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Jury Duty Merits Your Attendance–Please Dress Well For Jury Duty

I had jury duty recently here in Harris County, Texas.

I attended this jury duty just as all citizens should do when they get a summons.

I was not picked for a trial.

Attending jury duty does not mean you assume that people on trial in the courthouse will get a fair shake. I think that many are wary about justice in harris County and in Texas.

What it means is that you have been called do your civic duty, and you have to do that just like any other citizen.

If you don’t want to go for some moral or ethical reason, then make that known and accept the consequences.

Above you see some of the things I took to jury duty. I was prepared to sit in the big jury assembly room for as long as required.  I did end up in that room for over two hours.

I had a book and two magazines. The book I had was The President Makers: The Culture of Politics & Leadership in the Age of Enlightenment 1896-1919. This book, published in 1940, is by Matthew Josepheson.

I had two magazines. I had a baseball preview magazine and a copy of the excellent New Scientist.

I also had a copy of the United States Constitution. I carry the Constitution with me all times.  We can’t allow Tea Party/Republican Party extremists to make off with our founding documents. The Constitution is a flexible document able to adapt to the needs of society as times change.

Here is an article in the online magazine Slate that discusses the Constitution as a document able to meet the challenges of the times.

Do you think that people who have been dead for 200 years now could have fully imagined  the world as it is today? We can move forward without losing the freedoms and rights that we have long held in our nation.  To insist otherwise is to offer a false choice.

You’ll please note that there is a necktie in the picture above.

I wore a tie to jury duty. What could merit greater respect than our common society?

Not many of the men were wearing ties in the jury hall.

I don’t see what is casual about deciding the fates of fellow human beings.

This is could be seen as a somewhat conservative position on my part. Yet when our so-called “conservatives” are in fact radicals, and when so much day-to-day conduct is characterized by ill- disciplined and ignorant behavior, it often falls upon the liberal to preserve and defend what is best in our society.

Please go to jury duty when you get a summons. Please dress for jury duty in way that suggests you respect others and that you respect yourself.

January 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I Took Our U.S. Constitution, A Document Able To Meet The Demands Of The Present Day, Into the Voting Booth—TPA Round-Up

Here is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

With the round-up this week is a picture of me at my early voting place this past Saturday afternoon.

In the picture I’m holding my copy of the United States Constitution that I took into the voting booth. As I’ve written, I carry the Constitution with me at all times.

I do so in case I am harassed out of the blue on the public street by crazies denying that the commerce clause  permits Health Care Reform or that the Constitution  is some how a right-wing document that favors a conservative view of public policy.

We can’t allow angry small-minded folks to define our founding documents. The Constitution is a document fully able to meet the demands of the present day.

The round-up—

Off the Kuff has interviews with Linda Chavez-Thompson and Barbara Radnofsky.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks breathing benzenesulfur dioxide and other pollutants is bad. Why doesn’t the TCEQ agree?

The Texas Cloverleaf posts on Blog Action Day about clean water in the Barnett shale.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points our that there a still many unanswered questions regarding Gov. Perry and a special favor for a mega donor, The drip, drip, drip continues for Perry’s mega-donor problem. Continue reading

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

I Follow Our Laws And I Follow Baseball—Fight back And Take Charge

As I’ve stated before, I carry a copy of our U.S. Constitution with me at all times.

This is in case I am randomly accosted by somebody asserting that Health Care Reform has no basis in the Constitution.

I’ll tell these crazies—“I got you commerce clause right here.

Click this link to see all that Health Care Reform will do for you and the American people.  Do you want to go back the days were you could be kicked off your insurance for getting sick and where there are lifetime caps on policies?

These reforms are just the start of Health Care Reform’s benefits for the American people.

Above you see the Constitution with a baseball I bought at the Houston Astros’ game a few days ago.

It seems that the Astros ripped off the Obama logo to design that ball.

I am all-American. I follow our laws and I follow baseball.

Don’t let right-wing extremists define our laws and our  nation.

Fight back and take charge of our future.

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Carry The U.S. Constitution With Me All The Time—I’ll Tell The Crazies What It Really Stands For

I’ve begun to carry the U.S. Constitution with me when I am out and about.

Above you see my copy of the Constitution being held and read by my friend Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat.

I am walking around with a copy of the Constitution in case I am accosted by an advocate  of so-called “states rights” or I am confronted out of the blue by someone asserting that Health Care Reform is unconstitutional.

There are so many crazy people out there right now that Hamburger and I feel we need to be on the ready at all times.

For the states right crowd all I have to tell them is what part of ” In order to form a more perfect union” do you not understand?

The Constitution was written in large measure in response to the failures of the Articles of Confederation and the corruption of state legislatures.

As for Health Care Reform, The Commerce Clause of our Constitution allows extensive federal regulation of a variety of economic activities.

Click here to learn more about Health Care Reform.

A Republican is someone who wants to go back to when an insurance company could kick you off your policy because you got sick.  This is practice is now banned by HCR.

My copy of the Constitution is The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution by Richard Beeman.

The book can fit in your back pocket or your purse and has both original texts and expert interpretation of our founding documents.

We can’t allow far-right extremists to misrepresent our past so they can steal our future. Learn the Constitution for yourself. Don’t get your notion from the ideological descendants of the same people who opposed Civil rights and who opposed the New Deal.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is America?—How Should America Be Defined?

What is America? How should America be defined?

America is the idea and the fact of a strong federal government over the lesser powers of the states as written in our United States Constitution. The Constitution was in many ways a response to failure of the Articles of Confederation and the incompetence and corruption of state legislatures.

America is Emancipation and the victory of freedom over states rights treason in our Civil War.

America is the expanded economic freedoms and opportunity of the New Deal.

America is the hopeful progress of the Great Society and the Civil Rights Movement.

These are the things that define America.

It is a story of progress, of ever-expanding freedom, and of an always widening definition of what it means to be an American.

If America ever becomes something else than the progress we see detailed above, then it will no longer be America.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Adams, Barack Obama & American Liberty—The Tea Party Knows Nothing Of Liberty

Many on the right on are criticizing Barack Obama’s support of the mosque near the former World Trade Center location in New York City.

Some of this criticism has come from backers of the so-called Tea Party.

(Above–Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre based on a drawing by Henry Pelham.)

Yet as these angry Tea Party folks attempt to claim they are the heirs to our Founding Fathers by calling themselves “Tea Party”, they forget one of the bravest acts of the Revolutionary era.

John Adams represented the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre. He did so in the defense of liberty and in the face of great public anger.

Here’s a great web page about the Boston Massacre trial.

(In saying this, please make note that the people building the N.Y.C. mosque are guilty of nothing. And in fact, despite the public outrage over the Massacre, only two of the nine originally charged  were convicted. Public opinion does not always get it right.)

Our modern Tea Party would not know the kind of honor and courage John Adams showed back in 1770.

The Tea Party is a movement that knows nothing but anger at a world not of their own design. They pick on immigrants and the poor. They are the type of bullies who would kick you when you’re down.

Our Constitution protects religious freedom.

The Tea Party asserts they know something about the Constitution.

But the truth is, like a political movement that flourished  briefly in the 19th century, the Tea Party folks are Know Nothings.

August 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Constitution Should Be Amended To Ban Unsecured Loads

Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin has proposed that the Constitution be amended to mandate the direct election of all U.S. Senators. This comes after the big mess involved in filling the seat once held by President Barack Obama.

This issue does not really move me one way or another. Despite a number of Senate appointments needed to fill spots left vacant by Senators leaving to serve in the Obama administration, these appointed Senate seats don’t happen all that often.

One issue I feel should be addressed by Constitutional amendment is unsecured loads on our roads and highways.  I’d like to see the day when a person driving around in the way you see below would not only get a ticket, but would also be found to be in violation of the United States Constitution.

If found in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America, I believe that the drivers of these vehicles, and maybe even passengers in these cars and trucks as well, could be sent to special jails. Such as wherever we are going to send the people in Guantanamo after that place is shut down.  At that point they might or might not ever get a trial.

Below is what King County, Washington asks drivers to consider before transporting stuff by car or truck—

Is your load secure? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle?
  • Would I feel safe if I were driving behind MY vehicle?
  • Would I want MY loaded vehicle driving through MY neighborhood?
  • What would happen to MY load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
  • Do I need to drive slower than I normally do?
  • Is my load secured at the back and on the sides AND top?
  • Did I double-check my load to make sure it is secured?

Here are suggestions from King County about how you can be certain that your load is secure—

Follow these tips for securing your load:

  • Tie Down – Tie your load with rope, bungee cords, netting or straps. Tie large items directly to your vehicle.
  • Don’t Overload – Keep material level with the truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted, or tarped.
  • Lighter Goes Lower – Put lighter weight things at the bottom of the load.
  • Consider Covering – Cover your load with a secured tarp or net.
  • Always Double-Check – Make sure your load is secured.

Here is a story about a woman who won a 15 million dollar judgement after she was terribly injured by an unsecured load.

There are lawyers who make a living off of this kind of thing.

Unsecured loads are a clear and present danger. By amending our Constitution to address this menace, we would be sending the clearest possible message that they will no longer be tolerated.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment