I will comment on two items that caught my attention.
First, the mosque controversy. While there is a right to freedom of religion in our country and Muslims have a RIGHT to practice their religion as they see fit, I think that common sense should be used. I would no more try to pray in front of a on coming train than I would to build a church on ground zero. Add to this the fact that the building that they want to tear down to build the mosque was damaged by landing gear from one of the aircraft that crashed into the world trade center, I would consider it as being a part of ground zero. This case is no different that the case some years back when a group of (I think) Carmalite Nuns wanted to build a convent on or near the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Of course there was a great hue and cry about the appropriateness of the convent (By many of thee groups and individuals who are supporting the mosque today) The Catholic church after a bit of debate agreed and moved the convent further away. Let's hope that just a wee touch of common sense (a very rare commodity these days) will come into play.
Second, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has found that the Stolen Valor law is unconstitutional. They state that to lie about military service and the awarding of honors and medals for valor is protected by the first amendment's freedom of speech clause. I fully expect that this decision will be overturned but what boggles my mind is that this judgment was made in the first place. To lie is protected by the constitution? What does this say about the various laws against perjury? Some will say that since you are taking a oath that it would be different. I disagree. Medals and such honors are earned by the men and women who receive them. (They are never won as many people sometimes say) To earn them, cost the individual blood, sweat, tears and many other things that we (that never have been in such situations) will never be able to understand or appreciate fully. How can this be even compared to an individual taking a oath in the quite serenity of a courtroom? And yet this the court doesn't seem to think that the cost that these heroes pay for this isn't worthy of a law that allows for the punishment of those who would steal the honor and degrade the meaning of these awards by pretending and lying about receiving them.
It is a piss poor country that doesn't honor it's heroes and warriors in anyway that it can even to the point of punishing those who would steal even a small portion of honor from true heroes.
Reflections on Powder
57 minutes ago