I Passed. Can You?

The INS wants you score 80% or better on an oral version of this test.
I scored 90% and will make the usual disclaimer that at least one of the questions I got wrong was not particularly germane to being a good citizen. It was something that most folks would look up rather than remember.
How well did you do?
Here is the current list of possible questions (PDF) with answers.
In the new pilot exam (PDF) applicants are required to anwer only 6 out of 10 questions during the pilot period.

Via Rants From The Rookery.

Orange Coast College Student Government Gets Rid of the Pledge

There will be no more reciting of the pledge of allegiance at Orange Coast College student government meetings:

Student leaders at a community college voted to drop the Pledge of Allegiance after a tense meeting in which one flag-waving pledge supporter berated them as anti-American radicals.
Orange Coast College’s student trustees voted Wednesday not to recognize the pledge, with three of the five board members saying it should be dropped from their meetings.
Board member Jason Ball argued that the pledge inspires nationalism, violates the separation between church and state with the phrase “under God,” and is irrelevant to the business of student government.

To which Edwonk suggests:

Since these student “leaders” have taken it upon themselves to make a “statement” by rejecting the United States Flag, I wonder if these same student “leaders” would be willing to make an even bigger “statement” by rejecting all government-supplied financial aid as well.

Nope, not until the government stops collecting the funds used for financial aid via taxation.

Update (11/21/06): It’s back for now:

At an intense two-and-a-half-hour meeting in the faculty lounge, the student trustees listened to — and often expressed — passionate opinions both for and against making the pledge an official item. In the end, by a 3-2 vote, the board opted to reinstate the pledge as an “opportunity” for any attendees who wish to recite it and promised to hold a forum or take an opinion poll in the near future to determine students’ feelings on the matter.
“In my view, this is a fair compromise,” said student body president Lynne Riddle, who suggested the compromise that the trustees accepted but is not a voting member of the board. “I feel strongly still that the board made no mistake. However, we have heard additional voices from students and the community.”

If they can create an environment that supports those who do and those who don’t choose to recite the pledge great. If not, then eliminating it was the correct choice.

Just Say NO!

gonzales and mueller can simply go spend their time sharing their personal transactions with each other:

Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller privately met with representatives of AOL, Comcast, Google, Microsoft and Verizon last week and said that Internet providers–and perhaps search engines–must retain data for two years to aid in anti-terrorism prosecutions, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

If there is an active investigation and these twinks have demonstrated probable cause to a judge in a non-secret court that some one may be involved in the commission of a crime or has committed a crime then you can start tapping that one person’s data now. You do not get to build a massive fishing pond.
Yet another reason to toss’m all out…and not replace’m.
Via Why Now.

Validate Your Sources

In an editorial kind of calling for more congressional oversight of the NSA this Miami Herald editorial says:

Let’s be clear about what this program is and is not. ”The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval,” President Bush insisted shortly after the furor was ignited by a story in USA Today. In short, no indiscriminate wiretapping.

Really, these folks consider this quote from bush as a valid source to justify their clarification of what this program is and is not?
The authors should take the advice of their own closing sentence:

We should be well past the time when ”trust me” is an acceptable response to questions about what the government is up to. That’s the way freedom is lost.

Well, yes. But congress has failed to provide so called oversight and the executive branch seems to be out of control. Ample evidence that the concept of checks and balances is severely flawed.

Better than enhanced congressional oversight might be a complete elimination of these rotting organs which seem unconcerned with our freedom and liberty.