History Carnival 51, from a different view

April 4, 2007

A Don’s Life hosts History Carnival 51, which is fun and informative if only because blog author Mary Beard offers a slightly different view of things, being several time zones and an ocean away from America.

This carnival features several entries related to the Battle of Thermopylae, especially surrounding the release of the Film “300,” and several entries pondering the history of slavery, coming just at the end of the commemoration of the end of slavery in the British Empire.  Both of these topics offer good material for enrichment for AP world history classes, and good information for anyone else wishing to avoid repeats of the errors of history.


Profiling: Cops target vehicles with Bible on the dashboard

April 4, 2007

Drug couriers, it appears, like to put off suspicion of their vehicles by putting a Bible on the dashboard as they travel.  So, in a countermeasure, cops target cars with Bibles on the dash to be pulled over as suspected for couriering drugs.

Isn’t that a violation of someone’s First Amendment rights?  Not according to the federal courts in Nebraska, no.  The case is Frazier v. Lutter, a March 27 decision, which Prof. Friedman details slightly more.

Say what?  Suddenly you have more sympathy for imams kicked off of airplanes?


Non-oxy morons: Adding God to the Texas Pledge

April 4, 2007

How did I miss this folderol?

By: Riddle H.B. No. 1034

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the pledge of allegiance to the state flag.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 3100.101, Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 3100.101. PLEDGE. The pledge of allegiance to the state flag is: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God and indivisible.”
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

That’s right, kids! Texas, which complained of religious coercion in its Declaration of Independence from Mexico, now has a proposal to add “one state under God” to the Texas Pledge (where it now says “one and indivisible”).

It’s the sort of bill that generally gets bottled up and not acted on. Rep. Dianne Riddle, R-Houston, is playing to some constituency different from most Texans, but then, the entire lege has been doing that lately.

I don’t know what the status of the bill is. The bill was referred to the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism in the House. A hearing on the bill was held on March 20, but so far the bill is still in committee. Alas, many yahoos have jumped on to cosponsor the bill.

Here’s a good analysis of how silly the proposal is, from Capitol Annex: “Legislation seeks to tamper with pledge.”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Prof. Howard Friedman at The Religion Clause.

More below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »


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