogic oratory and spoke to scores of mass audiences.
  • Called for the people to resist the yoke of the perceived rich.
  • Organized large corps of volunteers to spread the message.
  • Isolated and segregated working groups (unions, physicians, teachers, civil) to establish loyalty.
  • Devised an electoral strategy to create a landslide type victory that capitalized on a poor economy.
  • Won election with supporters that were strongly nationalistic.
  • Conservative upper class generally regarded the new leader as a demagogue and gutter politician.
  • Worked odd jobs to gain political credentials.
  • Had a significant campaign to harass political opponents.
  • Abolished self-government of states.
  • Expanded government health care.
  • Attempted to end unemployment of the youth with a national transportation project.
  • Oh, and they both have that nonsensical thing under their nose; its called a mouth.

There, see how easy that idea was?



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Ground Zero - Zero Tolerance

The proposed site for a Muslim Community Center and Mosque, 45 Park Place New York, NY has become the center of controversy . The location, a former Burlington Coat Factory is claimed by some to be a part of the 911 ground zero. Where is ground zero?


Ground Zero

Ground Zero is, "the point directly above, below, or at which a nuclear explosion occurs; the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change." The term came into use in 1946 and was used to describe the bombing sites of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan after the United States responded to Japan's unprovoked attack on Hawaii.

These pictures of Hiroshima, taken after the August 5th, 1945 atomic bomb explosion, shows the level of destruction for an atomic ground zero.

It is safe to say that most of the area shown in the above pictures would be considered ground zero even though the actual explosion of the atom bomb took place in a much smaller area. Much of the total destruction was caused by the intense shock wave that radiated outward from the center of the explosion. This picture has a building that was hit by debris, yet remained standing. Could an argument be made that the building is not a part of ground zero since it was not in the center of the explosion and it remains standing, even after being pelted with debris?

Just shy of 60 years after the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Islam terrorists made an unprovoked attack on the twin 110 story World Trade Center towers totally destroying them and much of the surrounding area.

Two blocks away stood the Burlington Coat Factory, a four story building at 45 Park Place. Video shows the flying debris of United Airlines Flight 175 after it was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Debris and Damage at 45 Park Place:

This relief map shows where major debris from the attack on the Twin Towers landed. The Burlington Coat Factory at 45 Park Place had landing gear crash through its 4th story roof. Additional debris found at the sight included parts of bodies of victims from Flight 175.

This areal photograph taken September 23, 2001 shows a large blue tarp used to cover the damage to the roof at 45 Park Place

One might also notice, in the above picture, that total destruction was not limited to the Twin Towers. In fact, total building destruction of the World Trade Center Building 7 is observed within one block of the Burlington Coat Factory.

Where is ground zero?



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