Friday, December 15, 2006


Even though I sometimes use an identity which links back to this blog, this site has now moved to Always On Watch Two, where Haloscan provides for the banning of trolls.

See you there, friends!

Note: Feel free to continue commenting here to the threads which are presently active and operating under comment moderation.


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Addition To Sidebar

Turn on your speakers.

[Hat-tip to Brooke]

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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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Wreaths Across America

(This posting stuck toward the top through December 15. Please scroll down for the latest postings)

[All emphases by Always On Watch]

From "' Rest easy, sleep well my brothers. Know the line has held, your job is done,'" which appeared in the December 3, 2006 edition of the Washington Post:
Every year for more than a decade, at the height of the season, Morrill Worcester would pack up a truckload of his Christmas wreaths and head down from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. Without fanfare, he and a dozen or so volunteers would lay red-bowed wreaths on a few thousand headstones of fallen Americans.

There was no publicity. No crowds gathered. The gesture was one man's private duty, born of a trip to Washington he won as a 12-year-old paperboy. Of all the monuments and memorials he saw, it was the visit to Arlington that stuck with him -- the majesty and mystery, the sadness and the pride, the sight of all those neat rows of government-issue white headstones....

A week from today, Worcester will leave Columbia Falls, Maine, to lead the trailer full of wreaths down the coast. This time, it won't be just the trucker, Worcester and his wife, Karen. This time, there'll be an escort of a couple hundred Patriot Guard Riders, a national group of motorcyclists who take it upon themselves to display their respect for fallen service members.

This time, Worcester and friends won't barrel down the interstate; they're taking the slow road, Route 1, so that more motorcyclists -- perhaps thousands more -- might join the caravan.

This time, the wreath-laying won't be a private affair. Instead of the 10 or 12 volunteers who had been rounded up in past years by Wayne Hanson, a retired federal law enforcement officer who lives in Springfield, at least 500 people will be ready to help lay the wreaths Dec. 14 -- and maybe many more.

There will be a busload of school kids from Skowhegan, Maine, a Civil Air Patrol unit from up that way and all manner of Washington-area volunteers, too.

Worcester has always returned the checks that people send him. The wreath-laying is his personal statement: "This is the least we can do."

Everyone connected with the wreath project takes pains to note that it has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with anyone's opinion about Iraq or terrorism....
This year, the project is expanding:
...The interest in Worcester's project has exploded to the point that he had to find some way to extend the tribute, so he has launched Wreaths Across America, a Web site that coordinates similar rituals at more than 200 military cemeteries around the country.
From the Wreaths Across America web site:
Spurred by the tremendous outpouring of letters and interest, and to celebrate the 15 years of giving, Worcester Wreath Company solicited Civil Air Patrol and its members to help expand the reaches of the Arlington Wreath Project with Wreaths Across America – the placing of memorial wreaths during a special ceremony at each of the over 230 State and National Cemeteries, and Veterans Monuments across the country.

Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company explains his desire to develop the Wreaths Across America project:
"Our goal is to expand the recognition of those who serve our country, both past, present, and future, as well as their families who deserve our support. Without the sacrifices of our veterans, there would be no opportunity to enjoy the freedoms, the life we live today."
Worcester Wreath invites you to attend the annual wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, or in your local area.

Thursday, December 14th, 2006 - More details coming soon!

The list of locations is growing each day and our goal with Civil Air Patrol is to involve every State and National cemetery, Veterans Monument and Memorial across the country.

Note: If you are not able to attend, please participate by taking a moment of silence at the noon hour on December 14th, to reflect on the sacrifices made and freely given, by those who will not be home for the holidays.
I have two family members buried at Arlington National Cemetery. No matter what I'm busy doing, I will pause at noon on December 14th to remember my two uncles: one served on the front lines during World War I and came home permanently disabled, and the other served at Omaha Beach on D-Day and came home safely. How grateful I am to have the reassurance that each of their markers will have a wreath placed!

Please take 7-8 minutes of your time to watch the following video:

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Flying While Muslim

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Just in time for the Hajj, which begins on December 29, CAIR, now the legal representative of five of the six praying imams and pursuing an out-of-court settlement, is stirring the pot:
American Muslims making a religious pilgrimage to Mecca are being encouraged to file civil rights complaints if they feel discriminated against by airlines.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent flight, yesterday said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights.

"Given the increase in the number of complaints CAIR has received alleging airport profiling of American Muslims, we believe it is important that all those taking part in this year's hajj be aware of their legal and civil rights," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman.
Apparently CAIR has distributed materials specifically delineating how to promote this flying-while-Muslim agenda:
A guide issued by CAIR advises Muslims that "as an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel."

"You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory," the guide says.

Those treated in a discriminatory manner are advised by CAIR to "ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident. Be sure to write this information down."
CAIR recently held this day-long conference:
On December 9, the Maryland and Virginia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MD/VA), in cooperation with the D.C. Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (DC-CCMO) and the Fairfax Institute, will hold its first annual Imams' media relations conference in Herndon, Va.

The one-day conference is designed to teach Imams, community leaders and activists how to interact effectively with media professionals. Sessions will cover basic media relations skills.
"Basic media relations skills"? And something else, too, including the distribution of materials as to how to intimidate the airlines from following proper security-procedures? According to one airline official,
"You do wonder what the ultimate aim is here [with regard to the six praying imams and CAIR's involvement]; to eliminate a discriminatory practice that does not exist, or is there some other agenda afoot."
The above-cited article in the Washington Times also contains the following with regard to CAIR's possible agenda:
Pilots and air marshals called the incident a "PC probe" to intimidate passengers and crew from reporting suspicious behavior by Muslim passengers and are fearful the incident will set off a domino effect of lawsuits.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, thinks this is a ploy to extort money from the airlines.

"I think CAIR is soliciting complaints, and if they don't get it, they will make it up," said Miss Burlingame, who is also a director for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.
Although CAIR likes to promote itself as representative of all or of the majority of American Muslims, such is not the case:
M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix physician and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), said the announcement by CAIR "continues the tired stoking of the flames of victimization."

"They are unfortunately exploiting, for purely political reasons, what should be a sacred and purely spiritual story of our faith's annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca," Dr. Jasser said.

"We need new leadership and organizations which use their passions and the bandwidth of the media to lead the ideological fight against radical and political Islam rather than this tired pre-emption of supposed discrimination."

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Catching Up

I know that I haven't been commenting much, here or elsewhere. But I'm trying to catch up on a six-month backlog of balancing bank accounts, cleaning out my office, and averaging grades for the semester. Nevertheless, I do read all comments here in between my catching-up frenzies.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

"The Dawn of the Real Islam"

So says Abu Ayman, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, as he gloated about details in the report from the Iraq Study Group. Islamic Jihad is the group which has been responsible for suicide bombings within Israel over the past two years. More from Abu Ayman:
"The report proves that this is the era of Islam and of jihad..."(With the Iraq Study Group report), the Americans came to the conclusion that Islam is the new giant of the world and it would be clever to reduce hostilities with this giant. In the Koran the principle of the rotation is clear and according to this principle the end of the Americans and of all non-believers is getting closer."
And this from Abu Abdullah, leader of Hamas's military wing:
"It is not just a simple victory. It is a great one. The big superpower of the world is defeated by a small group of mujahedeen (fighters)....

"It is no doubt that Allah and his angels were fighting with them (insurgents) against the Americans. It is a sign to all those who keep saying that America, Israel and the West in general cannot be defeated on the ground so let us negotiate with them."
According to Abu Abdullah, after the United States withdraws from Iraq,
"America must understand that with anti-American governments in Latin America and with Islam growing and reinforcing, including in the US itself, the next step would be a total defeat on their (American) land, not a relative one like they are facing in Iraq."
Bluff and bluster? Before 9/11, we thought that Osama bin Laden's threats were bluff and bluster.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Personal Update

This gastorenteritis, which hit me on Wednesday, is one nasty virus. What a way to start my Christmas vacation! I'll try to make limited rounds as I can.

Tomorrow evening, my husband and I have tickets for "Mount Vernon by Candlelight." As a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia, I've yet to take this tour, about which I've heard such praise. From the Mount Vernon web site:
During this holiday program, visitors learn about the Washingtons' Christmas traditions, tour the candlelit Mansion including the rarely-seen third floor, and meet historical characters 'Martha Washington' and 'Tobias Lear', who served as Washington’s secretary during his presidency.

On the grounds, guests enjoy caroling and free cookies and hot cider around a roaring campfire. This is the only time of the year that Mount Vernon is open exclusively for public evening tours.
My husband and I will be resting up so as to enjoy the event tomorrow. A bit of snow would make the tour even better.

Virtual tour of Mount Vernon HERE.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

"Don't Play Us For Chumps"

Dennis Miller's take on the six praying imams:

[Hat-tip to CatHouse Chat]

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Exposed: The Extremist Agenda

[This posting stuck at the top for a while. Scroll down for the lastest postings from Always On Watch]

From The Glenn Beck Show, approximately 40 minutes:

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