14th Amendment

The First Amendment Under A Microscope — Part 1 Of 3 — The “Establishment” Clause

The First Amendment Under A Microscope — Part 1 Of 3 — The “Establishment” Clause

14th Amendment, activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, Education, Fascism, Ideology, injustice, law, Politics, Presidency, progressive politics, Rationality, reflection, republic, Resistance, Second Amendment, Secularity, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
In October of 2017, I published what I intended as a more detailed examination of all three of the main clauses of the First Amendment:  the "establishment" clause, the "free exercise" clause, and the "abridgement" clause (encompassing freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. Life got in the way, however, and only the first part of the column, on the "establishment" clause, ever appeared. Since then, however, and largely as a result of the continuing assault of the Trump Administration and other parts of the American fascist community on First Amendment liberties, I have returned to the subject of the First Amendment, and have written the other two parts -- "free exercise" and "abridgement" -- that I neglected back in October of last year. In the interest of continuity, I am re-publ
So You Value Due Process? Hey! #MeToo!

So You Value Due Process? Hey! #MeToo!

"Life" Issues, 14th Amendment, 5th Amendment, activism, anger, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, First Amendment, justice, law, Men, movement, Rationality, sexual assault, Sexuality, Trump, Uncategorized, Women
This is going to sound really strange coming from me, but … (deep breath) … Donald Trump is right about due process. Granted, "due process" is probably just a phrase Trump overheard on an episode of Law and Order, or maybe from one of his cadre of attorneys. But the source being whatever it may, when you're right, you're right.  The US Constitution guarantees due process prior to the deprivation of “life, liberty, or property”. For that reason alone, Trump is right, even if only in a stopped-clock-twice-a-day manner, about the criticality of due process. Furthermore, we should understand a few things up front, one about professional relationships between men and women, another about free speech, and third about the economics of legal defense and the implications for the practical avail
Delayed Action On Cosmic Arrivals

Delayed Action On Cosmic Arrivals

14th Amendment, announcement, Astronomy, awareness, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, critical judgment, culture, Current Events, extraterrestrial intelligences, Fear, General Interest, immigration, Military, Mystery, physics, Satire / parody, Science, SETI, Uncategorized, Women
Over the five years or so I have been writing these “Skeptic’s Collection” columns, there have been several occasions (like, e.g., this) when I have received information, often anonymous and always via clandestine back channels, regarding extremely sensitive subjects that have been cloaked in secrecy, but which have been critical to national security.  The latest example is my recent acquisition, through similarly confidential sources, of the complete back-story of the sighting by US Air Force pilots and radar operators of unidentified flying objects west of San Diego in 2004. What all such occasions have in common is an ethical question:  to publicize or to maintain secrecy. Usually I do the latter. But since the New York Times has already surfaced the story, at least the part that is