Monday, March 21, 2005

Since When Was The United States Founded On "In God We Trust"

Joe Scarborough is apparently doing a series on the topic:

If America was founded on the words “in God we trust", Joe asks "Why are so many liberal elites so against religion?"

(The current MSNBC page doesn’t have this ad but this cashed one does.)

Well, first lets ignore the inaccurate statement about liberal. Since when was our country founded on ‘In God We Trust’? That particular phrase on our money dates back to 1864 over 80 years after the founding of our country. The phrase was invented at this time to be used instead of the "Our Country; Our God" or "God, Our Trust"

The Constitution of the United States nor its predecessor the Articles of Confederation do not mention God a single time (the latter is dated “In the Year of Our Lord”, a convention at the time) so where do people get the idea that the United States was founded on Christian values? If Christian values were so important to the Founding Fathers you would think they would have codified the 10 Commandments into the Constitution instead of the First Amendment that reads, “Congress will make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

To my mind the Bill of Rights exemplifies the founding principles of the United States of America. A lot of thought and debate went into their writing. It wasn’t just slapped down in the spur of the moment. The Constitution laid down how our government was supposed to work; the Bill of Rights laid down the core principles that concerned the Founding Fathers so much they had to be explicitly delineated.

Where is the mention of Christian Values, or for that matter where are the values delineated in the Bill of Rights mentioned in the Bible? I’m no Biblical scholar, but freedom of religion seems to go against the 10 Commandments. The first Commandment says (depending on translation) “I am the Lord Thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.” Not exactly religious tolerance.

I’m not knocking Christianity I’m just saying that our country wasn’t founded on Christian principles. Our country was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment a radical school of thought brought forth for the first time that the power of government should come FROM the people not be imposed UPON the people.

Send Joe Scarborough ( a letter telling him he really needs stop spouting misinformation.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Shotgun Flamethrowers Oh Boy!

Here's a quick quiz...

Which of the following types of ammunition are illegal in every state in the U.S. (the answers are below the cut):

A) Armor Piercing
B) Incendiary
C) Flamethrower shotgun shells
D) None of the above

Trick question...all of them are legal in most states.

A) Armor Piercing - The technical definition of Armor Piercing is :

18 USC Section 921(a)(17)(B), the term “armor piercing ammunition” means:

1. A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

2. A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

However I think the definition should be anything that can penetrate the average police issue bullet proof vest. That said, I guess most rifle and many shot gun ammunition just inherently penetrates bullet proof vests and we shouldn't outlaw all of these bullets because that would unfairly affect hunters and sport shooters.

BUT, I think that any ammunition made for the purpose of penetrating body armor should NOT be sold to civilians. EVER. For example these .50 cal military surplus bullets.

B) Incendiary - These bullets are designed to start fires. A quick Google search turned up:

This site and this auction site which boasts this ammo was tested by police in Florida and "one round shot through the windshield to the interior of a car ignited the car on fire and burnt it to the ground". Is there any reason at all for civilians to own this!?

C) Flamethrower shotgun shells (down at the middle of the page) apparently can't be shipped to California, Florida, Iowa or New York City addresses; what a relief....NOT!

Now I think that people should be allowed to own guns for hunting/sports and self defense. But these ammunitions have two purposes - playing around and criminal. The playing around purpose doesn't override the possible criminal uses. These type of bullets should be banned

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

I'm Back!

Ah... it has been a long time since I have updated Turpentine (Note: my old blog) and lots of things have happened since. So to bring everybody up to date:

In mid-October 2004 I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so I was forced to give up much of my typing and since I have to do some at work...this blog had to suffer.

In early November 2004 - Bush was declared the winner of an election that had MORE irregularities than the last one he was declared the winner of in 2000. Not to mince words - this fucking depressed the hell out of me. To compound my depression Kerry basically gave up without a fight. He reneged on his promise to make sure every vote was counted; he really screwed the folks in Ohio.

This depression/funk lasted through Retail HELL Season (Christmas) when we store owner work 7 days a week 12 hour days, and towards the New Year when we STILL didn't have a governor here in Washington.

Then Christine Gregoire (D) was determined to have won the election for Governor by less than 150 votes after 3 counts. This gave me some hope for the future of Washington even though this result is still being disputed by the Republicans. In some of the thickest political irony I've ever seen they want to have a REVOTE. Can you see the bloody murder they would be screaming if the Democrats had suggested such a think if Rossi had won? (Not to mention Bush.)

But what finally snapped me out of my funk was Howard Dean being elected to the chair of the DNC. Now I have hope that the Democratic Party is not going to swerve to the Right to try and get votes from people that will never vote for them anyway. I think that I would rather have us fail and be true to our values and ideas than try to squirm and weasel our way into victory.

Coincidentally, my carpal tunnel symptoms seem to have lessened so I can type now. I even got another letter to the editor published in the Seattle PI, this one about how the Republicans are trying to twist FDRs words into an endorsement for their "private/personal" Social Security accounts. The letter I was responding to is here.

Thanks for stopping by...see ya soon.