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User Journal

Journal Journal: Pledge of Allegiance controversy

Compulsory recitation of the US Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, an appeals court has ruled.

This one is going to run and run, giving people who believe in compulsory displays of patriotism the chance to show how patriotic they are.

How many Americans know how the flag was originally saluted? Or that the pledge was amended twice? Or even that the original author was a Christian Socialist? (No doubt McCarthy would have had him denounced in the 1950s if he'd been around.)

Even the placement of a comma has been the subject of a Congressional debate!

Anyway, I've never understood how this quasi-military ritual was supposed to benefit people - it's likely to bore some and irritate others. Sure, some people feel proud and patriotic when reciting it, but nobodys' stopping them from reciting it voluntarily on their own free time. They can recite it a thousand times a day if they like - they can recite it until they turn blue in the face, but don't require others to do so, as it's against the faith of some, such as Jehovahs' Witnesses to recite pledges.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bali bombing and Indonesian military

Wimar Witoelar, a respected Indonesian academic, has suggested that the Indonesian military are among the suspects for the Bali bombing. Kopassus, the counter-insurgency force, was also linked to the murder of a West Papuan leader, Theys Eluay.

Wimar Witoelar isn't the only person with such suspicions.

If Kopassus is responsible, it wouldn't surprise me, given that organisations' record of atrocities in East Timor

User Journal

Journal Journal: This is a public service announcement with guitar...

Things are getting scary in New York, not to mention in the USA in general.

It's doubly disturbing that civil liberties have been eroded in response to the atrocities of September 11th, 2001.

  1. It limits the freedoms of many innocent people who are not terrorists.
  2. It does little to actually bring the remaining September 11th attackers to justice.

Big Ashcroft is Watching You

To quote the Clash: "Know your rights".

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