Friday, December 01, 2006

Blog Redux

This blog started back in 2004, but after a short while, I found it was too much to keep up, together with my other work, and retired it. I was also a little unofocused at the time on exactly what I wanted the blog to be.

It's easier to manage now, thanks to experience and better computer equipment, and the subject is equally important today. The focus is on bringing to one location current news specifically relating to this phrase in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, or of the press.

Up front, I have a P.O.V. on the subject of free expression, I've always had it, now and before, when I used to work in the civil service, and before that when I was a schoolteacher:

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 bedrock of self-government; without it, there would be, in a vitally important sense, no "America" to defend.

With apologies to Ben Franklin:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, will find that they have neither Liberty nor Safety.

With apologies to Patrick Henry:

Is life so dear, or security so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

And finally, a text that many recognize, but may not know is required of all entering federal government employees, or at least used to be: solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

A couple of things about this. One, it doesn't bear a termination date. It doesn't say, "Until I return to a job in private industry, or retire, or go out on disability."

The other thing is this: it is a pledge to defend the Constitution. Not the present policy. Not even the homeland. The Constitution. That is the basis of America, and as long as the Constitution remains vital, America survives.


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