November 25, 2004

Fact or Fiction: Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? ``A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.``

Well that's not exactly true.

According to their own press release: ``Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit yesterday against the Cupertino Union School District for prohibiting a teacher from providing supplemental handouts to students about American history because the historical documents contain some references to God and religion.``

So this guy was handing out religious tracts in class that among other things had quotes from the Declaration of Independence. The religious tracks (the "supplemental handouts") then contained quotes from the Declaration of Independence.

But the school did not ban the Declaration of Independence. That's just a lie.

Read the complaint yourself. Page 5 of the complaint, line 9 (point 31) says "When teaching the histor of the founding era, many of the documents Mr. Williams as handouts contain references to God and Christianity.

The Declaration of Independence was not banned. Stop making an issue over this. This teacher is trying to force his religious beliefs onto his public school class. That's just wrong.

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November 11, 2004

tiananmen on wilshire

Boing Boing: Video: tanks at anti-war protest, LA federal building "Indymedia has video of two tanks (well, LAV-25s, but who's gonna quibble with an armored cannon on Wilshire Boulevard?) at an anti-war protest outside the Federal Building in Westwood, CA. Whether the folks at the Army Reserve Center up the street at Federal got bored or the Police State is flexing its muscles, I dunno. Personally, I think these guys just knew that parking in Westwood is a bitch and borrowed the appropriate vehicle."

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November 07, 2004

Bush to Seek Gay-Marriage Ban

Wired News (Reuters): President Bush will renew a quest in his second term for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage as essential to a "hopeful and decent" society, his top political aide said on Sunday.

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The American Century is Over 11/05/04 - An Election That Will Live In Infamy

``The entire world is stunned by the Bush administration’s abandonment of a half century of US diplomacy in favor of misguided, unilateralist, "preemptive" naked aggression on totally false pretenses against Iraq.  America’s allies are amazed at the ignorance manifested by the Bush administration. They are resentful of Bush’s "in-your-eye" attitude toward friends who warned Bush against leading America into a quagmire and giving Osama bin Laden the war he wanted.`` -- Paul Craig Roberts, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and syndicated columnist.

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November 04, 2004

Is that a draft I feel?

FR Doc 04-24634

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 522a), as
amended by the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988
(Pub. L. 100-503), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Guidelines on the Conduct of Matching Programs (54 FR 25818 (June 19,
1989)), and OMB Bulletin 89-22, the following information is provided:
1. Name of participating agencies: The Selective Service System
(SSS) and the Department of Education (ED).
2. Purpose of the match: The purpose of this matching program is to
ensure that the requirements of Section 12(f) of the Military Selective
Service System Act [50 U.S.C. App. 462 (f)] are met.
3. Authority for conducting the matching: Computerized access to
the Selective Service Registrant Registration Records (SSS 10) enables
ED to confirm the registration status of applicants for assistance
under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended
(20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.). Section 12(f) of the Military Selective
Service Act, as amended [50 U.S.C. App. 462(f)], denies eligibility for
any form of assistance or benefit under Title IV of the HEA to any
person required to present himself for and submit to registration under
Section 3 of the Military Selective Service System Act [50 U.S.C. App.
453] who fails to do so in accordance with that section and any rules
and regulations issued under that section. In addition, Section
12(f)(2) of the Military Selective Service System Act specifies that
any person required to present himself for and submit to registration
under Section 3 of the Military Selective Service System Act must file
a statement with the institution of higher education where the person
intends to attend or is attending that he is in compliance with the
Military Selective Service System Act. Furthermore, Section 12(f)(3) of
the Military Selective Service System Act authorizes the Secretary of
Education, in agreement with the Director of the Selective Service, to
prescribe methods for verifying the statements of compliance filed by
Section 484(n) of the HEA [20 U.S.C. 1091(n)], requires the
Secretary to conduct data base matches with SSS, using common
demographic data elements, to enforce the Selective Service
registration provisions of the Military Selective Service Act [50
U.S.C. App. 462(f)], and further states that appropriate confirmation
of a person's shall fulfill the requirement to file a separate
statement of compliance.
4. Categories of records and individuals covered:
1. Federal Student Aid Application File (18-11-01). Individuals
covered are men born after December 31, 1959, but at least 18 years old
by June 30 of the applicable award year.
2. Selective Service Registration Records (SSS 10).
5. Inclusive dates of the matching program: Commence on January 1,
2005 or 40 days after copies of the matching agreement are transmitted
simultaneously to the Committee on Government Affairs of the Senate,
the Committee on Government Operations of the House of Representatives,
and the Office of Management and Budget, whichever is later, and remain
in effect for eighteen months unless earlier terminated or modified by
agreement of the parties.
6. Address for receipt of public comments or inquires: Richard S.
Flahavan, Associate Director, Office of Public and Intergovernmental
Affairs, Selective Service System.

Dated: October 28, 2004.
Jack Martin,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. 04-24634 Filed 11-3-04; 8:45 am]


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November 03, 2004

Barack Obama

(In case you missed his speech last night.)

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted--or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. And fellow Americans--Democrats, Republicans, Independents--I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Don't get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice [...]

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief--I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper--that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America--there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America [...]

In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

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