Ernest Cassara

Swearing an Oath on the Koran

I see that some folks are bothered that the new, first, Muslim member of the House of Representatives, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, swore his oath with hand on the Koran.

Personally, I am bothered by the fact that we “swear, or affirm” with the hand on the Judaeo-Christian Bible. Aside from the preaching of some impractical dreamers, such as the great Prophets of the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New, who spoke of love of one’s neighbor and peace, much of the Bible is a collection of stories of blood and gore.

‘Twould be more appropriate to place one’s hand on the Constitution itself.

And, by the way, every time the oath is administered, folks are expected to end with the words, “So help me God!”  Suggest you pull out your copy of the Constitution, where you will not find these words.

The Constitution insists that there be no religious test for holding office, the only reference to Christianity being at the end of the document, with the customary dating formulation in that day, “In the Year of Our Lord . . . .”

Speaking of the Constitution

Too many folks of late have been referring to President Bush as their Commander in Chief.  He ain’t!  He is Commander in Chief of the armed forces.  Which, too, is unfortunate!

The Age of Miracles is Not Past


President George W. Bush has called for a balanced budget!

Or, perhaps, this item should be headed “The Age of Hypocrisy is Not Past.”

Impeach the President

I understand that a call has arisen in the land that Dubya be impeached.  All of his offenses against the Constitution have been sloughed off by his supporters.  But, now he is claiming the right to open and read our mail!!!

Suggestion: Forward all of your junk mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead

Strange, how when someone dies, universal amnesia sets in.  The death of ex-President Ford brings this to mind.  I think he was a healing influence, when he took over the presidency on the resignation of my favorite “unindicted co-conspirator,” Richard Nixon.  But, Ford’s career in the House was anything but healing.  There, he was a right-wing ideologue.

Barbarism in Return for Barbarism

I have never seen the need to encumber my cell phone with things like games, etc., and I have had no desire to possess one that is, also, a camera.  But, I am happy that the gentlemen who witnessed the disgraceful hanging of Saddam Hussein had the courage to snap some pictures and put them on the internet.

Bad enough that the Iraqi government chose to execute Hussein, but  the witnesses, with their taunting, demonstrated that Saddam was the only polite one present.

Scams on the Internet

Again, I have received an e-mail, the subject line of which informs me that there is a problem with my credit card information at eBay, if that is how it is spelled.  Since I have never once dealt with eBay, this is an obvious scam.  Needless to say, I have not opened the message, and sent on to AOL as SPAM.

Just discovered, on one of my other e-mail names with AOL, that the Bank of America is having trouble with my account.  Since I have no account with the Bank of America, I have sent this on to AOL as SPAM!


If I appear more cranky than usual in this feature, it is because we have just returned from a visit to the heartland.  We traveled to Toledo and back by AMTRAK, on the Lakeshore Limited.  It is fun, in a way, in that you may catch up on your sleep.  On the return journey, we left Toledo at 1:30 A.M. and arrived in Boston at 6:30 P.M.

Comfortable seats, quite good food, and a pleasant staff.  I believe in supporting AMTRAK, but, next time, we’ll consider American Airlines!

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Harvard Square Commentary, January 8, 2007