Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

RE: Religious diversity for all

27.08.2003 (1:50 pm) – Filed under: Religion,Society ::

In regards to Ahmed Hussain’s letter to the Chronicle, let us quote from the documents that define the United States. First, from the Declaration of Independence:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”.

These words, written and signed by the men who founded this country in a time when only one religion was known, are clearly those of believers in the Christian faith. This much is clear and undeniable. And now from the Bill of Rights, Amendment I:

“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.”

This is the extent of the Constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. Let us quote again for reinforcement: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

That is the end of the discussion. Neither a monument displayed in a government building in Alabama nor an ancient bible displayed under glass in Houston create a national religion. Therefore, there is no Constitutional basis for challenging the right of local government to display them as these officials see fit.

Now let us return to the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. The meaning of these two all-important paragraphs is plain: the Founding Fathers of this country believed that the Christian God created men of all stations equal and embodied them with the right to seek their own independence.

It is therefore self-evident that the United States was created as a Christian nation and charged with the responsibility of creating the first nation on Earth where men of other faiths would be tolerated as equals.

As Mr. Hussain states, important contributions to our society have been made by people of all religions. Nevertheless, ours is a Christian nation at its core and it always has been.

It is the fundamental spirit of this nation and that religion that make toleration of other belief systems a principle that have stood the test of time thus far. Only those who deny the basic principals on which this nation was founded are disenfranchised within it.

Texas A&M In the News Again

27.08.2003 (12:22 pm) – Filed under: Education,Media,Texas ::

Read a scathing commentary on the direction of our fine school.

Given the de-emphasis on Aggie traditions in recent years, it’s hard not to see the accuracy of this statement. I think it is fair to say that few Aggies are interested in bringing so-called politically correct values to campus.

At the same time, it is equally fair to say that the social agenda of the neo-socialist left would love to see the traditional, conservative value system of A&M transformed into something more to their liking.

Mr. McCaig makes an excellent point in reference to A&M’s recent decision to disband its journalism program while still managing to fund an entire department for the purpose of fostering multi-cultural inclusionism on campus.

I would remind Dr. Gates that his mission is to educate the students of Texas A&M, not to fulfill a socio-political agenda of any sort, let alone one which undermines the very traditions and purposes for which the institution he has the privilege of leading was founded.

Growth is only a positive change if the expansion is consistent with the core values of the organization. Random, non-contributory transformation has another name – cancer – and is something most properly excised from its host.

Columbia Report In: NASA Criticized

27.08.2003 (10:57 am) – Filed under: Science,Space ::

The verdict on the Columbia accident is in and reactions vary. Some seek to glorify NASA’s past achievements, while
others pretend to know better.

It’s still my opinion that NASA has been starved from a budgetary perspective and that failed missions and lost personnel have been the inevitable result.

While it’s amusing to wonder what might have happened if mission control had ordered hi-rez camera sweeps of the shuttle, the question of what good that would have done remains in my mind. After all, our astronauts were still in orbit with no practical hope of rescue.

After the political hand-wringing is over, the de-prioritization of NASA in general and space exploration in particular will still be a national disgrace.

Where is today’s John Kennedy daring to dream of something beyond this overcrowded planet? This person is out there, I expect, stifled by an overabundance of bureaucracy and a corresponding lack of governmental vision.

One has to congratulate the Brazilians for trying to expand their role in human development, even though their recent attempt ended in a disaster whose toll in human lives tops all of NASA’s fatalities combined. Yes, they failed, but at least they tried, and there’s plenty to be said for that.

Habitat for Humanity Home a Crack House

22.08.2003 (9:15 pm) – Filed under: Drugs,Stupidity ::

Aren’t you glad you didn’t volunteer your time and effort to help these losers?

Founding Father’s Info Site

22.08.2003 (9:10 pm) – Filed under: Education ::

Should be required reading for all Americans. And not just the one time you snooze through it in high school.

10 Commandments Judge Suspended

22.08.2003 (8:11 pm) – Filed under: Law,Stupidity ::

Alabama Judge Roy Moore ‘failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary’.

Failed to bow and scrape to appease the the malcontents in society, from what I can see.

Those that know me realize I’m not a religious person. If that offends, too bad. If Judge Moore’s statue offends, tough luck. The Constitution doesn’t protect you from being annoyed if a Jewish dude walks by. Obviously it doesn’t protect me from being force-fed images of vile gay-ness on nearly every channel on TV.

I hope, as I hoped that Hootie Johnson of Augusta National would bulldoze the club flat before changing his mind about admitting a female member, that Judge Moore continues to give Uncle Sam the finger.

Better by far to go down with principles intact than to submit to the tyranny of the stupid.

Houston Air Quality

22.08.2003 (8:00 pm) – Filed under: Environment,Texas ::

It’s nice to know that I only live in the city with the 9th worst air quality in the country.

Here’s an idea: build a bike lane that actually goes someplace and see if people ride on it. Stupid idea? No worse than a train going from downtown (nowhere) to the medical center (nowhere)…

Meanwhile, they’re stealing Segways! And why not? They cost as much as a Korean-made car!

Iraq, a Rock, it’s All the Same

20.08.2003 (6:12 pm) – Filed under: Iraq ::

After more and more reports of the niggling guerilla attacks in Iraq, the terrorists have finally revealed their strength.

It’s got to be sheer misery to be on the ground in that country. I wonder if we’ve forgotten to be the hunter in this war on terrorists? Our troops should be stalking the little Osamas, not the reverse.

I love the quote from Kofi Inane: “It is those with the responsibility for security and law and order who have the intelligence which determines what action is taken.” So he’d approve of his personnel being placed under the equivalent of house arrest?

What I wonder is how long it will be before we’re training and turning out respectable numbers of Iraqis capable of defending their own country? Will this in fact ever be possible? Can they actually govern themselves?

Texas A&M in the News

20.08.2003 (5:48 pm) – Filed under: Education,Sports,Stupidity,Texas ::

First, the bad news: the lawsuit against the school is back on in the case of the bonfire collapse.

The thing that gets me about this case is this: what would the kids who were killed want to have happen? I doubt seriously if they would see the years of legal wrangling as the right thing.

For me, the simple fact of the matter is that bad things happen. Sometimes it’s someone’s fault and sometimes you’re doing something inherently risky when it catches up to you. Personally, I think the A&M bonfire is a bad idea. That’s why I never participanted. However, if people want to do it, and they do, then they should. What’s more, the school should stand behind its traditions rather than bowing to external pressure.

Second, the administration still seems intent on killing the journalism department.

As a former Aggie, this is a complete embarrassment, even more so than the recent turn away from long-standing traditions such as the bonfire.

There seems to be plenty of money at A&M to hire a very expensive football coach and drive a massive expansion of the campus infrastructure, but not enough to run its programs. It is nothing short of galling for the university where I sweated it out for years to behave in such a disgraceful manner.

SSSSSsssssssssssssssssssssss…….

Microsoft: Automatic Computer Updates Required

20.08.2003 (5:41 pm) – Filed under: Technology ::

On one level, this isn’t a half-bad idea. Unfortunately, few computer users in their right minds will allow the Microsoft monopoly to do whatever it wants to their computers.

If Microsoft wants to protect its users, and its reputation, it needs to do a proper job of developing and testing its software. This is not an easy thing to do, make no mistake. You can bet, however, if there was any real competition out there, MS would be doing a better job at it.