Sunday, September 17, 2006

Constitution Day

It's Constitution Day again. Thanks to Senator Byrd's 2004 amendment to a spending bill, Constitution Day is an educational event. So, some celebration events will be held on Monday - including the reading of the Preamble by Colin Powell - at 2:00 PM EDT.
We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

I don't really understand the pledge of allegiance. But I do understand the preamble (with the possible exception of the word "ordain") and I wish this was the thing we say in public to declare our loyalty. For one think, it starts with "We" instead of "I." Can't you just imagine standing up at a football game and saying "We the people..." Wouldn't you like to hear the US House of Representatives start each day's business with "We the people.." Wouldn't it be good in both these situations to emphasize that we're all in this together - we're all trying to solve the same problems?

Last year I wrote about C-SPAN coverage of the Constitution. Whatever criticism I may have of cable/satellite TV, I thank the industry for creating and funding C-SPAN. I wish there were more commercial-free channels carrying similar quality educational programming in other topics. There's PBS. And The History Channel and The Discovery Channel with commercials. Why no special channel for literature? Think of the possibilities.

But I, for one, would like to see a channel about logic, ethics and semantics. This would add up to an exercise in clear thinking. I'd be the first to admit I could use some practice. And I think there are lots of people who need it more than I do. And I think that, on the imaginary level playing field, people with knowledge and skills in logic, ethics and semantics have a huge advantage. On the other hand, it would take me a long time to prove that.

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