• Does anyone care about the Fourth Amendment?

    July 9, 2010 at 2:01 a.m.

  • Writein, some of the most educated people think very differently from each other.

    It does appear that some of the people in our government today are making some choices that are not helping our ailing economy. (btw, it is not what they inherited, it is their own creation since most of them have been there more than 8 years) It almost seems that they tried to decide how to hurt our economy more and set about to do it.

    Those who are paying attention have become worried about such things as the debt and our standing in the world, and wonder about the wisdom of those making the decisions.

    July 8, 2010 at 11:23 p.m.

  • Holly1.

    What you mean is that if a person is not a conservative or thinks differently than you then he or she is not educated?

    July 8, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.

  • Thank goodness the IDIOTS in power today were not writing the founding documents of our country. To bad all politicians were still not required to be as well educated.

    Kyle c

    as always a real pleasure to read your posts. Love your writing style.

    Brilliant minds knew that these 5 freedoms were the most important ones so they were listed first in the bill of rights.

    They also knew that without the right to bear arms it would be taken away by an oppressive govt. That's why they listed it 2nd.

    So the people should pettition the govt to repeal all gun laws ever imposed.

    Maybe our schools should go back to the classical style of teaching instead of the politically correct crap it now teaches. Then we could elect people who were as well educated.

    July 8, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.

  • KyleC said it best "We should also remember that it took a little under 200 years after the DofI was signed that African Americans finally could say that they shared the same equality of freedom."

    July 8, 2010 at 5:47 a.m.

  • He didn't have access to the Victoria Advocate.

    (I am cutting out a beer bread recipe for my recipe binder. I might have to make many loaves of bread. Hope they don't turn out skunky. Oh, but it's an "acquired taste.")

    July 6, 2010 at 9:29 a.m.

  • Chris-

    I wonder what was on Jefferson's mind when he wrote/spoke, "I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it," and "the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." ;)

    Some other Jeffersonian pearls of wisdom we should consider locally:

    "It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."

    "Delay is preferable to error."

    "Never spend your money before you have it."

    "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive."

    "An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens."

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."

    "Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

    "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

    "I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."

    "That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part."

    July 6, 2010 at 9:21 a.m.

  • Nullus lingua philologus.

    July 5, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Chris--

    We're just practicing our right to free speech!

    Of course, some turned left when they should have turned right.

    Back on topic, folks!

    July 5, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.

  • Oh, Mike...I wouldn't shoot you. I like you. I might not AGREE with you all the time, but I respect you for your honor and the degree with which you research your blogs. Heck, I don't agree with my WIFE all the time, but I still like her.

    July 5, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.

  • Victore, sweetie—

    Why, oh why, are you barking at me? To refresh your memory since you indicate it’s not so good, you posted: “An unusual Latin word “Mea Culpa” another reason our founding fathers left England and Roman Catholic rule or the Church…”

    Those are YOUR words, not anyone else’s.

    I asked, with a straight face I might add, “Are you serious, Victore? Folks left England because of unusual Latin words?”

    You replied: “Look, local girl, eddithann and kyle, I do not know what in the world that Mea culpa a stupid Latin word has to do with freedom of speech. The last time I herd it was about 35 years ago I gave the best explanation that I could recall, with out digging it up.”

    If that is indeed the case, then why in the hell did YOU bring it up?

    You need to get on the phone right now and thank the Advocate owners and editor for not requiring a minimum IQ to post!

    July 5, 2010 at 5:35 p.m.

  • Plagiarism=A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own words according Wordweb

    The Puritans were a significant grouping of English-speaking Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from

    July 5, 2010 at 4:14 p.m.

  • I'm not Irish Victore, and what has my posting of facts got to do with you personalizing this subject?

    July 5, 2010 at 4 p.m.

  • The Puritans were a significant grouping of English-speaking Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1559, as an activist movement within the Church of England. The designation "Puritan" is often incorrectly used, notably based on the assumption that hedonism and puritanism are antonyms: historically, the word was used to characterize the Protestant group as extremists similar to the Cathari of France, and according to Thomas Fuller in his Church History dated back to 1564. Archbishop Matthew Parker of that time used it and "precisian" with the sense of stickler.[1] T. D. Bozeman therefore uses instead the term precisianist in regard to the historical groups of England and New England.[2]

    July 5, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.

  • Look, local girl, eddithann and kyle, I do not know what in the world that Mea culpa a stupid Latin word has to do with freedom of speech. The last time I herd it was about 35 years ago I gave the best explanation that I could recall, with out digging it up.

    We kick the British’s butt fair and square, we also engaged Ireland from a naval stand point, by one lone Captain, John Paul Jones, which he later became the head dog of the Navy.

    So kyle how about another history lesson, since you’re from Ireland…

    July 5, 2010 at 3:46 p.m.

  • Thanks KyleC, exactly my point.

    That was the Puritans ,that were against the Church of England and the Catholic Church; not necessarily the founders.

    Just imagine if you would have used "E pluribus unum"

    July 5, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    July 5, 2010 at 3:05 p.m.

  • mea culpa

    late 14c., from L., lit. "I am to blame," a phrase from the prayer of confession in the L. liturgy.

    I took time from howling at the moon, to look up the exact definition and nowhere did I find it listed as a reason for the establishment of our country. Hummmph.

    July 5, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.

  • I know Mike is being tongue in cheek but I can shed some light on that question and the answer is: not the majority.

    According to the sources the religious denomination of the signers of the DoI were as follows:

    Episcopalian/Anglican 32 or 57.1%
    Congregationalist 13 or 23.2%
    Presbyterian 12 or 21.4%
    Quaker 2 or 3.6%
    Unitarian or Universalist 2 or 3.6%
    Catholic 1 or 1.8%
    TOTAL 56=100%

    As we can see the Anglican was the dominant denomination not the Puritan offshoots such as Congregationalist, Quaker or Presbyterianism.


    July 5, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.

  • Were the founders,Puritans?

    July 5, 2010 at 2:29 p.m.

  • Edith Ann, the word Mea cupla dates back to about 1100 and was used by the Roman Catholics, in it’s meaning knowing ones fault their own.

    Perhaps you could look it up, instead of barking at the moon…

    Kyle thanks for the world history lesson…

    July 5, 2010 at 2:07 p.m.

  • Waywardwind

    Although I might agree with you,I do remember the interview with Miss South Carolina, some insane remarks by politicians, and a high percentage of people that think man roamed the earth with dinosaurs. I've seen many " man on the street" interviews where people don't know the basics. I've seen some posts that would question the level of education.

    Like I said, I've seen polls where people did not know Hawaii was part of the United States and our president was born there.... Do I know anyone? No, but that's not a good gauge. The United States(including Hawaii) is pretty big, so it is not all that surprising.

    Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.

    July 5, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.

  • Mike...That poll that stated that 26% of the people didn't know from whom the US gained its freedom is a big reason I don't trust polls. I find it hard to believe that one out of four people don't know. Unless the pollsters were asking kindergarten kids or gang banger crack heads who barely know their own names, I just can't believe it. Do YOU know ANYONE who couldn't answer that question? I certainly don't.

    And, KyleC....Stop it! Even if the real number is only five percent, it's too high and we don't need you making it worse. :)

    July 5, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

  • Are you serious, Victore? Folks left England because of unusual Latin words?

    I should have paid better attention in history class.

    July 5, 2010 at 12:05 p.m.

  • @Victore,

    I used that phrase in the popular vernacular. As for the broader use of Latin during the times of our Founding Fathers this article is enlightening :

    “We are already fairly familiar with the explicitly Biblical influences on America’s founding, but we are far less familiar with the classical influences on the Founders—and how these two influences worked in concert to mold their education and their thinking.

    It is a well-known fact that literacy was prevalent in colonial times. “A native of America who cannot read or write,” said John Adams, “is as rare an appearance…as a comet or an earthquake.” It is not nearly as well-known a fact, however, that early Americans with a formal education usually knew several other languages as well as their own. The typical education of the time began in what we would call the 3rd Grade—at about age eight. Students who actually went to school were required to learn Latin and Greek grammar and, later, to read the Latin historians Tacitus and Livy, the Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, and to translate the Latin poetry of Virgil and Horace. They were expected to know the language well enough to translate from the original into English and back again to the original in another grammatical tense. Classical Education also stressed the seven liberal arts: Latin, logic, rhetoric (the “trivium”), as well as arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the “quadrivium”).

    Thomas Jefferson received early training in Latin, Greek, and French from Reverend William Douglas, a Scottish clergyman. At the age of fourteen, Jefferson’s father died, and, at the express wish of his father, he continued his education with the Reverend James Maury, who ran a classical academy. After leaving Douglas’ academy, Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary, where his classical education continued along with his study of law.

    When Alexander Hamilton entered King’s College (now Columbia University) in 1773, he was expected to have a mastery of Greek and Latin grammar, be able to read three orations from Cicero and Virgil’s Aeneid in the original Latin, and be able to translate the first ten chapters of the Gospel of John from Greek into Latin.

    When James Madison applied at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), he was expected to be able to “write Latin prose, translate Virgil, Cicero, and the Greek gospels and [to have] a commensurate knowledge of Latin and Greek grammar.” Even before he entered, however, he had already read Vergil, Horace, Justinian, Nepos, Caesar, Tacitus, Lucretius, Eutropius, Phaedrus, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plato."

    July 5, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.

  • An unusual Latin word “Mea Culpa” another reason our founding fathers left England and Roman Catholic rule or the Church…

    July 5, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

  • Mea culpa! I have worked tirelessly to increase that 26% figure, Mike, it make's my life a heck of a lot easier come July 4th to inform the local hicks that I am glad y'all broke free from Ecuador and that England supported you all the way.

    That way I don't get run out of town so much...


    July 5, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.

  • I'm not surprised that people are not aware of that the freedom of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly are the five rights mentioned in the first amendment.... I'm horrified that a poll stated that 26% of Americans do not know what country we gained our independence from. They probably belong to that same group, that don't know Hawaii is part of the United States and our president was born there.

    Nice post,Edith Ann

    July 5, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.

  • It would be nice if the spirit of the first amendment applied to commenter’s on the VA.
    Especially, when the comments are aimed at the VA’s sacred cows like the VPD, SO or FF Church.

    July 5, 2010 at 12:16 a.m.

  • Good posts Edith Ann!

    July 4, 2010 at 9:56 p.m.

  • You asked how much I value the freedoms afforded by the First Amendment. I value them a great deal. End of answer.

    Others, though, are using this blog to make commentary on the status of those freedoms. Isn’t this a great nation where we can have a locally owned newspaper print what it would like without being dictated to? And isn’t it a wonderful thing that we can post our comments on those stories? We can read any newspaper or book we choose and we can watch FOX News or not. We can form our own opinions with whatever information we deem correct. Freedom of the press is alive and well, and is not in any danger of going away.

    It is hard to imagine not having freedom of religion since a whole bunch of the original colonizers did not want to be told they were going to be Anglican. So, thanks to them, we’re free to be Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran or any other religion of our choice, including Wicca, Atheist, Muslim, or yes, even Anglican. Freedom of religion is not a fluid right. We do not get to pick and choose which religions we’re going to sanction. It sort of messes up the whole ‘freedom of religion’ notion. Sometimes, some of us forget that this freedom apply equally and evenly across the board. No exception. None.

    Freedom of speech is sometimes known as the freedom of expression right. This freedom is often the best friend of those who go awry with the Advocate. Most folks get a bit confused on the freedom of speech provision. It is not a disclaimer that allows anyone to say anything that crosses his mind. It is the one freedom that gets some extra rules, if you will. We can’t defame someone, we can’t incite crime, we can’t cause panic, we can’t advocate for sedition, we can’t incite physical harm by using fighting words, and we can’t be obscene. This is the part of the first amendment that allows those protesting the war during Bush’s presidency to do just that. It allows those oddballs in Kansas to protest at the soldiers’ funerals. It allows a lot of stuff that we don’t necessarily agree with it. It’s also the one that keeps porn out of the general view of children. While it has restrictions, it is still very good in its structure.

    The right to peaceful assembly. Think the Kansas oddballs again. Wm. Paul Tasin. The crowds that line the highways and streets, hats and hands over hearts, when the Wounded Warriors roll into town. Got it? And having the right to peacefully assemble does not automatically mean that you get to stand exactly where you want. Remember those folks who were protesting at Crawford, Texas every time President Bush was in residence? They got to assemble, but they had to do it miles away.

    July 4, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.

  • con't:
    According to, the right to petition clause “concludes the First Amendment’s ringing enumeration of expressive rights and, in many ways, supports them all. Petition is the right to ask government at any level to right a wrong or correct a problem.

    Although a petition is only as meaningful as its response, the petitioning right allows blocs of public interests to form, harnessing voting power in ways that effect change. The right to petition allows citizens to focus government attention on unresolved ills; provide information to elected leaders about unpopular policies; expose misconduct, waste, corruption, and incompetence; and vent popular frustrations without endangering the public order.”

    It goes on to state, “It creates an information flow from the public to the government, and serves as a safety valve for public passions.

    Yet despite its social benefits, the First Amendment right of petition has not been developed as a doctrine or championed as a cause. Few scholars or courts have fully appreciated the importance of the right to petition and its more contemporary applications.

    Perhaps the right of petition has escaped their attention precisely because it continues to work so well. The petition clause is the tacit assumption in constitutional analysis, the primordial right from which other expressive freedoms arise. Why speak, why publish, why assemble against the government at all if such complaints will only be silenced?

    The petition clause ensures that our leaders hear, even if they don’t listen to, the electorate. Though public officials may be indifferent, contrary, or silent participants in democratic discourse, at least the First Amendment commands their audience.”

    Too many times folks try to use the First Amendment when they want to express something that may be controversial or politically incorrect, yet they conveniently forget that same Amendment when they want to stiffle someone else.

    July 4, 2010 at 9:36 p.m.

  • We have recently become aware of the challenge to these freedoms, which have turned some people back toward their religions and the Constitution. We lost a big part of our press some time ago, or they lost us, and they can do what they want, not many smart people are paying attention to them anymore. Religions are still around, although we have seen many changes, some good and some not so much. It sure brings some negative attention when we assemble and it does not matter if we petition, our government is doing their own thing and is not listening... right now. But, there in our consititution are the basics of what we believe and what many have lived and died for. We sure need to support those who are in a position to protect our freedoms. I hope with the coming elections people will listen and vote for those who want to save our freedoms.

    So do we still have our freedoms? Yes, we do. But they are on the chopping block and we are going to have to pay attention and vote in those who will protect them. It is up to us and this is critical.

    July 4, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.

  • We should also remember that it took a little under 200 years after the DofI was signed that African Americans finally could say that they shared the same equality of freedom.

    For those that question the erosion of these rights I urge you to recall the suffering around the world of peoples who live under the fist of governmental, religious and cultural oppression, spare a thought for those who still fight today to overthrow the shackles of these most soul destroying of prisons.

    Happy 4th!

    July 4, 2010 at 7:42 p.m.

  • I would remind you that the First Amendment would be pretty useless without the Second to back it up.

    "Where the government fears the people, there is liberty. Where the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

    Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy your freedoms -- while you still can.

    July 4, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.

  • BUT, do we REALLY have those five freedoms?! It's become very questionable to me!

    July 4, 2010 at 5:28 p.m.