More on the Pledge - It's a ritual that the kids are encouraged (through instruction and peer pressure) to participate in. It involves standing up, special gestures and mentions God. Sounds an awfull lot like church to me. In fact, if you've done it lately in a school (as I have) it feels like church, too. I can't say it really bugged me all that much. I just didn't say the "god" part. But I'm an adult.

What about a right to keeping your religious beliefs private? Is it sensible to make a child either profess his faith in front of his peers daily or choose not to? In public school?

How about if we add "in heterosexuality" to the pledge? Most of us are heterosexual, so no big deal there. Gay folks can just skip that part. It'll make them easier to pick out and all. Sounds like the tyranny of the majority to me.
Unconstitutional Pledge - It's true. The 9th Circuit court ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional (when children are coerced into saying it in schools). It that darned "under God" part.

Sadly, it's unlikely that this decision will stand. Why do people want to coerce children to say this pledge? It's certainly not good for religion. It means that I have to tell my children all about how the majority religionists are going to do their darndest to try to get you to say you believe the same things they believe. In this land of freedoms it makes the religionists the adversaries in the minds of atheist children. That's a great way to build a disgruntled future generation, isn't it?

These people have no foresight. Besides, it's just plain rude and disrespectful to make people take such a pledge. But rudeness and disrespect are things we have in abundance nowadays.


DynCorp story almost ready to be told? - In the first week of this blog I mentioned the DynCorp story, which seems completely invisible in the media. This is the story of military contractor DynCorp employees buying and selling underage sex slaves in Bosnia, and Ben Johnson getting fired for blowing the whistle. Well, the story finally seems to be hitting these shores to some extent, at least in Salon magazine. I still have to wonder, where are the major media outlets on this story?

Salon's story is a premium only feature, and I am not a premium member. Here you can read Ben Johnson's statement to the House International operations and Human rights sub committee. It's on the House website. See the earlier blog entry referenced above for background.


- New Addiction - While I may be stuck on GTA3 (see previous entry) an old PlayStation One game is entertaining the whole family. Parappa the Rapper is a unique game which tasks you with learning to rap well enough to impress the girl of your dreams (who just happens to be a flower).

The raps are addictive, and they've got the kids jumping all over the place. Of course, since this game was originally Japanese, the lyrics are a little odd. Check out the lyrics to the first rap in the game (Chop Chop Master Onion). What the heck is a "ya jockey?"


Scotland: Alien Vacation Destination - Apparently, Scotland is the place to be if you want to see a UFO. They've got the highest concentration of UFO sightings there.
"UFOs tend to be attracted to regions that are fairly remote. Plus if you have a remote area, look out for airbases; Scotland is littered with them," Graham Birdsall, editor of UFO magazine, said. "In 90 percent of UFO reports a bit of diligent research will produce a simple explanation."

I've got a better explanation as to why the aliens are attracted to Scotland. Put simply: single malt. (Or, some of you may think that scotch whiskey is responsible, but for other reasons)
NO KILL I - to borrow a little from Star Trek. The US Supreme Court seems to be on an anti-death kick. Today they overturned a bunch of judge-ordered death sentences. See the BBC story: US court overturns death sentences. Last week it was declared unconstitutional to execute mentally disabled killers.

Let's punish people justly. Can we do that, please, without giving government employees the authority to decide to kill an individual off?
How Awful? - I haven't figgered out this website yet. Rui sent it to me and it's plain goofy. I need some plain goofiness, as I am still looking for a car. Thanks, Rui. : Something Awful
Comments welcome.