Here are some random thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for a while now. Some are current events, and others are just pulled out of the aether.

Bakersfield, California is yet another site of people misunderstanding the First Amendment and succumbing to the current–and very wrong–idea of the separation of Church and State. The local YMCA, which stands for Young Men’s CHRISTIAN Association, had the audacity to print up some fliers for an upcoming basketball camp with the terror-inducing phrase: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build spirit, mind and body for all.” Oh, the horror! The Bakersfield school district banned this flier from its campuses because, as so wrong-headedly stated by a district lawyer, it violated the separation of Church and State. What part of “Congress shall make no law” applies to the school district of Bakersfield?

I love to read books. I love to reread books. Some people have asked me why I often read a book over again because they cannot understand why I do it. Even my wife will tease me and ask if the book is different this time. But I understand. Some of the best times I have with good friends come from just sitting around and recalling shared memories. Rereading a good book is like visiting a good friend.

The Supreme Court upheld as constitutional most of the ‘soft-money’ ban passed by Congress last year and signed by President Bush. They did strike down the law that prohibited people under 18 from contributing to political campaigns, calling it an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. But at the same time the schizophrenic Supreme Court upheld the banning of special interest groups from advertising 60 days before a Presidential election. Did you catch that? Kids may contribute money to their favorite politicians and this is called “speech,” but try to spend your money to speak out for or against someone, and this genuine speech is not allowed.

Dear Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who voted this way, what part of “Congress shall make no law. . .abridging the freedom of speech” are you just too stupid to understand?

Shauna Rohbock, I do not care that you have Olympic gold medal potential. You are a member of the Utah National Guard, and your unit, 115th Engineer Group, has been called up for active service. Shut up and soldier, soldier.

Working and pulling down a paycheck is much better than not. Working for a company that actively supports me and gives me the tools I need to perform my job would be a welcome change.

Politically, I am pretty conservative with a heavy streak of libertarianism. I believe that the Constitution is more than the law of the land, it is the Law of the Land, with plenty of emphasis needed. Hearing people who have not a clue (Hello, Supreme Court!) rendering wrongheaded judgments about what the Constitution means just makes me pull out my hair. And I do not have enough hair left to waste.

Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Secretary, said in a town hall meeting in Florida, “The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our immigration policy is and then enforce it.” Now I understand that illegal immigration is a very serious issue. I do not care what country these law-breakers come from; I do not welcome them here. If they are willing to break the laws of our country to enter, how conscientious will they be in keeping any of our other laws? Granting amnesty every few years is not the solution. This only encourages people to sneak over our borders and hide out until the next amnesty program is announced. Why do things legally when you know the government will just holler “Ollie Ollie oxen free!” and let all the hidden people reap the rewards of their sneakiness?

Secretary Ridge is right when he said our country needs to decide on an immigration policy and enforce it. There are times when I become so angry at the flood of illegals pouring through every border that I would support a policy of branding illegals on the forehead for the first offense and never letting them into the country ever again.

“Quinn’s First Law — Liberalism generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.”

Ever since I first heard Jim Quinn declare this law, I have recognized it in action more and more. One of these days I will sit down and write up a full-sized comment on this principle.

Terrorists are bullies, so how do you best handle a bully? Sure, you could buy him off and hope that the cost of this Danegeld is less painful than the beatings, but how long will it last? Ask Saudi Arabia about the bombings in Riyadh and how well their payoff of al-Qaeda has worked. You could suck up to the bully and become a hanger-on or sycophant in the hope that you can avoid a beating by being a yes-man, but I have no desire to join the “religion of peace” and blow people up.

Or you can confront the bully and beat on him until he cries for mercy and leaves you alone. President Bush understands that this is the right way to handle a bully.

The countries who called America baby-killers for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein are now raging again. Since the Little Red Hen has baked the Iraqi bread, all the lazy countries who did not lift a finger to free Iraq are now incensed because President Bush has denied them access to the primary contracts for rebuilding Iraq. France, Germany and Russia all sat on their collective thumbs while the U.S. prepared and then invaded Iraq, so why should these countries benefit from the lucrative contracts to rebuild? I hope the Bush administration stands firm and tells them to sit and spin.

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