Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Turning their back on Deal's Gap

dragon I've ridden Deal's Gap and can vouch for the fact that it attracts a lot of motorcyclists who think it's a place to race. And a lot of them get in over their heads and crash, hence the Tree of Shame at the Crossroads of Time motel and gas station that's festooned with parts from wrecked bikes.

I was there in September of 1993, before it got really well-known and popular. I would not ride there today because the road is full of crazies.

But instead of improving emergency service in the face of more accidents, the morons who provide ambulance service to Deal's Gap, have decided to withhold emergency service. What the hell kind of irresponsible thinking is that?

ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Motorcyclists in western North Carolina should take note. Beginning next year, emergency help on the Swain County part of the route known as the "Tail of the Dragon" may take longer to arrive.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Graham County is ending its ambulance service into Swain County to respond to wrecks on the well-known motorcycle route on U.S. 129.

The road starts in Blount County, Tenn., and packs 318 curves in 11 miles.

It takes about 22 minutes for an ambulance to get to that part of U.S. 129 in Swain County from Robbinsville in Graham County. It can take as long as 50 minutes to get there from Bryson City in Swain County.

County leaders say they used to get few emergency calls for the route but now get about 30 a year, at cost of about $100,000 annually.

Smart move, Blanche

blanche lincolnKudos to Arkansas Democrat Sen. Blanche Lincoln for her vote yesterday in the Senate Finance Committee to strike the public  option from the healthcare reform legislation.

If she stays on the right side of this issue and opposes Cap and Tax, she may have a shot at another term next year.

Some thoughts on Obama and American Exceptionalism

I believe in American Exceptionalism – the idea that the United States is unique among the nations of the world.

Quoting from Wikipedia to save time:

The roots of the term are attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, who claimed that the then-50-year-old United States held a special place among nations, because it was a country of immigrants and the first modern democracy.

But also because our founding principles of justice, equality and liberty and, more specifically, our Constitution, set us apart from all of the rest.

I have long believed that the waves of immigration that built this nation brought to our shores the best, hardiest, most adventurous, most creative, and boldest people from all corners of the world. This is a nation that was built by people who had the courage to leave their old lives behind and risk everything in a huge leap of faith.

In many ways, it’s tempting to suggest that – in the case of Europe in particular – the descendants of those who stayed behind lack the qualities and character that make Americans unique.

We, I believe, are destined to lead and be a beacon of liberty and hope for the world.

There are obviously a lot of people here and abroad who don’t share that view and I worry that President Obama is among them.

Back in April, when Obama was on his European Apology Tour, he said this:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world…

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we've got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we're not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

It is clear that Obama does not believe in American Exceptionalism or understand it as most Americans do. Rather, he sees the United States as a co-equal among nations with no special qualities or merit.

The fact of the matter is that Obama is the first American president who is an internationalist who does not put his country first. His amazingly self-revelatory habit of jamming his speeches with “I” and “me” suggests an ego that sees itself as leader of the world, not just the U.S. or even the Free World.

He spent much of his formative early years in muslim Indonesia and, depending on how you read the Constitution, is not a natural born U.S. citizen by virtue of his Kenyan father. I firmly believe he does not share our values or have our commonly shared American experience as a basis for his understanding of this country.

In short, he is not one of us. Never was. Never will be.

He has also aligned himself with those who would commit us to international treaties that would abrogate our constitutional rights.

Like, for instance, the United Nations campaign against gun ownership. This from Kenneth Anderson, onetime director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Division:

I recall sitting in meetings of landmines advocates talking about where things should go next; I was director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Division, with a mandate to address the transfer of weapons into conflicts where they would be used in the violation of the laws of war, and small arms were the main concern. I was astonished at how quickly the entire question morphed from concern about the flood of weapons into African civil wars into how to use international law to do an end run around supposedly permissive gun ownership regimes in the US.
I dropped any personal support for the movement when it became clear, a long time ago, that it is about controlling domestic weapons equally in the US (or, today, even more so) as in Somalia or Congo.

Here’s what the U.N. would like to see:

According to the United Nations:

Citizens should only be allowed to own guns if they are given a government permit, and the permit should only be issued if there is a "good reason" for possession or or "genuine need." In particular, permits to own guns for self defense should not be issued unless the applicant proves that he is in immediate danger.
The law require "safe storage", which means that firearms should be disassembled and the ammunition ammo stored separately.
There should be frequent renewal procedures to assure the owner's continued eligibility. A good example is provided by Australia, which for most gun owners (except farmers) requires membership in a sports club, and participation in a minimum number of shooting events annually.
A firearms license should be contingent on the consent of the person's spouse or former partner.
All firearms should be registered on a centralized computer system.
The home and vehicles of a gun owner should be subject to official inspection "at will."

Reconcile that with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The alternative to American Exceptionalism is subjugation of the United States to a world government. Care to guess which side of that issue Obama comes down on?

Shiloh on my mind

b&nsep30 I probably should be packing for the Return to Shiloh Rally, since I plan to leave tomorrow, but I had to have my bookstore cafe internet fix.

This morning, that means Barnes & Noble. The weather has turned cooler the last few days and consequently Barnes & Noble has dialed down their air conditioning to a level I can tolerate.

It got down to 67 degrees in the house this morning, prompting the first use of the furnace this season. As expected, it smelled like the house was on fire.

My local BMW friends, Charlie and Deb, aren’t going to the rally this year because of schedule conflicts, so I’ll ride solo to Pickwick Landing State Park, just south of Savannah, Tenn. It’s about a four-hour ride and I’m considering an alternative northern route through Jackson, Tenn. that adds about 10 minutes overall, but doesn’t take me through Memphis.

This is my favorite venue on the BMW rally circuit – a level campground in the midst of a pine forest. I’ve sent a reminder to my friends in the Indianapolis BMW Club and hope to see a few of them there.

Good God! Even the French think Obama is an arrogant twit

It's worth suffering through Greta Van Susteren's stumbling, bumbling setup to hear Jack Kelly say, "(French President Nicolas) Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical - so egotistical that no one can dent his naiveté.”

No surprise. This is what is being said behind closed doors by most world leaders who have met Obama, taken his measure and found him woefully inadequate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The 10th Amendment: Read it and weep, moonbats

I've been waiting for months for someone to raise this issue. Go read the 10th Amendment. It's the stopper for all of this healthcare reform crap:


The requirement that everyone buy health insurance -- a central element to President Obama's health care plan -- is flatly unconstitutional, legal experts argue.

"At the heart of this plan is an unprecedented imposition on individual liberty," constitutional attorney David Rivkin told FOX News.

The constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce but Rivkin argues the insurance requirement is just an attempt to dictate personal behavior.

"What’s unique about here is the mandate imposed on individuals merely because they live," he said. "Not connected with any economic activity, not because they grow something, make something, compose something. Merely because they live. And this is absolutely unprecedented."

During the Prohibition era, the federal government dictated personal behavior by making the consumption of alcohol illegal. But to do so, the nation had to pass a constitutional amendment.

Health care reform depends on the individual mandate, in part because it needs the money and good health of younger people to fund the system and spread the risk.

"When you're 25 and healthy you think you're invincible. You think you're never going to get sick, never going to get into an accident," said Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

And so young people don't buy insurance. But if one gets into an accident and runs up huge medical bills, taxpayers foot the bill, Kendall said.

"The fundamental point behind pushing people into the private insurance market is to make sure that uninsured individuals who can pay for health insurance don't impose costs on other tax payers," he said.

Kendall argues the interstate commerce clause justifies such action because it regulates insurance and health care. But when the Clinton administration wanted an individual mandate in the 1990s, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also called such a requirement "unprecedented."

"The government has never required people to buy any good or service, as condition of lawful residence in the United States," congressional budget officers said.

Some question why the government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance if it can regulate other behavior such as use of illicit drugs. But if the government can do that to protect taxpayers, why couldn't it force people to stop smoking or lose weight?

The Congressional Research Service looked into the mandate question and concluded only that Congress "may have" that power but called it "the most challenging question" -- meaning the centerpiece of health care reform is still open to debate.

At last, some good news

The first video, which explains the Boeing airborne laser program in some detail, was posted in mid-March. Five months later, on Aug. 10, the system was successfully tested on an actual missile in flight.

Suddenly, the prospect of missiles with nuclear warheads in the hands of the Iranians, North Koreans or anyone else who hates us or our friends, becomes a little less daunting.

So you want to fix education…

Not content to let the war in Afghanistan slide onto the back burner while he pimps for a Chicago Olympics (read: help dirtbags like Valerie Jarrett and other Chicago scum profiteer while the city of Chicago takes a longterm net loss on the event), our Narcissist in Chief now thinks shortening summer vacation is the way to improve American education.

Keep in mind, this is a state and local issue, so the good news is that his dopey ideas can’t take hold anytime soon.

His basic premise is that kids forget stuff if they are out of school too long on summer vacation. So his simplistic fix is to shorten the vacation.

I have some reporting experience on this concept and can say with reasonable certainty that much more can be accomplished without increasing the number of instructional days per year.

It’s called year-round school and it’s been tried in many communities around the nation. All you do is set up a school calendar that has more, but shorter, vacations. Of course, there is always some resistance to this kind of change. Lebanon Community Schools in Lebanon, Ind. instituted a year-round calendar in one of its elementary schools back in the 1990s and Superintendent Dave Hutton was pushing a plan to eventually convert the entire system to a year-round calendar.

That was until the politically ambitious wife of a funeral director convinced three local people to run for the school board on a platform of opposing Hutton’s proposed changes. There was more than enough fear and ignorance in the community to elect the three and once they got control of the board they ran Hutton out of town and purged the system of anyone who agreed with him. Hutton landed on his feet in Michigan, proving that living well really is the best revenge.

Once their mission was accomplished, the three new board members were out of ideas and the district drifted. It was a classic example of what happens when school board members decide they know more about education than professional educators and proceed to micromanage a district into stagnation. In my years as an education reporter, I saw it happen several times and never with a good outcome.

The year-round calendar at Lebanon’s Harney Elementary School, however, had such a devoted following among some families that it continued for several years. I find no reference to a year-round calendar on today’s Lebanon Community Schools web site, so it may have fallen by the wayside.

That said, the only real fix for American education is in the hands of parents. We’ll see incredible improvement in education if and when parents decide to actually be parents and take an active interest in their kids’ education.

Kids who come from stable, loving two-parent families consistently do well in school and later, in life.

Several years ago, Indianapolis News Managing Editor Wendell C. Phillippi opined in an editorial meeting that the proliferation of daycare centers was resulting in a new breed of criminal. His remark was greeted by a stunned silence and murmurs that he was drunk or crazy.

But it turns out that WCP was more perceptive than we knew. Early childhood development experts have demonstrated repeatedly how important parental presence is during a child’s first few – and highly formative – years of life.

If Obama really wants to help American education, he needs to do whatever he can to strengthen families and help parents understand that their kids are their first priority.

End of rant.

You can yank their chains for less than $30

lg_pinkslip If you’re outraged by the daily deluge of bad news and moronic legislation coming out of Congress and want to put those clowns on notice that their days of wrecking the country are numbered, how about sending them a “pink slip?” has launched a campaign to do just that, on a massive scale. For $29.95, WND will FedEx a pink slip to all 535 members of Congress that reminds the recipient that they work for you. Each pink slip bears the sender’s name and contact information and is signed “Your Employer.”

The warning lists four key issues that are deemed unacceptable to program participants:

A previous WND FedEx campaign blanketed Congress with over 705,000 personalized letters.

  • government health care
  • cap and trade
  • "hate crimes"
  • any more spending
"If you vote for any of these, your real pink slip will be issued in the next election," it warns.
To send individual notices to all 535 members of Congress through the Postal Service would cost you $235 in stamps alone – and your letters would be waylaid for irradiation in Ohio before they got anywhere near the Capitol.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yes, Global Warming really IS a hoax

It's pretty technical, but this is a vitally important revelation: the climate researchers pushing the Global Warming hoax cooked their data.

That is, they cherry picked the tree ring samples to support their flawed hypothesis that the world is getting warmer at an alarming rate.

Which is to say, it really is junk science.

And the malignant imbeciles in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the ruinous bullshit Cap and Trade legislation based on this idiotic myth.

Pray to God we can stop it in the Senate before the Global Warming loons completely fuck our economy.

Now she’s REALLY famous


Holy crap! One of my favorite bloggers, Jen who writes Demure Thoughts over at got a mention in cartoonist Chris Muir’s Day By Day panel.

I suggest you make her blog and his cartoons a part of your daily must-read list.

Fire pit weather

firepit It’s fire pit weather again – clear and relatively cool – so we have a continuous fire going in an attempt to burn up as much of the aftermath of the January ice storm as possible.

I got it going Saturday morning with a little motor oil as an accelerant and Austin stoked it later in the day into a bonfire with flames leaping maybe eight feet into the air.

I stirred the coals to life yesterday morning and again this morning before I left to deliver a photo CD to the folks at ASU. Maybe Austin will throw more wood on before he leaves for work.

Indianapolis BMW Club friend Dom LoDuca was considering a visit this week and we hope he shows up. He’ll have near-perfect riding weather all week.

It looks like the good weather will continue through the weekend, which is good news for me since I plan to ride to the Return to Shiloh Rally near Savannah, Tenn.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just as we suspected


Anything for a good parking space.

Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary to Sean and Ruth

sean&ruth wedding

Wishing my son and his beautiful bride the happiest of anniversaries.

We haven't seen them since the wedding, which is way to long between visits.

Grass Roots BMW sets BMW parade record without me

bmw paradeThe folks at Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles smashed the old record for a parade of BMW motorcycles yesterday.

Two hundred forty-one BMWs from 17 states, Mexico and Canada took part in the parade that launched at 1:30 p.m. from Grass Roots BMW on Spanish Street in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The old record was 128 BMWs in a parade in Switzerland four years ago. Click here  to see the KFVS-TV story.

plane I didn't go because I had a photo assignment to shoot aerial images of the Arkansas State University Stadium during yesterday's home game with Troy. The visitors' side of the stadium was less than half full, but the weather was very nearly perfect - a great relief after a week of overcast skies and rain.

I shot my photos from an altitude of 1,000 feet - I could read the altimeter over the pilot's shoulder. We made four passes and then headed back to the airport. The tower radioed that they had received complaints from the campus police about a low-flying aircraft they judged to be too close to the stadium. I guess they were feeling a little jittery about terrorists.

The game started about 3:30 p.m., 10 minutes after an A-10 Warthog piloted by an ASU grad, did a ceremonial fly-over. We delayed our takeoff until we received confirmation that he had done his thing and no longer needed the airspace. We were airborne almost exactly 30 minutes. ASU is picking up the tab for the flight, so I have no idea how much it cost.

I'd post a representative photo here, but since ASU is paying for them, I don't consider them as mine to use.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Why isn't this disgusting dirtbag in prison?

Oh, does that make me a racist? Or just a citizen who's paying attention.

Buy health insurance OR ELSE

insurancejail Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."

A beer-and-pizza run in the del Sol

rayban delsol We were in a pizza mood last night, so I went to the Papa John’s Pizza web site and ordered a couple of large pizzas from the Papa John’s in Paragould.

Papa John’s drivers don’t deliver this far out, so I have to pick the pizza up. Happily, the drive time is about the same as the cooking time, so they’re always ready by the time I get there.

The skies had gone from overcast to a mix of clouds and sun and it felt like a good time to take the top off of my del Sol and enjoy the delsol pizza runwind in my face.

It occurred to me that I don’t use this ultracool feature of the del Sol – the removable hardtop – nearly enough. Yes, the blazing heat of Arkansas summers makes staying buttoned up with the air conditioning attractive, but there are days when it’s a crime not to stow the top and enjoy the sunshine and breezes.

Last evening was such a time and I enjoyed it so much that I extended the ride with a lap through the drive-up window at the county line liquor store for a half-case of Budweiser. After all, what’s pizza without beer?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Encouraging developments

peterson fence

Our neighbors’ chain link fence was installed today, which will signal the end of Jake their Shar Pei’s wanderings.

His visits to our back yard are always accompanied by much barking and marking of territory on the part of Jake and Pete. Even though he seems to be barking fiercely, Pete is in the front end down, ass in the air, tail wagging “let’s play” posture.

Also, I noticed that the Best Buy store, scheduled to open next month in the Mall at Turtle Creek, is hiring.


If I didn’t prize my free time so highly, I’d consider coming out of retirement and applying. Getting employee discounts at Best Buy is kind of an attractive proposition.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Global warming scientist: “The dog ate my homework”

The global warming hoax continues to unravel. From Ace of Spades HQ:

As Peter Venkman said (I think), "Trust me, I'm a scientist."venkman

And as Dean Yeager said to Venkman: "Doctor... Venkman. The  purpose of science is to serve mankind. You seem to regard science as some kind of dodge... or hustle. Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable! You are a poor scientist, Dr. Venkman!"

Worth reading in full. The gist is this:

Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, ..politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Now since then, FOIA requests for the data have been filed, and an increasing number of scientists have been curious to see precisely what exactly the evidence is of the much-heralded 0.6 degree Centigrade rise in temperature this century we've heard so very much about.

The new answer?

We lost all the old data so we can't provide it to you.

You'll just have to take our word for it that it existed at one time, and when we "adjusted" it to correct for what we thought were errors, our corrections were proper and accurate.

Unintended consequences

Do you suppose anyone ever raised this issue during product design meetings at Apple?

A major fitness chain has banned the new iPod nano with nano_camera_1camera from its locker rooms.
Apple's new 5th generation nano includes a video camera. The nano’s diminutive size has become a concern for Life Time Fitness, a company with 84 fitness centers in 19 states. As a result, it has been prohibited from use entirely in the facilities' locker rooms.
Company spokesman Jason Thunstrom said ino one can tell whether a user is choosing a song or shooting a video. Health clubs have banned camera-equipped cell phones for years.
The company will let patrons use the new iPod nano while working out, but shooting video while exercising is also prohibited.
The 8GB model ($149) of the 5th generation nano can record up to 7 hours of video, while the 16GB capacity ($179) can capture 14 hours.

In the Walmart parking lot, where else could it be?


More fun from

Seems like they should tie a red warning flag to one of the hooves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And you thought American kids' shows were crap...

This is off-the-scale bizarre.



Forty-four years ago today, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and flew to Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.

The photo is from one of those automated photo booths at the Base Exchange.

I can even remember my serial number (AF16841861 – a 168 palindrome with 41 in the middle), which was years before the military started using Social Security numbers as service member serial numbers.

I had a brilliant 41-day career in the 3703rd Basic Military Training Squadron before I was given a medical discharge for allergies.

I guess that qualifies me as a Vietnam-era veteran, but that’s a claim I will never make out of deference to the guys who really served and fought.

Curiously, we ran into a couple of Air Force recruiters at lunch and explored the possibilities of Austin getting the fire fighting training he wants in the Air Force. One of the two tech sergeants had been an Air Force fire fighter for 10 of his 15 years in uniform and opined it’s easier to get fire fighting training in the Air Force than in civilian life. We will, of course, alert Austin to this possibility.

Man down

From the Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles website:

David Bork, “Mr. Grass Roots,” was in a motorcycle accident this past Monday. Dave is a very careful grassrootsrider and was wearing all his BMW gear, which saved him from more serious injury after his motorcycle hit a car that stopped suddenly on a highway near Carbondale, IL.  A pickup truck driver stopped his truck in the driving lane to help a turtle cross the road, causing cars to slam on their brakes. Dave could not stop in time and rear-ended one of the cars with his bike, causing him to fly over the bike onto the car.

Dave is in the Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, Illinois with 2 cracked ribs, a lung contusion, a mild concussion, and lots of bumps and bruises. He will be moved out of ICU today, and may be home by the weekend. However, he will miss the Open House, and he so wanted to be a part of the Guinness World Record Challenge. Come sign the really BIG get well card for Dave at our Open House.

Dave has been Service Manager for Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles for 26 years. He is our walking encyclopedia of BMW motorcycle knowledge

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's worth 7:33 of your time. Really. Trust me.

This is John Hiatt and the Goners with my favorite American guitarist, Sonny Landreth. It was shot in November, 2003, in Basel, Switzerland.

It’s always something

hastings dust

JONESBORO, Ark. – I’m sitting at my usual table at Hastings, surfing and trying to think of something to blog about other politics.

And this is the day that a work crew shows up with a noisy generator and even more noisy jackhammer and concrete saw to attack the sidewalk just outside the front door to the Hardback Cafe.

You can see the dust filling the air and I can’t even drown out the racket with my iPod.

And, of course, whenever anyone opens the door the noise level jumps off the scale. I think I’ll just pack it in and go to lunch.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kefir crisis quashed

kefir Kroger manager Dick Crumbaugh left a voicemail while I was out mowing the lawn, saying they still stock Lifeway Kefir and it’s where it always was.

I believe Maria when she said it wasn’t there, so maybe it just got lost in the shuffle yesterday and got restocked overnight.

At any rate, I found it right where it was supposed to be and bought a couple of bottles. So all is right with the cosmos.


Not quite as entertaining as a motorcycle video. Well, not even close.

Lost dog from Brookland, Ark.

Click on the image to see full size.
This was on the post office bulletin board this morning. If you live around here, keep an eye out for Baby.

Quest for Kefir

kefir-st This is Lifeway Kefir. I've blogged about it before, so regular readers will know that I like to start my day with a glass of this stuff. It tastes great and it has all kinds of probiotic, friendly bacteria that are good for digestive health.

The only place we've found it around here is Kroger.

Maria went Krogering yesterday afternoon while I sipped coffee and websurfed at the bookstore next door. She called me to announce that Kefir has vanished from the dairy case where it is normally found. She said she checked all of the other possible locations and found no Kefir anywhere in the store.

I called store manager Dick Crumbaugh this morning and asked if they were just out of the stuff or if they have discontinued it. He's checking and said he will call me back.

Decisions to discontinue items at Kroger come from their company headquarters in Cincinnati. I will call Cincinnati if necessary. I want my freaking Kefir.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


freezing JONESBORO, Ark. – I’m freezing my ass off in Barnes & Noble.

The outdoor temperature is 78, with a heat index of 80, but the primo computer tables – the ones next to the wall and electrical outlets – are directly under the air conditioning vents. I’ve got my Swiss Army knife with the built-in thermometer and altimeter sitting on the table to put a number to the cold here, but there is no way it will account for what amounts to a wind chill factor from the blast of air coming out of the vents.

The knife says it’s 68, but it feels much colder. And I’m wearing a safari jacket over a t-shirt.

This has been a slow gray day, rain and low clouds. We spent the morning and half the afternoon in our office – Maria doing newspaper stuff and me surfing and downloading the newest Sonny Landreth album from I was surprised to notice that the MP3 download is $14.99, while the CD version is $1 cheaper. Figure in shipping and I still got the better deal. I guess the pricing reflects the fact that fewer and fewer people are buying CDs these days.

Another murky motovideo

This is Crowley's Ridge State Park, one of two state parks within about 15 miles of our home here on the Ridge.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Riding Crowley’s Ridge Parkway

It took way too much time to edit, convert and upload to YouTube, but I finally figured out how to get the video from my GoPro Hero helmetcam onto the blog.

The video covers a segment of Crowley’s Ridge, the only interesting topographic feature in northeast Arkansas, the rest of which is flat Mississippi delta. The Ridge runs from near Cape Girardeau, Mo. to Helena, Ark. and rises 200+ feet above the surrounding countryside. Since it was higher than the surrounding flood-prone countryside, Indians and early settlers prized it as the only dry route from Cape Girardeau into east central Arkansas.

The road network that follows the Ridge was designated a Scenic Byway a couple of years ago and it known as Crowley’s Ridge Parkway. Happily, it runs just a few miles from our home, which is also on the Ridge.

I shot this video yesterday afternoon, mainly to try out the helmetcam. The weather was overcast, making the images lackluster, but it’s a start.

It starts in the parking lot of KAIT-TV on Craighead County Road 766 where I clipped the helmetcam to my Arai and pushed the Start button. It ends at Wolcott.

I downloaded a trial version of a $50 video editing program and spent several hours trimming the original 53 minutes of video down to fit the YouTube limit of 10 minutes and trying to find a conversion that YouTube would accept. I’m sure the software will do it, but I haven’t been able to make it happen. So I fell back on the Windows Movie Maker software that came with Windows XP SP2 and, voila, I had a WMV file that uploaded quickly and cleanly to YouTube.

Happily, I have Windows Movie Maker on my netbook, so I can edit and upload helmetcam video when I’m traveling.

Manhunt Intensifies for Insane Killer Who Escaped During Washington State Fair

Hey, let's take the criminally insane killer to the state fair. What could possibly go wrong?

Manhunt Intensifies for Insane Killer Who Escaped During Washington State Fair - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Camera? What camera?

helmetcam Yes, it looks goofy as hell, but it works.

I took the GoPro video camera out for a spin this afternoon. It was a gloomy, overcast day, but I was tired of waiting for perfect weather.

I ended up recording a 53 minute video of a ride up Crowley’s Ridge Parkway to U.S. 412, east on 412, then south to Crowley’s Ridge State Park, around the park and back home. As soon as my other laptop finishes chewing on it, creating a 9 minute 50 second edited version to conform with YouTube’s 10 minute limit, I’ll upload it and post it here.

We salute 1st Lt. Tyler Parten

Tyler Parten ThursFirst Lt. Tyler Parten was laid to rest in his hometown of Marianna, Ark., today. Lt. Parten was killed in Afghanistan last Thursday repelling an attack by insurgents in Konar province.

A 2007 West Point graduate, Parten, 24, was a scout platoon leader assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Collins, Colo. He had been in Afghanistan since May.

The photo above shows Parten handing out candy to kids in Afghanistan.

The Patriot Guard Riders were on hand yesterday and today to shield his family from the insults of members of the Westboro Baptist Church, from Topeka, Kans. Church members routinely show up at military funerals to celebrate what they believe is God's retribution against the United States for this nation's tolerant attitude toward homosexuality. Yeah, I know. It's so bizarre you can't even dignify it with the title of theology.

Those folks are the reason I joined the Patriot Guard Riders back in February, 2006 after seeing them waving their inflammatory signs outside the Lafayette, Ind., Christian Reformed Church at a soldier's funeral.

There were only about 8,600 PGR members at the time. Since then, our ranks have swollen to 176,100 - as of 2:33 p.m. today.

The press release announcing the Westboro Baptist Church's intent to harass mourners at Lt. Parten's funeral today took notice of the PGR.

It said, in part:

Lawless men like the Patriot Guard Riders hate God. These PGR slobs are violent, cowardly, murderous liars. To the PGR gang of thugs, we say, as Jesus said: "Ye are of your father the devil." Jn. 8:44. God hates the PGR.

Speaking just for myself and emphasizing that I have no authority to speak officially for the Patriot Guard Riders, I'd say it's an honor to be insulted by those people.

Happy Constitution Day. Read it. Live it.

Today is Constitution Day, the 222nd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

This would be a proper occasion to remind the president and the Congress to pay attention us-constitutionto the charter of government they have sworn to protect and defend and to demand that they stop ignoring it.

They should pay particular attention to the 10th Amendment, which limits the powers of the federal government to those specifically enumerated in the Constitution. The notion that the federal responsibility to "regulate interstate commerce" gives then carte blanche to run our lives is wearing a bit thin and is about to come apart on the basis of recent Supreme Court rulings.

Here, then, is the full text of the United States Constitution, courtesy of the National Archives:

We the People

of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

John Blair
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I

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.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

Note: Article III, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 11.

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.


Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.


Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.


Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 16.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the 17th amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.


Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.

Section 1.
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.
If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.
The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.
Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.


Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

Note: Article II, section 1, of the Constitution was affected by the 25th amendment.

Section 1.
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.


Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.